April 2023 Edition

Greetings from the Mayor's Office

This past month I, along with other community leaders and parents, spent time in the grade schools for March is Reading Month. It is easily one of my favorite times of the year as I get to read and interact with the classrooms. What always hits home to me is the special people we have in these school buildings teaching and supporting our most precious gifts in our children. The past few years have been hard on them and the students, yet you would never know stepping into their classrooms. Compounding the dynamics is that their teaching and support roles impact our community in ways that we sometimes do not see the effects of for a decade or two. My admiration for the passion and care they bring into our classrooms is without words. They all hold a special place in my heart and that of our community and should be acknowledged for that.

Recently, we went through another phase of our continued emergency management planning for our City. While we hope never to experience natural disasters or critical incidents, the reality is that history has proven they will affect us at a point and time, especially this time of year with the weather volatility and resulting storms. The exercise we went through involved critical departments in our City, as well as emergency management partners from Kent County. My takeaways from the exercise are that we are prepared and that our ability to problem solve is incredible. We are fortunate to have such a cohesive team of professionals serving our community with experience in navigating these events.

Last month I shared a brief update on the plans for a proposed library expansion. As we continue to go further into that process, I wanted to share data and facts that help reinforce the need for additional space. Currently, the Walker Library is the smallest physical branch within the Kent District Library system. In a city like Walker, that has shown consistent growth, we need to provide better for the needs of our residents and guests. In just this past year, the number of people served out of the Walker branch increased by 37%, and the increase in circulated materials out of the Walker branch jumped by more than 5%. If we look at numbers over the last two years, there has been a 123% increase in people served and an increase of over 45% in circulated materials. Aside from the statistics, we can't ignore the fact that we have little to no space within our Walker branch. This is an issue when it comes to providing special programming, or even just a quiet place to sit. Look for more on this in the coming months. I want to be clear that we will find a way to get a library expansion done.

Thank you for choosing to call Walker home.

Mayor Gary Carey, Jr. 

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Clerk's Department Updates

Upcoming Election

Tuesday, May 2, 2023 - This election will only be for voters in the Grandville and Comstock Park Public School Districts. There will be no election for the Kenowa Hills Public Schools District.

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

Precinct 1 has been combined with Precinct 7 for the upcoming Comstock Park Public School Special Election Only. The polling location for Precinct 1 has been moved to Fire Station #2 located at 4101 Lake Michigan Drive NW. After the May 2, 2023 election voters in precinct 1 will return to voting at their prior precinct for future elections.

Proposal 22-2: Most changes are not taking effect until late 2023/early 2024. Check our Election Information webpage for updates.

Don't Wait Until it's Too Late

Apply for your Absentee Ballot to be mailed to you now. Everyone can vote via an absentee ballot (by mail). You can email your absentee ballot request to our office. Once we have a signed application from you, the voter, we will be able to mail your ballot to the address listed on your application.

Remember that Election Materials (applications and/or ballots) are NOT allowed to be forwarded to another address by the Post Office. If you need your ballot mailed to an address that is different than your registered address, you must list the mailing address on your application with the dates you will be away.

2023 Absentee Voting - Return Envelope Color Update

City of Walker residents voting absentee in 2023 will notice something different when their absentee ballot arrives in the mail, but there is no cause for concern. Starting with the Special May 2 Election, the absentee ballot return envelopes will have a purple bar on the left. The former return envelopes with the dark green bar have been phased out by the U.S. Postal Service.

The U.S. Postal Service discovered that the prior green envelope version too closely resembles the envelopes used by the USPS for certified mail. As such, the Postal Service has mandated the change to the purple return absentee ballot envelopes. There is no cause for alarm, as all ballots will continue to be handled and counted safely and securely as usual. The new design was rolled out in late March of 2023 in conjunction with the May Special Election.

Looking for Election Inspectors for 2024

The City Clerk’s office is always looking for outgoing, friendly individuals interested in serving the community by becoming a paid Election Inspector. If you can commit to working each election day from 6:30 am – 9:00 pm, we need you! Please email the Walker City Clerk’s Office for more information.

City Hall Drop Box

The Green City Hall Drop box is open 24/7 for residents to drop off absentee ballot applications or ballots and any other documents you need to deliver to any City departments.

Did you know that by going to MI.gov/Vote you can:

Request an absentee ballot and vote from home

Register to vote

Update your address

Verify you are registered to vote

Find your polling location

Track the status of your ballot

See what will be on your ballot

Income Tax Department Updates


We are in the process of developing software to machine-read Walker returns for more efficient processing. If you are mailing your return, it would help greatly if you would:

1. Mail your return flat

2. Use one paper clip to attach the return and W-2s together (NO STAPLES)

3. Send the original, not a poor copy

Need Assistance?

Walker Income Tax returns for calendar year 2022 and first quarter estimated payments for 2023 are due May 1, 2023. Click here to access forms. The most common questions are answered here.

Quarterly estimated payments can be paid by direct withdrawal from a bank account. Forms can be found by clicking on the link above. Please do not attach your 2023 quarterly estimated vouchers to your 2022 return. Also, check your bank account to make sure the amount you requested to pay has been withdrawn. It usually takes from 3 to 7 business days after the date you requested on the voucher. If you don’t see a withdrawal for the amount you requested, contact us at (616) 791-6880.

Required Attachments

All resident returns must have the following attachments:

  • All form W-2s
  • Page 1 of Federal Form 1040; pages 1 and 2 of Schedule 1, if used

Filers taking a credit for tax paid to another city:

  • Copy of page one of the other city(ies) return

If applicable:

  • Detailed list of employee business expenses
  • Federal Schedule C
  • Federal Schedule D, Forms 8949, 4797, 6252
  • Federal Schedule E, including Federal Schedule K-1 for all S corporations shown on Schedule E, if any
  • Copies of all forms 1099-R for taxpayers under age 65 and form 8915-E

If you have any questions, call (616) 791-6880.


We are receiving returns with the social security numbers showing up as all asterisks (***-**-****). We are also seeing taxpayers requesting refunds deposited to bank accounts with account and routing numbers that are masked this same way. We are unable to process tax returns without a full social security number. We cannot direct deposit a refund to your bank account without complete bank account and routing numbers. Please check for these problems before mailing your return.

E-Filed Returns

Did you e-file your 2022 return and it showed that you had a balance due? You may have received an assessment from the Income Tax Department or have a voucher from your tax preparer that shows the amount you owe. All tax due must be postmarked or paid online by May 1, 2023, to avoid penalty and interest. Call us at (616) 791-6866 if you have any questions.

Public Works Updates

Police Department Updates

March was Reading Month, and Walker PD did its part to get into as many classrooms as possible to share the joy of a good book. In all, we stopped by over 40 classrooms, as well as shared some virtual story times.

Free Spring Break Event!

If you are staying home for Spring Break, join Walker PD, as well as other area police agencies, for a Cops & Kids event at the Visser Family YMCA in Grandville on April 5. The event is free from 1-3 PM and will be full of fun activities for kids!

Walker's Safety Day

Walker PD will also be co-hosting (with Walker Fire) a new event this year on May 6. Walker’s Safety Day will be held at the Walker Ice & Fitness Center from 2-6 PM. Mark your calendars because there will be something there for everyone! More details to come, so be sure to follow our social media pages.

Metro High School Academy

Finally, Walker PD is again involved in the organization of the annual Metro High School Police Academy. If you know a high school junior or senior, interested in a career in law enforcement, this FREE week-long experience is a great opportunity for them. The academy is held at various locations June 12-16, 2023. If interested, contact Officer Harkema.

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Fire Department Updates

Rules for Open Burning with Permit

Residential burning is allowed twice a year. The burning season begins on April 15 and runs through May 15, as well as October 15 through November 15.

Burning permits are free and can be obtained online.

If you do not have an e-mail account, please contact the Fire Office at (616) 791-6840 and we will assist you with your burning permit. If you do obtain a permit, the following rules will apply.

Outdoor Weather Sirens

Walker has eight outdoor warning sirens located throughout the City. The sirens are tested on the first Friday of each month at 12:00 noon from April through October. During the spring and summer months, these sirens are used to alert the residents in Walker who may be outdoors of the potential for severe weather (tornados, high winds) that may be eminent within Kent County and the City of Walker.

Currently, the Kent County Sheriff’s Department Dispatch sets off the sirens when they receive information from the National Weather Service. If the possibility of a high wind warning (winds over 70 mph) or a tornado warning is issued, the sirens will be activated. If the sirens are activated other than on the first Friday at noon, please check your smartphone, or computer or turn on your television for more weather information.

Walker Ice and Fitness News

Winter Hours

Monday - Friday: 5 am - 9 pm

Saturday and Sunday: 7 am - 7 pm


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Parks and Recreation Department