August 2020 eNewsletter
Welcome to the City of Kentwood's monthly eNewsletter. Stay up to date about community news, events and programs happening this month.
City of Kentwood Operations Update
Kentwood City Hall remains open for essential in-person services. City Hall visitors are required to wear a mask and practice physical distancing per the Governor’s Executive Order. A mask will be provided if a visitor does not have access to one.

The following buildings are open by appointment for all services:
  • Kentwood Department of Public Works - Please ring the doorbell on-site or call 616.554.0817
  • Kentwood Fire Department - Please call 616.554.0800 (non-emergency)
  • Kentwood Police Department - Please call 616.698.6580 (non-emergency)

The 62-B District Court is open with limited capacity to the general public to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, while safeguarding rights guaranteed by the Constitution. For information regarding court operations, click  here .

Residents are encouraged to continue accessing City services online at  kentwood.us   and by calling or emailing City staff. Bills may be paid through U.S. mail, the drop box, drive-up teller tube located outside City Hall or electronically using ACH.

The City remains in contact with health officials to ensure City operations align with their guidance. Updates about our operational changes in response to COVID-19 are available at:  kentwood.us/COVID .
Election Day Reminders - Aug. 4
The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 4 for the state primary election. Voters can find ballot and precinct information at  michigan.gov/vote . As a reminder, the polling location for precincts 14 and 18 has been changed from East Paris Church to the Covenant Park clubhouse, located at 3402 36th St. SE.

Per the Governor’s Executive Order, those who vote at the polls are asked to wear a mask. Any registered voter who is interested in working the polls this November may contact the City Clerk’s office at 616.698.9610 to inquire.

For more information regarding voter registration and elections in Kentwood, please visit  kentwood.us/elections . You may also contact the Clerk’s office at elections@kentwood.us .
Get a Bag of Groceries Through Kentwood’s Little Free Pantry
Last month, we put out an ask for donations and wow – did our community show up! Thanks to amazing support from individuals and organizations, the shelves of Kentwood’s Little Free Pantry are now overflowing. We’re expanding our food distribution opportunities to ensure the food goes to homes of those in need. In addition to having the pantry available by appointment 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, we’re now also offering pre-packaged bags of groceries that families can pick up between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays.
 
Those who would like to utilize the pantry can stop by the Kentwood Activities Center and either ring the doorbell or pull up curbside and honk their horn and a staff member will assist. Kentwood’s Little Free Pantry is located within the Kentwood Activities Center at 355 48th St. SE. Learn more at  kentwood.us/littlefreepantry .
Final Summer Concerts
Kentwood’s Summer Concert Series will come to a close this month. Concerts are hosted on select Thursday nights from 7 to 8:30 p.m. with some modifications to ensure physical distancing and a limit of 100 guests on a first-come, first-served basis . Concerts are livestreamed for those who wish to watch from home thanks to our friends at  WKTV Community Media . For more information, please visit  kentwood.us/summerconcertseries .
Limb Loss Awareness 5K Postponed to 2021
The Limb Loss Awareness 5K has quickly become a popular race and community-building event since inception in 2018. More than just a 5K race, this event's purpose extends beyond promoting health and wellness. The goals are truly three-fold: increase awareness of limb loss, build community and raise funds for Kentwood’s adaptive recreation programs .

The event has been well-attended the past two years, gathering people of all abilities together to share in an empowering experience. It brings sponsors and advocates together to showcase new adaptive equipment, treatments and technology, as well as educate others on limb differences and amputation.

Under the current circumstances, that level of engagement won’t be possible for us to facilitate safely – and the health and safety of our community remains extremely important to us. For this reason, the City of Kentwood and Hanger Clinic have decided to cancel the Limb Loss Awareness 5K race that was postponed to Aug. 22.

We will look forward to hosting the event on Saturday, April 24, 2021, to again coincide with Limb Loss Awareness Month. Thank you for your understanding as we continue to navigate this ever-evolving situation. We appreciate your support.
Summer Tax Payment Due Aug. 20
The Treasurer’s office is currently collecting summer taxes. Property tax payment must be received no later than Thursday, Aug. 20 to avoid a 3% penalty.

Summer tax deferments are available to qualifying taxpayers. Applications must be filed with the Treasurer’s office by Sept. 15. Click   here  for the Summer Tax Deferment Application and click   here  for a list of frequently asked questions. For more information, contact the Treasurer’s office at 616.554.0761.
Summer Road Improvements – 29th Street
Work to repave 29th Street and Acquest Drive from Breton Avenue to 28th Street is anticipated to begin Saturday, Aug. 8 and be completed by Friday, Sept. 4, barring any unforeseen circumstances. For the majority of the project, only one lane will be open in both directions for businesses and their customers, as well as emergency services. Traffic control devices, construction personnel and cones will direct traffic. If you have questions, please contact the Engineering Department at 616.554.0781 or eEngineering@kentwood.us . To learn more about summer road construction, click here . We appreciate your patience as we work to maintain and improve our streets!
Register for Programs and Rentals at City Hall Starting Sept. 1
Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 1, individuals will be able to register for Kentwood recreational programs and  shelter rentals   at the Treasurer’s counter at City Hall or by calling the Treasurer’s office at 616.554.0761. Those interested in registering for programs  and rentals can also continue to sign up  online   or by calling the Parks and Recreation Department at 616.656.5270. When the Kentwood Activities Center reopens to the public, Parks and Recreation staff will resume taking registration there as well. The KAC building remains closed at this time per the state’s Executive Order. 
Kent District Library – Kentwood
(Richard L. Root) Branch Update
Kent District Library is welcoming the general public back with in-branch visits beginning Wednesday, Aug. 5 with limited hours and a number of other safety precautions. For more information, visit kdl.org/coronavirus .

Meet Up and Eat Up, a summer food program, is back through a partnership with Feeding America West Michigan. Anyone 18 years old and younger may pick up a free lunch at the Kentwood (Richard L. Root) Branch to take home each weekday between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Get all the details at   kdl.org/events .
2020 Draft Master Plan Nears Adoption
Thank you to all those who shared public input on the City’s long-range vision for growth, land use, development and open space conservation, known as the Master Plan . There will be a work session on Tuesday, Aug. 11, followed by a public hearing to adopt the 2020 Master Plan on Tuesday, Aug. 25. Both opportunities will allow for additional public comment directly to the Planning Commission. For information about the meetings, please visit our website .
Kentwood Food Truck Festival Postponed to 2021
After much discussion, the City of Kentwood and GR8 Food Trucks have decided to postpone the Food Truck Festival to next summer due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and restrictions on large group gatherings.

Kentwood’s Food Truck Festival has grown in popularity since inception, drawing crowds of people together to enjoy local eats, drinks and live music. While we look forward to the time we can again gather as a community for such large-scale activities, our primary goal continues to be the health and safety of all those in our community. Rather than trying to reinvent the festival under the changing health climate, event organizers felt the best and safest option would be to reschedule and focus on making the event better than ever next year.

On that note, we are excited to share there will be two food truck events to look forward to in 2021:
  • Saturday, June 19 – Kentwood Kick-off to Summer Food Truck Festival
  • Saturday, Sept. 18 – Kentwood Food Truck Festival

Of course, we will continue to monitor public health guidance and state orders, which may necessitate changes or postponement of other upcoming events or programs. Please continue to keep an eye on Facebook and our website , or call 616.656.5270 for the latest updates.
Help Plant the Seeds to Make
South Division Avenue Thrive
Division United is a project that’s currently underway to come up with transportation and development improvements that benefit the people of South Division Avenue. It will deliver a sustainable vision and equitable growth plan for South Division. This means:

  • Housing stays affordable
  • Jobs are accessible by bus, biking and walking
  • Businesses flourish

This is a community-driven project, and there is a seat at the table for everyone. Participation from all members of the community is critical to create the best plan for the people, neighborhoods and businesses of South Division. Please visit: www.divisionunited.org for more information and to sign up for updates. Questions can be directed to Kentwood Community Development Director Terry Schweitzer or Economic Development Planner Lisa Golder .
2020 Census – Be Counted Kentwood!
The results of the 2020 Census will help determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities every year for the next decade. Please help us get a complete and accurate count so we ensure our community gets its fair share of vital resources. If you haven’t responded to the 2020 Census yet, it’s not too late. Click   here   to complete the online questionnaire – it only takes a few minutes. Options for responding  by phone  or  mail  are also available.
A Community Effort: Resources for Residents and Businesses
Many organizations have stepped up to offer community support during this time. To explore a variety of resources for both residents and businesses, please visit kentwood.us/resources .
For more information, please visit our website: www.kentwood.us
4900 Breton Ave. SE Kentwood, MI 49508 | 616.698.9610 | Contact Us

City Hall opens daily at 7:30 a.m. and closes Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 4:30 p.m.; Tuesdays at 6 p.m.; and Fridays at noon.
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