City Newsletter - September 2017
Message From the Mayor  
Mark E. Huizenga  

Dear Residents, 
 
I hope you had a great summer! it certainly is starting to feel like fall, but I suspect there will be many more summer like days in the weeks ahead.There are a number of great events the City is working on this fall!  Our newest addition is the Relay for Life event. 

This event raises money for the American Cancer Society. I'm sure all of you know someone who has been affected by cancer. The first ever Walker Relay for Life will be immediately following the Pumpkin Bash on Saturday October 7 from 3:00 - 9:00. We'll have a lot of fun, but our goal is to support the American Cancer Society. To learn more, start a team or sponsor click here. We will have a Halloween theme so dress up in your favorite costume, enter the pumpkin carving contest and help fight cancer!

Please be sure to be safe on the roads especially with increased back to school and construction traffic. The I-96 and Walker Ave interchange is being rebuilt and realigned. It will be a challenging area until the end of October, but when completed it will be a great update to this growing area of our City.

Kind Regards,

Mayor Mark E. Huizenga
Pumpkin Bash 
Save the Date 

P r e s e n t e d   b y :   T h e   C i t y   o f   W a l k e r ,   K e n t   D i s t r i c t   L i b r a r y   W a l k e r   B r a n c h ,   a n d   W a l k e r   I c e   a n d   F i t n e s s   C e n t e r

Saturday, October 7, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.

Join us for an afternoon of fall family fun, petting zoo, and food! We will be giving away mini pumpkins to the first 1,000 kids (12 years old and under)! Crafting supplies available to personalize your pumpkin. Event is free and open to the public. New this year, kids come dressed in costume for our vendor trick-or-treating. 

Event will be held at the Walker City Complex, outdoors (4243 Remembrance Rd. NW)  R a i n   l o c a t i o n   i s   W a l k e r   I c e   &   F i t n e s s   C e n t e r   ( 4 1 5 1   R e m e m b r a n c e   R d .   N W ) .  
C h e c k   o u r   w e b s i t e   f o r   u p d a t e s   o n   r a i n   l o c a t i o n M o r e   d e t a i l s   w i l l   b e   a v a i l a b l e   s o o n   a t   w w w . w a l k e r . c i t y

After Pumpkin Bash, don't miss the first Walker Community Relay for Life from 3:00 - 9:00 p.m. on city grounds. For more Relay for Life details visit visit their facebook page. 

For more information or to sponsor these events, please contact akneibel@walker.city.
Clerk's Office
Updates

Upcoming Elections
The City General Election is November 7, 2017. The last day to register to vote for this election is October 10, 2017. Register at the Clerk's office or any Secretary of State branch. Click here for more information.

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 to qualify to receive an absentee ballot for the elections held in that calendar year.

Passports
You can apply for a passport in the Clerk's Office. No appointments are necessary during Passport Office Hours which are Monday - Thursday from 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Visit our website for details on passport requirements.

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 Fire Department
Silent Night Memorial Service & Parade 

October 8, 2017 kicks off National Fire Prevention Week. West Michigan Firefighters will remember those fellow firefighters who have served their communities and lost their life with a silent night memorial service and parade of fire apparatus. This year's event will take place on Thursday, October 12 beginning with the memorial service at 7:00 p.m. followed by a silent parade of apparatus. The ceremony will be held at the City of Walker Public Safety Memorial Site located at Wilson and Remembrance Road.

The Silent Night Parade has its origin in the Chicago Suburbs. In 2002, the Grand Rapids Fire Department learned of this ceremony and brought it here and has hosted previous ceremonies with participation by many West Michigan Fire Departments.

The purpose of this ceremony is to recognize and remember any firefighter, active or retired, that has passed away or "answered the Last Alarm" in the past 12 months, no matter whether it was a line of duty death or not. A bell is rung once for each name. After the roll call of Fire Departments is completed, the bell is tolled 5-5-5.

Upon completion of the memorial service, the Silent Night Parade begins with the blessing of any fire apparatus that is less than 12 months old, which will lead the parade. When the parade begins, all emergency lights are turned on but no sirens or air horns are activated. It is truly a "silent parade". 

The apparatus will follow a route that will proceed east on Remembrance Road to Kinney and will travel south on Kinney ending at the Walker Fire Station on Lake Michigan Drive and Kinney where the apparatus will be on display for the public to view. Refreshments will be served. The public is encouraged to attend the ceremony and/or line the parade route.
Income Tax Department
Updates

Due dates
Third quarter estimated payments for calendar year 2017 are due October 2, 2017. Forms are available on our website.

Forgotten Returns
If you have past years of Walker returns that you have forgotten to file, contact the tax department immediately at 616.791.6880. If you file prior year returns and pay the tax and interest due, you may request a waiver of penalty. If the tax department contacts you first regarding un-filed returns, you will not be eligible for a waiver of penalty. We are continuing the process of electronically matching State of Michigan returns filed from a Walker resident address with Walker returns filed. If you have forgotten to file Walker returns from prior years, now is the time to get that cleared up before the letters go out from this matching program.

Have questions?
If you are not sure if you need to file Walker Income Tax returns, the most common questions are answered on our website.

You can also call us at 616.791.6880.
Walker Ice & Fitness Center 
Events and Updates

September Membership Special 
$0 joining fee for all new and returning members! 
No contract required. 
New strength equipment and incline trainers.
All fitness classes are included.
Back to School-Back to Fitness!

Fall Fitness Schedule
We have classes Sunday-Saturday. To view the fall fitness schedule click here.

Member Appreciation Day 
Monday, September 25, 2017
All day raffle prizes, giveaways, healthy snacks and more! Bring in a Friend for free!

Party Room Rental 
Need a place to host a party or bridal/baby shower? 
We have newly updated rooms to rent! 
Seating for up to 100 with tables/chairs-rental starts at just $20/hr

For complete information on all of our programs, special events and schedules, please contact the Walker Ice and Fitness center at 616.735.6286,  www.walkericeandfitness.com  or visit our  Facebook page.
Kent District Library  
Events and Updates

Starting in September the Library returns to its regularly hosted children's programs, but this fall we have lots of other great events going on at Kent District Library.  Here are a few...

Awesome Autumn Adventure - Friday, October 13, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Celebrate the season with autumn crafts, games and pumpkin decorating! Please bring your own pumpkin.

Digging Dinosaurs! - 
Monday, September 25, 6:30 p.m. and 
Tuesday, September 26, 10:00 a.m.

There are dinosaurs in the library! Stop by for dinosaur fun in this STEAM-based storytime special.

KDL Uncorked: Long Road Distillers Tour and Tasting - Tuesday, September 26, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Get a first-hand look at the local craft spirits scene. Includes informational tour of the facility and distilling process along with a tasting at 537 Leonard St. NW MI 49504. Show your library card for discounts. For adults 21 and over.

KDL Uncorked: Tour and Spirits Tasting at Gray Skies Distillery - Wednesday, October 4, 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Join us for a tasting and behind the scenes look at the process of creating spirits. Tour and talk will be held at Gray Skies Distillery, 700 Ottawa NW, Grand Rapids, MI.  For ages 21 and over.

DIY Decorative Wood Signs - Saturday, October 7, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Pre-registration opens Aug. 1 and is required. The Mud Room is bringing their painting studio to the library. Customize a wood sign to create a charming display in your home or office.

KDL Uncorked: Mead Tour at Arktos Meadery -  Wednesday, October 11, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Pre-registration opens Aug. 1 and is required. Come join us for a tour of Arktos Meadery, 1251 Century Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Learn how mead is made and enjoy a tasting afterwards. For ages 21 and up.


For more information on these events and more, please visit the KDL Walker Branch website


Senior Neighbors 
Events 

For a full listing of the Senior Neighbors' events, please click here.
Winter Fest
Save the Date 

Presented by: The City of Walker, Kent District Library Walker Branch, and Walker Ice and Fitness Center

Thursday, November 30, 5:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Enjoy an evening of free ice skating, reindeer, hot chocolate, kids crafts, holiday music, and our 7:00 p.m. tree lighting. Santa will also be visiting from the North Pole!  Event will be held at the Walker Ice & Fitness Center (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. 

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 information or to sponsor these events, please contact akneibel@walker.city.