July 2022 Edition

Greetings from the Mayor's Office

Summer is in full swing in Walker, and nowhere was it more evident than our first Summer Concert of 2022 in June. The weather was perfect, the music from Brena was incredible as always, and we had a lot of people in attendance! However, there is still plenty of room to bring friends and family out with you to the next concert featuring Project 90 on Thursday, July 14, at 6:30 p.m.

In June, we also welcomed our newest City Commissioner, Jessica Babcock. Commissioner Babcock was unanimously appointed to fill the open Second Ward role created when former City Commissioner Carol Glanville was elected to the open 74th District seat in the State House of Representatives. Commissioner Babcock brings a strong business background as a senior leader at a locally owned business and recently served as our chairperson of the Community Engagement Committee. Congratulations to both Commissioner Babcock and Representative Glanville on their new roles.

In addition to appointing our newest City Commissioner in June, the City Commission also approved the new fiscal year budget which begins on July 1 and runs through June 30, 2023. As part of a long-standing practice, the budget was adopted taking a risk-averse and fiscally responsible approach. Our revenues are developed by taking a conservative stance on all sources that help fund the City’s operations. Our expenses are going to be up this year because we had several items that were delayed by the pandemic.

Some of the highlights of planned expenditures include $2.4 million dollars for road maintenance and road construction projects throughout all three wards of the City. These are for our major and local roads and exclude any MDOT (Michigan Department of Transportation) roads and bridges like Wilson, Lake Michigan Drive, and the Fruitridge bridge.

Also, this year we have increased our budget amount for public safety to 43% of our budget. The City Commissioners and I hear from all of you how important a safe and secure community is, so our budget reflects the increased demands that come with that. And one of the more important items is there is no new bond debt planned for this year. That means our long-term debt continues to be a zero-dollar amount. I want to again thank our City staff for making our decisions easier by providing the data and guidance necessary to make the right decisions.

This time of year also tends to bring retirements for some of our longer serving staff. Most of them have asked for no attention or recognition as they continue to put our City first through their last day of work. So, for those few who recently retired, our City stands in your debt for all your service and contributions. As you are hopefully reading this, you know I am mentioning you without doing it.

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

Mayor Gary L. Carey, Jr.

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

Jessica Babcock

Second Ward Commissioner


Elaina Huizenga-Chase

Third Ward Commissioner

(616) 334-1900 echase@walker.city

Melanie Grooters

Third Ward Commissioner

(616) 690-1719 mgrooters@walker.city

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Department of Public Works Update

Telecommunication Work

You may have noticed an increase in construction within the right of way and easements. Private utility companies providing phone, cable, and fiberoptic have been upgrading their networks city-wide. They're installing thousands of feet of new fiber optic cable and orange conduit pipe underground within the road right of way and utility easements. Utility easements typically exist behind the right of way in platted areas and subdivisions and telecommunication providers have the right to install their services within these areas. Any work that is performed within the road right of way and utility easements is required to be permitted by the Department of Public Works. If you have any questions regarding this type of work, please call the DPW office at (616) 791-6854 or email us at publicworks@walker.city.

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

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

Where’s My Refund?

Refunds for 2021 timely filed returns that were correct and complete were 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 in 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.

Fire Department Updates

Safety Day July 9

Join us for an afternoon of interactive and informative events for kids and adults Saturday, July 9, from 10 am to 2 pm. The event will be at Fire Station #3, located at 1427 3 Mile Road NW in Walker. Some of the events include kids firefighter combat challenge, kitchen safety activities, smoke alarm/carbon monoxide education, fire extinguisher training for adults, and more!! Food for purchase from Sir Sandwich Kona Ice food trucks. Come see what it's like to be a firefighter!!

Fourth of July and Fireworks

The City of Walker Fire Department urges you to use caution when using fireworks as part of your celebration of the Fourth of July.

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 July 4 holiday is allowed from June 29 to July 4 after 11:00 am until 11:45 pm.
  • Fireworks cannot be set off after July 4.
  • 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 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

Earlier in June, Captain Veen graduated from the 17th Staff and Command class at Michigan State University. The training consisted of 400 hours of command staff lecture, training, and project presentations. Law Enforcement professionals from all over the state attended the training over the last six months, dedicating themselves two weeks each month to this professional development.

Congratulations Captain Veen! We're proud of you and happy to have you back!

2022 Metro High School Police Academy

Area law enforcement agencies, including Walker Police Department, participated in the annual summer Metro High School Police Academy. The one-week, 50-hour program exposed graduating high school juniors and seniors to a police academy learning environment modeled after the Michigan Council of Law Enforcement Standards (M.C.O.L.E.S.).

Officer Stahr enjoyed her week at the Metro High School Police Academy. She changed roles from Walker PD “do-gooder” to being a suspect in every scenario. Here she assisted Kent County Deputies with instruction in high-risk traffic stops.

City of Walker Police Department - Michigan
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Walker Ice and Fitness News

Splash Party

Save the date! You're invited to an outdoor, wild water party with the Walker Fire Department, Walker Ice and Fitness, and the Library Thursday, July 7 from 1-2 pm. Wear your bathing suit or clothes that can get wet and don't forget your towel and sunscreen. This event takes place at Central Park (behind the Walker Ice and Fitness Center), located at 4151 Remembrance Road NW

Like Walker Ice & Fitness Center on Facebook

Parks and Recreation

Park Rentals

We love seeing so many families utilizing our City parks, whether it be for trips to the playground, or to enjoy family gatherings by reserving our park pavilions. We just want to remind everyone to pick up after your event or picnic in the park. Thank you for choosing Walker! Reserve a park pavilion online or call our Parks & Recreation Department at 616-735-6286.

KDL Walker Branch News


KDL Core Collection Expands to Youth & Teens

We are pleased to expand the KDL Core Collection! The new 100-book collection includes 50 youth titles and 50 teen titles. The titles are at least one year old and are close to the hearts of KDL librarians and patrons alike. These books are popular and respected, which is why KDL has purchased shiny new copies and labeled them the KDL Core. Youth titles include Starfish by Lisa Fipps, Refugee by Alan Gratz, and The Wild Robot by Peter Brown. Teen titles include The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, The Cousins by Karen M. McManus, and Sadie by Courtney Summers.

The KDL Core Collection is available at all KDL branches.


Summer Events

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

Need a Ride?

The Rapid launched a new mobility service in Walker in January 2022 that provides a public transit option near the 3 Mile Road area. This service, called RAPID CONNECT, allows customers to book rides that connect to our regular bus system in real-time via mobile app.

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!