October 2023 Edition

Greetings from the Mayor's Office

As we enter October, this is another time of the year that I look to our priorities, which were established earlier this year at the State of the City, and do a quick check of how we are doing. There were several actions and projects that took place over the spring and summer months that impacted those priorities. So, let us take a look at those five key priorities and any progress around each:

Public Safety (Police & Fire)

We continue to make significant investments in additional staffing, new technology, and equipment. The continued dynamics of fewer people entering public safety careers coupled with people leaving public safety careers due to retirements and other factors continues to be a challenge for us. We have the right focus in looking at any options to make sure we maintain and grow those careers to best serve our community.

Industrial & Commercial Development

Our industrial corridor at the north end of the City remains one of the most desirable areas to build or move to in West Michigan. Our strategy of recruiting new jobs and retaining the ones we already have continues to pay off for us as a City. I have shared before that this is the fuel that drives Walker’s economy.

Housing Inventory

There are two categories here: Single-family homes and multi-family homes (apartments, etc.). The incredible amount of housing inventory coming online in Walker, paired with proposed and potential projects, resulted in the City commission using a tool from the toolbox called a moratorium. This happened in September. That tool is a temporary, six-month moratorium on any new housing project of 3.5 units per acre or more that has not started construction or pulled the needed permits. While the City has been extremely supportive of adding new housing to attract new residents who want to live in our desirable community, we believe it was an appropriate time to pause. That pause (moratorium) is meant to ensure these new projects align with our City’s master plan and reflect who we want to be as a City.

Fiscal Strength

The City’s finances are in one of, if not the most favorable position we have ever been in. However, every one of our current construction or infrastructure projects is coming in way over what was budgeted. What we are hearing now is that the labor shortage, combined with the convergence of projects waiting to get done, has created somewhat of a perfect storm. We also have the new library we have committed to, which will impact our finances in the next year or two. While we are in a great spot, we have a lot coming at us.

Quality of Life

Simply put, I cannot think of a time when it was better to live or work in Walker. We are beyond blessed as a community, and that is because we make it that way.

As always, thank you for deciding to call Walker home.

Mayor Gary Carey, Jr.

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Save the Dates

Thanks to all the boys and ghouls who joined us for Pumpkin Bash over the weekend! We had spectacular weather and enjoyed seeing so many smiles! We appreciate our sponsors for supporting our community events! View more pictures on our Facebook page!

Improved Rapid Transit in Walker

Rapid Bus Route Expansion

Great news for those who work in and around Walker's Industrial district! The Rapid has expanded services by adding coverage to Rapid Connect (pictured right) and Route 33

Click here to view those changes.

Clerk's Office Updates

Election Day is Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Polls will be open at 7:00 AM and close at 8:00 PM.

A proposal submitted by Kent District Library will be on the ballot this election. Click here to view a sample ballot.

New Ballot Boxes

In accordance with voter-approved Proposal 2022-2, two new ballot boxes have been installed in the city. These State-approved boxes can be found: in front of City Hall at 4243 Remembrance Rd NW and at Fire Station #3, located at 1470 3 Mile Rd NW.

Voter Registration

Michigan Voter Registration Form

Michigan Voter Registration Form (large print version)

Check your voter registration

Update your voter registration ONLINE (Requires Michigan Driver's License or State ID)

Cancellation of Voter Registration Form

City residents can submit a registration form by mail, email, fax, online or in-person. Voters can also register at any Secretary of State Branch Office, the Kent County Clerk's Office, and designated state agencies such as Family Independence Agencies or military branch offices.

During the 14 days leading up to election day, voters must register in-person at the City Clerk's Office if they would like to vote in the election. Voters must show proof of residency to register within 14 days of an election.

People can register to vote at the City Clerk's Office during regular business hours. People can register to vote in the election up to 8pm on election day.


New with the passing of Proposal 2022-2, your return ballot is POSTAGE PAID!

You, the voter, must sign and date the return envelope. Per state law, no other person can sign your absentee ballot on your behalf, including a power of attorney or family member.

Police Department Updates

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A special thank you to all who helped support the Trevor Slot Memorial Golf Outing. We raised several thousand dollars at the event that is put directly back into the community by offering scholarships to those interested in a career in criminal justice or law enforcement. This year we were able to offer two scholarships to deserving recipients.

We know Pumpkin Bash is up next, but we recently partnered with the Amazon warehouse on 4 Mile to acquire some giveaways that we will hand out at Winter Fest. We all know snow is right around the corner, and these items will be great for anyone looking to put together a Winter Weather Emergency Kit for their vehicles.

Also coming up, Walker PD will continue its leadership role in a regional Crisis Intervention Training for area law enforcement officers. This training highlights the need for appropriate response to mental health-related calls, the resources that can assist officers in that response, and how we all can take charge of our own mental wellness. Several Walker Officers organize, instruct, or role-play at this training. We will also be attending the Ottawa County run version of this training in November, to ensure we are all training officers similarly and to look for ways to make our programs even better.

Fire Department Updates

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Open Burning with Permit

Residential burning is allowed twice a year. The burning season begins on April 15 through May 15 and on October 15 through November 15. Please click here to learn more about the rules as well as to obtain a burn permit.

Fire Prevention Week is October 8 – October 14. The theme this year is Cooking Safety Starts with You! For many, the kitchen is a space to be creative and cook meals that bring the family together, and yet for others, it’s a space in their home or apartment they barely use. For some, they are just learning how to cook and navigate the kitchen. Regardless of how experienced you may be in the kitchen, accidents happen. You can help reduce your risk of starting a kitchen fire by following these cooking safety tips.


Income Tax Department Updates

Due Dates

Fourth quarter estimated payments for calendar year 2023 are due January 31, 2024. 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 unfiled returns, you will not be eligible for a waiver of penalty. We are 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.


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 and Fitness News

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Learn to Skate, Learn to Play Hockey

The new season for Learn to Skate, Learn to Play Hockey and Snow Plow is now available for registration! Check out the schedule for the entire season. Session 2 starts Oct 28 and runs through Dec 16 – sign up soon as space is limited. Classes are available for both children and adults and the cost is just $99 for the seven-week session. Click here to register.

Parks and Recreation

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KDL Walker Branch

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Fall Programs

Here's a peek at some of our upcoming programs this season:

Teddy Bear Checkup

Fire Safety Storytime

Visit our Events page for more information.

Short Story Contest

Kent District Library is pleased to announce the twelfth annual Write Michigan Short Story

Contest. Michigan writers of all ages are invited to enter, with separate categories for youth, teens, and adults. Winning entries will be published, and the top writers will

receive cash prizes!

Click here for more details

Back with a New Look!

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten (1KB4K) has been revamped with a new look! The reading

challenge now features a poster where children can collect different Michigan woodland animal

stickers for every 100 books read, plus a tracking and activity booklet. There’s also a digital participation option through KDL’s online system, Beanstack. Already on your way to 1,000 books with our previous version of 1KB4K? No problem! We can help you switch over without losing any of you and your child’s well-earned progress—just stop on into the branch.