June 2023 Edition

Greetings from the Mayor's Office

On Monday, we celebrated a Walker tradition with our Memorial Day Parade. The weather could not have been better. Memorial Day is a solemn occasion to remember and pay tribute to the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in our great nation’s military. Our parade allows the community to come together and show their gratitude and respect for these fallen heroes. It is fitting that the annual parade is now held on Remembrance Road, as this day must be one of remembrance and reflection. The symbolism of holding our parade on Remembrance Road is one of the reasons why we moved the parade a few years ago. Additionally, the logistics of not having to close a major state roadway like Lake Michigan Drive has been significant. Lastly, the ability to be on grass or in the shade throughout the parade route makes for a more enjoyable time for families with young ones and even our seniors. I need to thank our community for coming out in what seems like record numbers year after year to help ensure the sacrifices of our military personnel are never forgotten. And as always, a round of applause to our City staff for organizing all of this, as well as the organizations that participated in the parade.

A few months back, we celebrated a major announcement of $25 million in funding for the replacement of the Fruit Ridge bridge over I-96. I continue to be asked when will it happen. While this has been years in the making, it is moving with expediency behind the scenes. As it stands now, we are on track for a start date of the 2025 construction season. Recently, crews did some critical repairs and maintenance on the bridge to help get us to that point. Looking ahead, 2025 will be tough because of the bridge replacement, as well as numerous other projects taking place in Walker. Someone coined the phrase “short-term pain for long-term gain.” That sums up the coming years and our need to invest in our roads and infrastructure.

Our 2023 Summer Concert Season kicks off next Thursday at 6:30 pm, with hometown favorite Brena. I would like to extend an invitation to all to come join our community for what I know will be another great concert. As our concertgoers continue to increase, so do the needs we have to make these events a more enjoyable experience. Look for several enhancements and adjustments that support this and we hope to see you there.

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

Mayor Gary Carey, Jr.

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Upcoming Events

June 5 | KDL Summer Wonder Kickoff

June 8 | Summer Concert ft. Brena

June 21 | Walker Community Blood Drive

July 6 | Walker Splash Party (more details to come)

Income Tax Department Updates

Due Dates

Second quarter estimated payments for calendar year 2023 are due June 30, 2023. Forms are available on our website.

Where’s My Refund?

All refunds for 2022 timely filed returns that are correct and complete will be issued by June 15, 2023. Please do not call or email for the status of your refund before June 15, 2023. We are currently short-staffed in the Income Tax Department and are working to get refunds out as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience.

If you received a letter requesting more information, please respond as soon as possible. If we do not receive the required information, deductions and credits will be disallowed resulting in a lower refund or an assessment. You can provide missing information in several ways:

  1. Mail to Walker Income Tax Department, PO Box 153, Grand Rapids, MI 49501-0153
  2. Email to [email protected]
  3. Fax to (616) 791-6808
  4. Secure upload site using the link here

If you were expecting a refund, but have received a proposed assessment, please provide the missing information within 30 days.

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.

Public Works Updates

Slow Down – Most accidents within construction zones involve at least one party driving too fast for the conditions.

Pay Attention to Speed Limit Changes – The posted speed limit will drop on entering a construction zone. Most are familiar with that.

Leave More Space – It’s vital that you leave more space than usual between vehicles when driving in road construction zones.

Be Vigilant – Distracted driving is reaching epidemic proportions. Keep your eyes on the road.


Plan Ahead – Several information sources are at your disposal today, so people should not be surprised by road construction.

Gas Up – A significant number of accidents in a construction zone are caused by someone running out of gas.

Drive Defensively, Not Offensively – Too many people think it's acceptable to drive offensively, using aggressive tactics to force their way around other drivers while disregarding the safety of others.

Information provided from Freedom National.

Police Department Updates

Thank You to our Community!

A HUGE thank you to everyone who came out to learn about the Walker PD Drone Team at the Sobie Meats Anniversary Fundraiser & BBQ. We had a goal of raising $2500 for an indoor drone package. Through the community’s generosity and support, we shattered that goal and brought in nearly $3800. THANK YOU! We will be purchasing the package and some additional equipment soon.

Freezin' with First Responders

We will be hosting another event called Freezin’ with First Responders at Double Dip Depot on June 19, from 5-7 PM. Double Dip will be offering free mini golf and free hot dogs for attendees. This will also serve as an opportunity for residents to meet and chat with some of the officers that patrol Walker neighborhoods. Walker Fire will also be there to highlight their paid-on-call firefighter program.

Watch for Kids

Summer vacation is almost here for students. With that, motorists will see an increase of bike and pedestrian traffic, as more kids will be out and about during the daytime hours. Please be cautious when traveling, especially in residential neighborhoods.

Speaking of safe driving, you will again see our speed board out this summer. We also have two new post-mounted speed signs that were purchased with grant money through the Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP). These three tools are placed in areas where we need to get a good picture of traffic volume and accurate speed records. The devices record speed as you approach, often before the display lights up to show your speed. We can then download the data and decide if we need to allocate additional resources with assigned directed patrols.

To keep up on department news, safety tips, and police related humor, follow us on Facebook by liking “City of Walker Police Department-Michigan.”

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Fire Department Updates

Outdoor Fire Places & Fire Rings

There's no place better than your backyard on a beautiful summer evening! The Walker Fire Department wants you to know that fire rings and outdoor fireplaces are allowed in residential areas without a permit. However, they must comply with the following criteria:

Fire Rings

• Fire rings can be used only for the burning of clean wood (natural wood that hasn't been treated/painted) or other solid fuel and is not used for the burning of any waste materials or other materials including, but not limited to, garbage, rubbish, trash, grass clippings, leaves, and paper.

• The maximum width of a fire ring can be no more than four (4) feet in diameter.

• There must be a non-combustible ring six (6) inches in width surrounding the ring.

• The fire ring must be set back a minimum of 25 feet from buildings and overhead wires and 10 feet from adjoining lot lines.

Outdoor Fireplaces

• Owners, operators, and users of outdoor fireplaces shall use such fireplaces in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations for safe use.

• Must be used outside a dwelling or residence on non-combustible surfaces including, but not limited to, brick, flagstone, or concrete, and are kept away from any flammable liquids and other combustible materials.

• Outdoor fireplaces shall be used only for the burning of clean wood or other solid fuel and shall not be used for the burning of waste materials or other materials including, but not limited to, garbage, rubbish, trash, grass clippings, leaves, and paper.

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Walker Ice and Fitness News

Summer Hours Now in Effect

Monday - Friday: 5 am - 9 pm

Weekends: 7 am - 5 pm

The Walker Ice and Fitness Center is a host site for the Meijer State Games of Michigan. The tournament will take place June 22-28. Stop by to watch some great youth hockey or watch online via LiveBarn. Join using the promo code walk-wifc.

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Parks and Recreation

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KDL Walker Branch

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