City Newsletter - October 2016
Message from the Mayor
Mark Huizenga
 
Greetings,

Summer is officially done, but I think there are a few days of warm weather ahead of us. To start the fall out right, the City hosted the second annual Pumpkin Bash. So many wonderful families came out to celebrate the fall. Young and old enjoyed decorating pumpkins, drinking cider and petting the animals. The event was free and open to the public. If you were not able to attend, make sure you look for it again next year!

As you may have noticed, the tunnel under Lake Michigan Drive is now completed. The official opening and ribbon cutting was on October 14. Our staff, contractors and engineers worked hard to construct this amazing passageway under Lake Michigan Drive. If you have not had a chance to ride or walk through the tunnel, make sure you stop by. This project will serve future generations with safe passage under M-45.  

Many roads have been resurfaced throughout the city,  just a few projects remain before the snow falls. Look for additional road improvements and repaving at 4 Mile and Walker Avenue.
 
We look forward to seeing everyone at the third annual Winter Fest!

Kind Regards,

Mayor Mark E. Huizenga
2016 Walker Winter Fest
Save the Date 
 
Presented by: The City of Walker, Kent District Library Walker Branch, and Walker Ice and Fitness Center

On Thursday, December 1, 2016 from 5:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. e njoy an evening of free ice skating, reindeer, hot chocolate, kids crafts, holiday music, and our 7:00 p.m. tree lighting. A figure skating exhibition by Lake Effect will kick-off the event at 5:00 p.m. Santa will also be visiting from the North Pole!
 
Event will be held at the Walker Ice and Fitness Center at 4151 Remembrance Rd. NW. We encourage you to bring your own ice skates. Rental skates will be available for free on a first come basis.
 
Peppino's Pizza will be at the event selling $2 slices, so bring some cash and have dinner with us!
 
Please help us spread some holiday cheer by bringing a canned good item to donate to our local food bank. Our Youth Commission will be collecting donations at the entrance.

For more details, please visit  www.ci.walker.mi.us 
 
If your business or organization would like to sponsor this event, please contact Amber Kneibel at akneibel@ci.walker.mi.us. We hope to see you there!
Income Tax Department
Updates

Due Dates:
Fourth estimated payments for calendar year 2016 are due January 31, 2017. Forms are available on our website Click Here

Where's my refund?
We are currently processing 2015 returns that were missing required information. If we did not receive the information upon request from the taxpayer, deductions and credits will be disallowed resulting in a lower refund or assessment. If you were expecting a refund, but have received a proposed assessment, please provide the missing information within 30 days.

If you are unsure if you need to file Walker Income Tax returns, the most common questions are answered on our website. Click Here. You can also call us at 616.791.6880.
Ordinance Reminder
Local Pet Regulations and Enforcement
 
Household pets are required to be controlled by a leash or anoth er suitable method of physical restraint. Allowing any animal to run free on public or private property, other than the pet owners' property, is prohibited by Walker City Code, Section 14-1. 
 
Barking dogs are generally regulated by City Code, Section 94-343 and enforced by the Walker Police Department. 
 
Please note that a typical dog bark would not constitute a violation of City Codes or Ordinances.     
 
In addition to the City's requirements, the Kent County Animal Control is an excellent resource for animal care, animal control, and other animal related information. 
Fire Department
Rules for Open Burning with Permit

Residential burning is allowed twice a year. The burning season begins on April 15 through May 15 and October 15 through November 15. Burning permits are free and can be obtained at the main reception area at the Walker City Hall. You will be required to show your valid Michigan driver's license when applying for your burning permit.

Please see our website for all restrictions and rules. Click Here
Police Department
Car Accident Prevention

There are thousands of car accidents each day. The Walker Police Department would like to offer some tips to help limit accidents and fatalities that occur.
  • Never text and drive - Sending a message to a friend or family member is not worth risking your life or someone else's. It can wait. Avoid making phone calls too!
  • Never drink and drive - If you are going to be drinking, arrange for a friend or family member to come and get you or have a designated driver.
  • Always wear a seatbelt - A seatbelt could save your life in an accident. Even if you are riding in the back seat and feel like you don't need one, wear one anyways.
  • If you feel tired, don't drive - If you are feeling tired at the wheel, especially at night, do not take the risk of driving. Have someone else drive for you or pull into a gas station and take a quick nap.
  • Keep your eyes on the road at all times - Distractions can easily cause an accident in a second. Avoid dealing with kids, eating, or changing the music in your car while driving.
Making good choices while driving could prevent a serious accident or even fatalities. Be safe!
Department of Public Works
2016 Leaf Recycling Program

When: October 22, 2016 through November 19, 2016 (Closed Friday, November 11, 2016 for Veteran's Day)

Location: City of Walker, 4243 Remembrance Rd. N.W. (behind City Hall)

Monday through Friday:  8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Five Saturdays, from 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.:  October 22, Oct ober 29, November 5, November 12 and November 19.
Biodegradable bags will be made available for purchase at the Public Works office from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Call for current price.
To speed up the leaf drop off, we ask that you use biodegradable bags. Plastic bags are not accepted. Also, residents may bring leaves in a tarped trailer. We will also be accepting brush at this location and running it through the chipper. No minimum length required. Proof of Walker residency will be required.

Office hours are Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. If you have questions, please call 616.791.6854.
Clerk's Office  
Updates 
  
Upcoming Elections:
The Presidential General Election is November 8, 2016. The last day to register to vote for this election was October 11, 2016. Click here for more information. 

Due to the Supreme Court ruling on September 9, 2016 the 'Straight Party Ticket' will be on the November 8, 2016 Ballot.

Absentee Ballots:

Prior to each election, voters may choose to receive their ballot by mail. Michigan law allows you to receive an absentee ballot if:

  • You are 60 years of age or older
  • You are physically unable to attend the polls without assistance of another
  • You have been appointed an election precinct inspector in a precinct other than the precinct where you reside
  • You expect to be absent from the community in which you are registered for the entire time the polls are open on election day
  • You cannot attend the polls because of the tenets of your religion
  • You cannot attend the polls because you are confined to jail awaiting arraignment or trial
Absentee Ballots are available in the Clerk's Office approximately 45 days prior to the election. Call the office for an application or stop in to complete the form. Please know that Absentee Ballot APPLICATIONS can be forwarded to a temporary address by the Post Office. However, Absentee BALLOTS cannot be forwarded to another address by the Post Office. It is vital we know where to mail your absentee ballot so it does not get lost in the mail system! Click here for an Absentee Ballot Application

Permanent Absentee Voter:
If you are over 60 years old, you qualify to be on our Permanent Absentee Voter List which means you will automatically receive an Application to Vote prior to each Election. You then complete the application and return it to the Clerk's Office to receive your ballot. Contact the Clerk's Office if you wish to be on this list. If you already receive an application, you are already on the list and do not need to contact us again.

Military/Overseas Voters:
Military personnel or U.S. citizens currently overseas can visit www.fvap.gov for a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). The FPCA acts as both a registration and absentee ballot request form. A form must be submitted every year in order to qualify to receive an absentee ballot for the elections held in that calendar year.

City Hall Drop Box:
Any documents you need to turn into the Clerk's office may be dropped off in the City Hall grey drop box outside City Hall. (i.e. Absentee ballot applications, signed and sealed absentee ballots and any license applications and payments).
Walker Ice & Fitness Center
Updates and Events 
  
Become a Member in November for just $20 
Fall is such a great time of year to get in shape and look great for the holidays!
Come see us today for more information
*restrictions apply
 
Halloween Skary Skate - Fun for the whole family
Friday, October 28, 2016
8:00 -10:00 p.m.
Costume Contest - Treats - Prizes
Admission is FREE if you come in costume

 
For complete information on all of our programs, special events and schedules, please contact the Walker Ice and Fitness center at (616)735-6286, visit our facebook page or our website at www.walkericeandfitness.com  
 
Kent District Library
KDLand
  
Sign up for a simple and fun reading program for independent readers in grades K-3. Enjoy Reading adventures and earn buttons along the way. Collect all five! Those that complete KDLand will receive a backpack - a great place to display their KDLand buttons!

Toddler Time
 
Monday, October 24  
Monday, October 31
Nurture your toddler's love of books through music, movement and stories while helping to develop their language, motor and social skills.
9:45 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Baby Time
 

Monday, October 24  

Monday, October 31  

Delight and stimulate your baby with songs, a story and playtime.  

11:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Family Story Time 

Monday, October 24, 6:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, October 27, 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. 

Read and sing together. Enjoy stories, music, movement and rhymes that develop early literacy skills and encourage everyone in the family to share their love of reading.

 

Rhyme Time Music and Movement 

Thursday, October 27 at 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Move and groove together with action rhymes, songs, games and hands-on musical activities that will help children develop motor, listening and literacy skills.

KDL Lab Experience:  Robot Rumble 

Wednesday, October 26 at 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Get ready for a hands-on creative experience! Learn the basics of coding, challenge your friends to an obstacle course race, or just hang out and play with an assortment of amazing robots.