June 2022 Edition

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Greetings from the Mayor's Office

As I share some of my thoughts for the June newsletter, I keep coming back to the success of our annual City of Walker Memorial Day Parade this week. Last month I shared the ‘why’ behind our recent parade move to Remembrance Road. The reasons behind that were: symbolism with “Remembrance Road”, logistics, safety, and security. Plus, a longer parade route means people watching can spread out more and have access to more shade. This event has become an annual tradition that brings out the best in our community, and this year did not disappoint. Our turnout was great, and all the reasons I shared for the move were validated at different points along the parade route. It was - and always will be - about our veterans and the recognition of the sacrifices and cost that comes with freedom. Thank you to all our City staff for planning another memorable event, the parade participants for coming out, and to all our community who came to watch. The sense of pride I have as the mayor of our great community could not be stronger, and there are not many better ways to officially begin our summer season.

Next week Thursday, June 9, we kick off our Summer Concert Series at Community Park. As we have traditionally done in the past, local favorite Brena band will take the stage to kick off our series. There is plenty of seating for everyone, activities for the kids, as well as food trucks and beverages. I would like to extend a warm welcome to each of you to join us for what is always an enjoyable evening.

Summertime also brings with us the opportunity to proactively maintain, as well as sometimes repair our roads. This means more of our City and other road workers out in the streets doing the needed work. Safety is always a concern here, so I cannot emphasize enough the need to mitigate distracted driving. Last month during our celebration of National Public Works Week, I joined some of our Walker Department of Public Works leaders to visit students at Zinser Elementary and Central Elementary. Third graders were invited to design work zone safety posters. Those posters delivered a message of protecting our workers while driving safely through work zones. So, if your little ones are chirping from the backseat about slowing down or not texting and driving, you can blame our mayor. Our workers need to go home to their families and friends at the end of their shift. Please help us make sure that happens.

As our weather continues to provide more opportunities, please make sure to get out and use the incredible parks and trails that Walker is known for! Bring some friends and family members with you so they too can experience why Walker has the well-deserved reputation of being a great place to live, work, and grow.

As always, thank you to each of you for making the choice to call Walker home.

Mayor Gary L. Carey, Jr.

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Contact Your Commissioners

Mayor Gary Carey, Jr.

(616) 292-1715


Steven Gilbert

Mayor Pro Tem

First Ward Commissioner

(616) 828-7763 sgilbert@walker.city

Thom Burke

First Ward Commissioner

**(619) 379-6036 tburke@walker.city

Roxanne Deschaine

Second Ward Commissioner

(616) 885-4191 rdeschaine@walker.city

Carol Glanville
Second Ward Commissioner
(616) 443-9313 cglanville@walker.city

Elaina Huizenga-Chase
Third Ward Commissioner
(616) 334-1900 echase@walker.city

Melanie Grooters
Third Ward Commissioner
(616) 690-1719 mgrooters@walker.city
Visit City of Walker website
Clerk's Department Updates

Upcoming Elections

The State Primary Election will be held August 2, 2022. The State and City General Election will be held November 8, 2022. Polls will be open on Election day at 7:00 am and will close at 8:00 pm.


Passport processing is now by appointment only. Openings are available during the following times:

Mondays-Thursdays: 7:30 am – 4:00 pm

Fridays: 7:30 am – 11:00 am

The Walker City Clerk's Office is an official passport acceptance agency. You can have your passport photo taken here and apply for your passport!

Please call (616) 791-6865 to schedule an appointment and to verify that you have all the proper paperwork.

Passports are currently taking longer than usual to process. Please allow at least 11 weeks for your passport to be processed and mailed to you. If you need your passport expedited, processing time is 5-7 weeks.

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Skip the Line and Vote Absentee

Any registered voter can vote via an absentee ballot (by mail).

The quickest way to request your absentee ballot for August and/or November is to fill out an online application. Or you can print it off and mail or put in the green drop box outside Walker City Hall, located at 4243 Remembrance Road NW. You may also email a signed copy of the paper application to elections@walker.city

Once we have a signed application from the voter, we will be able to mail a ballot to the address listed on the voters application. Ballots are NOT allowed to be forwarded to another address by the Post Office. If a voter needs their ballot mailed to a different address, they must list the mailing address on their application with the dates they will be away.

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Did You Know? 

By going to MI.gov/Vote you can:

• Request an absentee ballot and vote from home

• Register to vote

• Verify you are registered to vote

• Find your polling location

• Update your address

• Track the status of your ballot

• See what will be on your ballot

Income Tax Department Updates

Due Dates

Second-quarter estimated payments for calendar year 2022 are due June 30, 2022. Forms are available on our website.

Where’s My Refund?

All refunds for 2021 timely filed returns that are correct and complete will be issued by June 15, 2022. 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 several ways:

  • Mail to Walker Income Tax Department, PO Box 153, Grand Rapids, MI 49501-0153
  • Email to incometax@walker.city
  • Fax at (616) 791-6808
  • 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 FAQ page.

You can also call us at (616) 791-6880.

Department of Public Works Updates

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Sprucing up the yard by adding trees or shrubs? Maybe you're planning to add a deck, patio or even put up a fence. From mailbox posts to swing sets and pools, make sure to call MISS DIG before breaking ground.

It's Vital to your Safety!

Without knowing where utilities are buried, even digging with hand tools can result in damage to underground utilities, leading to service disruptions, costly repairs, and serious injuries. In fact, more than 25% of damage comes from homeowners who don't realize what they are digging into.

Simply dial 811 or click here for more information.

Fire Department Updates

Summer Safety Tips - Fire Safety

  • Build campfires at least 25 feet away from tents, shrubs, and anything that can burn.
  • Fireworks are dangerous. The best way to stay safe from fireworks is to not use them. Instead, attend a public fireworks display put on by professionals.
  • Did you know sparklers can reach 1,200°F and can cause third-degree burns?
  • Use propane, charcoal grills, and wood pellet barbecue grills outdoors only. Indoor use can cause a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Be sure to place your grill well away from siding and deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. Do not store or use a grill on a porch or balcony..

Summer Safety Tips - Swim & Bike Safety

  • Never swim near a boat, marina, or boat launching ramp.
  • Always use U.S. Coast Guard-approved life safety jackets.
  • Adults need to stay with children when they are around water.
  • Keep the pool and deck clear of floats, balls, and toys after you get out of the pool.
  • Always swim with a buddy.
  • When riding a bike, always wear a bike helmet and bright clothing so people can see you. Also, put reflectors on your bike.
  • Ride with both hands on the handlebars. Ride in single file with traffic. Stop at all stop signs and obey traffic lights.
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Memorial Day and Fireworks

The City of Walker Fire Department wants you to be safe when using fireworks over the long Memorial Day weekend.

Public Act 256 of the State of Michigan allows for the use of consumer fireworks. Use of fireworks in Walker is regulated by Section 38-16 of the City Ordinance. Some of the highlights of the State law and City ordinance are as follows:

  • The use of fireworks for the Memorial Day holiday is allowed on Saturday and Sunday before Memorial Day after 11:00 am until 11:45 pm.
  • Fireworks cannot be set off after Memorial Day (May 30, 2022).
  • You must be 18 yrs. or older to purchase consumer fireworks.
  • Use of consumer fireworks while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances is illegal.

  • Setting off fireworks on public property, in the street, school property, church property, or any other person’s property without permission is prohibited.

  • Please be aware of your neighbors, and the effect that your fireworks use has on them.

The Walker Fire Department would prefer that you leave fireworks displays to the professionals and simply enjoy them from a distance. But if you choose to set off fireworks as part of your celebration, please use extreme caution.

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Police Department Updates

Thank You!

Walker Police Department would like to thank everyone who dropped off goodies, offered a kind word, or sent up a prayer for our officers during National Police Week. Your continued support means the world to us.

We’d also like to thank Sobie Meats for allowing us to utilize their 18th Anniversary Community Cook Out as a fundraiser for Walker Police & Fire. Monies raised at the event were used to purchase four portable light towers, that can be used on emergency scenes or other incidents in which we need light but cannot get a cruiser or fire vehicle too easily. The light kits arrived last week. Two went to Walker Fire with the other two staying with us. We know they will be used soon, so thank you!


Department Promotions

We’d like to congratulate Detective Ritzenhein on his promotion, moving to the rank of Corporal in early June. Soon to be Cpl. Ritzenhein has been with Walker PD since late 2014 and serves as a Field Training Officer, member of the Special Response Team, Crash Investigation Team & Metro Honor Guard. He is a former intern of Walker PD and serves as a firefighter with Walker Fire Department.

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Department Promotions

Filling the vacancy in our Detective Bureau is Officer Huisman. She has been with Walker PD since early 2016, was awarded by Mother’s Against Drunk Driving for having the most OWI arrests at Walker PD in 2017 and was recently recognized for assisting a neighboring jurisdiction resolve a stabbing incident by locating the suspect in our city & taking him into custody.

Community Care Initiative

Our Community Care Initiative continues to be utilized by Road Patrol Officers, with May bringing a surge in citizen needs. Using donated items & gift cards, Officers were able to provide a car seat & other baby care items to a mother in need, fill up the gas tank of a stranded & cashless motorist, and help alleviate some pressure related to food insecurity plaguing another family.


Protect Your Possessions

As summer arrives, more people are out & about. We often see an uptick in larceny calls as a result. To avoid becoming a victim, please remember to remove valuables from your vehicles. Always keep windows rolled up and doors locked. Also, remember to keep sheds closed (and locked) and garage doors down to avoid broadcasting anything of interest to a passing thief.

For more tips and upcoming community engagement, follow us on Facebook by liking “City of Walker Police Department-Michigan.”

City of Walker Police Department - Michigan
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Walker Ice and Fitness News
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Student Summer Special

The Walker Ice and Fitness Student Summer Special makes a great gift for your special grad! The deal includes three months for just $79!

They'll get access to a free gym orientation, extensive free weights and machines, sauna and steam room, cushioned track, group exercise classes, as well as drop-in hockey and open skate!

The offer runs May through August. Call (616) 735-6286 to take advantage of this special student offer!

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Memorial Day Parade

Thanks to ALL of you who either participated or came out to support the annual Memorial Day parade. We're so grateful the weather allowed us to come together to honor our veterans and pay tribute to the ones we lost. It's estimated 4,000 of you were part of this special day! A big thanks to our Walker Parks and Recreation Department for organizing another successful year in its new location!

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Parks and Recreation
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Soccer Photo Contest Winners

Thanks to everyone who submitted photos for our Spring Soccer photo contest. It was so difficult to choose winners from the entries. Our judges eventually selected these two pictures from A Lewis and K Dailey. Both families win a soccer registration for the Fall Season! Don’t forget that registration for Fall Soccer opens on July 1 – register online.

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July is National Parks and Recreation Month!

We’re celebrating Parks and Recreation month by highlighting all the ways our community is stronger, more vibrant, and more resilient thanks to our parks and recreation programs. Parks are at the center of so many experiences and memories. Our local parks are often our first experiences in nature, our introduction to a favorite hobby or activity. They are places to gather with friends and family, spaces to celebrate life’s special moments, spots of respite and healing, sites that connect us with essential community services and so much more. Throughout the month, join us to celebrate with events and activities in our beautiful Walker parks.

KDL Walker Branch News

Download our App!

Big news! We are pleased to launch the KDL App, which makes common library tasks faster and easier. Download it today from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

The app keeps you logged in, making it faster to view your holds, due dates, local events, and more. You'll now have a digital library card that goes with you wherever you go! Just tap the library card icon and scan at a self-checkout machine at any KDL branch.

Want to know if KDL owns a certain book? Use the app to scan that book's UPC code (in a bookstore, at a friend’s house, etc.). Download on the App Store or Google Play.

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Summer Events

KDL will be offering many wonderful programs this summer! Visit our Events page for more information.

Friends of Walker Trails News

Are you following the Friends of Walker Trails on Facebook? Follow along for updates and news on our lengthy network of trails right here in Walker!