March 2023 Edition

Greetings from the Mayor's Office

It seems like the last monthly newsletter I wrote was giving shout-outs to our Public Works and Public Safety teams for the incredible job done through some weather impacts we had around the holidays. Recently, we went through the same thing in mid-February, and, as always, our crews shined bright in their response and service to our community. There could be an argument made that it has been a milder winter, yet the intensity and severity of the weather events we have had put a huge strain on our personnel and equipment. While they will all tell you they are just doing their job, on behalf of our community we all say thank you for a job well done!

For those who follow our City of Walker social media pages, you will see a recent focus on behind-the-scenes stories spotlighting our police officers and firefighters. Even though I get to work with each of them serving our community in our respective roles, I have to confess to being moved emotionally by their stories. In both roles, the historical trend was that of a small number of openings for a lot of candidates wanting to enter into firefighting or policing. That former trend and its reversal to the current one of a small number of candidates for a larger number of openings is not just seen here in Walker, but nationally as well. They are both tough jobs with a lot of demands physically and mentally never seen before. So, to be able to see the people behind the uniform and why they chose to serve demonstrates we have some special people wearing those uniforms. If you have not seen these stories yet, please check our social media pages. I am sure you will find the same gratitude and pride I have in each of them. What we are also hoping is that these stories will help inspire others to enter firefighting or policing, and we are really hoping they decide to do it in Walker!

I am asked a lot about the library. The requests for proposals for design and construction will be going out in the coming months. When those come back later this year, we will have a better idea of what we would like to do and how we will be paying for it. Look for information on community open houses to discuss plans as we put that together.

The City’s annual newsletter came out this past week. If you did not receive one, please feel free to stop by City Hall, the Walker Ice and Fitness Center, and the Walker Library. You can also find a copy on our website. In that newsletter, I spoke about the five priorities on which we're staying the course for 2023. While the priorities have not changed, the finances and resources provided to each of the five have increased for this year.

Thank you for making the choice to call Walker home.

Mayor Gary Carey, Jr. 

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Income Tax Department Updates

Need Assistance?

Walker Income Tax returns for calendar year 2022 and first quarter estimated payments for 2023 are due May 1, 2023. Forms are available on our website. Find answers to the most common questions 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.

Remote Work Wage Allocation

If you are a resident of Walker and you worked in another city with an income tax (Grand Rapids, Ionia, Muskegon, Muskegon Heights, Lansing, etc.) in prior years, you may have a reduced credit for tax paid to another city in 2022. If you worked from home in 2022 and reduced the amount of wages on the other city return, you must also reduce the amount of wages used to calculate the credit. There is a worksheet on page 2 of the W-1040R resident return that will help with this calculation. You can also call us at (616) 791-6880 if you need more information.

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.


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.

Police Department Updates

February brought the official “Accredited Agency” title to Walker Police Department. This has been a long time coming, but what it means is that out of 561 police agencies in Michigan, we are now one of only 58 that have reached this elite status. The department was put under the microscope to ensure we operate at the highest level of police standards. A special thanks to Sgt. Raisanen for the work he put into this and for overseeing, and now maintaining the accreditation process.

As you likely have already heard, Walker PD responded to a suspicious incident in February at the West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science (WMAES). What started as three separate incidents nearby or on school property, was quickly realized to be one larger, connected incident. WMAES staff did an amazing job activating and adhering to their safety protocols, which included contacting our department. Quick response by officers had the situation resolved efficiently and in a timely manner, with no specific threats to the school, staff, or students. The way this incident unfolded was momentarily chaotic, and the organized response by school staff is a true testament to the ongoing training and partnership WMAES has with Walker PD.

We would also like to thank those who took the time out of their morning to meet with Chief Mankel at our Coffee with a Cop event. Look for more of these pop-up events throughout the year as we continue efforts to engage with our community!

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Fire Department Updates

Do's and Don't of Water Heater Safety

Hot water heaters should be properly sized for your house.

Extra thick insulation helps prevent radiant heat loss and saves energy and money.

Water temperatures above 120° F can cause scalding, especially in young children.

Sediment build-up can cause premature tank failure, electric element failure, and excess costs on fuel bills.

Hot water heaters require yearly maintenance to ensure proper operation.

Information from Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.


Set hot water heater temperature below 120° F.

Flush hot water heater through drain valve at least once a year to remove sediment build-up.

Test safety relief valve once a year to ensure proper operation (this device protects the heater from over-pressurizing and from exceeding 210° F.)

Keep area around hot water heater, clean and free of combustible and flammable material.

When leaving for vacation, set hot water heater temperature at its lowest setting. This will save money and reduce the risk of any problems while you are away.

Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for recommended maintenance schedule.


Set hot water heater temperature above 120° F.

Keep combustible material or flammable material or flammable material within 18" of the hot water heater.

Never leave children unattended around a hot water heater.

Lithium - Ion Battery Safety

Lithium-ion batteries supply power to many kinds of devices including smartphones, laptops, e-scooters and e-bikes, e-cigarettes, smoke alarms, toys, and even cars. If not used correctly, or if damaged, these batteries can catch on fire or explode.

The problem: These batteries store a large amount of energy in a small amount of space. Sometimes batteries are not used the right way; batteries not designed for specific use can be dangerous. Like any product, a small number of these batteries are defective. They can overheat, catch fire, or explode.

Safety Tips

• Purchase and use devices that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory.

• Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

• Only use the battery that is designed for the device.

• Put batteries in the device the right way.

• Only use the charging cord that came with the device.

• Do not charge a device under your pillow, on your bed, or on a couch.

• Do not keep charging the device or device battery after it is fully charged.

• Keep batteries at room temperature when possible. Do not charge them at temperatures below 32°F (0°C) or above 105°F (40°C).

• Store batteries away from anything that can catch fire.

Battery Disposal

Do not put lithium-ion batteries in the trash.

Recycling is always the best option.

Take them to a battery recycling location or contact your community for disposal instructions.

Do not put discarded batteries in piles.

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Walker Ice and Fitness News

Winter Hours

Monday - Friday: 5 am - 9 pm

Saturday and Sunday: 7 am - 7 pm

Learn to Skate/Learn to Play Hockey

Registration is now open for Season 4 (begins March 11 – April 29, no class on April 8).

Learn to Skate, Learn to Play Hockey and Snow Plow are city-run programs that offer people of all ages the opportunity to being and develop their skating or hockey skills in an instructive and fun group environment.

We also offer adult lessons! Our adult class is perfect for those 16+ who are stepping out on the ice for the first time or want to brush up on their skills. Remember, it's never too late to learn to skate!

Please note the following for Session 4:

Adult Learn to Skate & Learn to Skate Basic Skills Levels 2-6: 9.20am-10.05 am

Snow Plow, Learn to Skate Beginners & Learn to Play Hockey: 10.05am-10.50am

If you are unsure of where you or your child should be placed in class, feel free to reach out to Brooke, Gillian or Mike for assistance. To find out more about our programs, progressing through Learn to Skate/Play Hockey and for our full schedule for the 2022-23 season, visit our website.

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Parks and Recreation Department

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KDL Walker Branch


Monday - Thursday: 9:30 am - 8 pm

Friday & Saturday: 9:30 am - 5 pm

Closed Sunday

Spring Programs

Our spring programs are gearing up! Visit our Events page for more information. A selection of programs is highlighted below.

Growing and Harvesting Herbs

Wednesday, March 8 | 6:30 p.m.

Learn how to grow herbs in pots or the garden from seeds, cuttings and transplants. Develop skills in drying and preserving your herbs. For Adults.

Teen Zone D&D

Thursday, March 30 | 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Join a group of adventurers on a Dungeons and Dragons quest to retrieve the treasure and rescue the damsel from a nest of bandits! New and experienced players are welcome for this 5th edition adventure. For Teens.

WonderKnook is Here!

Stop by our children’s area to check out our brand-new WonderKnook play space. Our play space is inspired by the Humane Society of West Michigan located in Walker!


iVOX is a children’s book app that uses the latest in storytelling technology to delight and engage curious young minds. Children ages 2-10 can follow along with a story while interacting with its characters and scenes—immersing them in the narrative like never before.

KDL patrons can access these exciting new “books that move!” for free. All they need is a KDL library card. iVOX is available online through any browser or through a free app that’s available for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire. After accessing iVOX through the web or the app, they just need to select a book to bring it to life.

iVOX has already garnered awards from parents’ groups. iVOX won 2021 National Parenting Product Awards for Best Apps for Kids and Families and was named a 2021 Mom’s Choice Award winner for best Apps and Software.

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