City of Walker Newsletter  | December 2017

A Message from the Mayor

It is hard to believe that it is nearly Christmas. This year the city started the holiday season with our annual Winter Fest celebration - a great event for young and old. It was nice to see many of you attend. In case you missed it, we had free ice skating, crafts for kids, reindeer, Santa Clause and of course the tree lighting.
I would encourage all drivers to be cautious this year and to maintain a safe distance between the snow plow equipment on the roads. The city snow removal team does a great job keeping our roads safe and clear of ice and snow. Please be careful when driving near these large trucks.
As we reflect on the past year and anticipate Christmas I wish you and your family the best wishes for a prosperous 2018 and a wonderful Holiday season.
Mark E. Huizenga


Parks and Recreation Department
Coming Soon!!

The Parks and Recreation Department are happy and excited to announce that online registration will be available for Park Rentals, Youth Sports, Adult Softball and the Memorial Day Parade in 2018!!!
Make sure to check it out at

Senior Citizen's Bowling Tournament 
  • Senior Citizens 55 years and over
  • January 18 and January 19, 2018
  • Lincoln Lanes, 3485 Lake Michigan Dr. NW
  • $17.00 for 3 games of bowling, refreshments & door prizes
  • Trophies for high actual & high handicap for men and women (6 different age groups)
Pre-registration is required. Deadline January 8, 2018.
Entry forms available at area bowling centers, Walker Ice & Fitness Center, and at our website:

Clerk's Office

Business License Reminder
Business License Renewal Applications have been sent out. Applications were due December 1, 2017. Your current license expires December 31, 2017. All businesses in the City of Walker are required to have a license, including home occupations. If you have not filed for a license, click here to visit our website for the application . A $50 late fee will be added for any applications not received by December 31st.
City Hall Drop Box:
Any documents you need to turn into the Clerk's office may be dropped off in the City Hall drop box outside City Hall. (i.e. Absentee ballot applications, signed and sealed absentee ballots and license applications and payments)

Passports make great Christmas gifts!
The holidays are quickly approaching, why not gift your loved ones the gift of travel!

You can apply for a passport in the Clerk's Office. No appointments are necessary during Passport Office Hours which are Monday - Thursday from 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Visit our website for details on passport requirements. Turn around time for passports is currently 4-6 weeks.

Walker Fire Department
Be Fire Safe for the Holidays

Each year fires associated with the holiday season injure 1,200 individuals and cause over $25 million in property damage.
We have some simple life-saving steps you can take to ensure a safe and happy holiday. By following these precautionary tips, you can greatly reduce your chances of becoming a holiday fire casualty.
Preventing Holiday Tree Fires   
Special fire safety precautions need to be taken when keeping a live tree in your house. A burning tree can rapidly fill a room with fire and deadly gases.
Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needle should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. Bouncing the tree trunk on the ground can identify old trees. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard.
Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks. Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree. Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.
Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood-burning stove. When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. The best way to dispose of your tree is by taking it to one of the recycling drop off locations provided by the Walker Department of Public Works.
Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear putting them up. Use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Connect the strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into an outlet. Make sure to periodically check the wires-they should not be warm to the touch. Do not leave holiday lights on unattended.
All decorations should be nonflammable or flame-retardant and placed away from heat vents.
Never put wrapping paper in a fireplace. It can throw off dangerous sparks and produce a chemical buildup in the home that could cause an explosion.
If you are using a metallic or artificial tree, make sure it is flame retardant.
If you use lit candles, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down. Never leave the house with candles burning. Never put lit candles on a tree. Do not go near a holiday tree with an open flame-candles lighters or matches. Flameless candles have become very popular. If you are a candle lover, you should consider this alternative.
Finally, as in every season, have working smoke detectors installed on every level of your home. Test them monthly and keep them clean and equipped with fresh batteries at all times. Know when and how to call for help, and remember to practice your escape plan.

Walker Ice & Fitness Center 
Events and Updates

Great Gifts for under $20!

Family Skating Package - $20
Includes: 4 admissions, 4 skate rentals & 4 hot chocolates from our concession

Tanning package - $20
Includes: 5 visit punchcard, tanning goggles & sample tanning lotion
Walker Fitness Tank Tops - $9ea
Open Skate
There are lots of Open Skate times over the Christmas break! Call today 735-6286 for updated dates and times! 
Website Updates
Our Website is under construction until Dec 14th.  We will have a new easier to use, updated calendar after then! 

For complete information on all of our programs, special events and schedules, please contact the Walker Ice and Fitness center at 616.735.6286, or visit our Facebook page.

Walker Police Department
A Holiday Reminder from Officer Mitch Harkema
Take it slow on ice and snow.  Give yourself plenty of extra time when traveling and stay aware of changing weather conditions.  If road conditions seem unsafe, remain home and travel at a later time if possible. If you find yourself involved in a crash, move your vehicle to a safe spot off the roadway, if possible.  Remain in your car and call for police department assistance.  Please don't wander in the roadway to survey vehicle damage. 
During the holidays, we tend to see an increase in "crimes of opportunity."  Keep doors and vehicles locked, and never leave anything of value visible to a passerby.  When having items delivered to your home, try to do so when you are there to prevent "porch poachers" from stealing the unattended items.
LIKE us on Facebook, "City of Walker Police Department," for details on upcoming events, safety tips, and police department news.

Kent District Library, Walker Branch
News and Events

The Walker Branch of Kent District Library will be closed on Monday, December 25 & Tuesday, December 26. The Branch will also be closed from Monday, January 8 through Saturday, January 13 for new carpet installation throughout the entire public area of the building. Any materials requested during this time will have an extended pick up date of an additional week to allow for pick up. Furthermore, any materials returned at that time may not be checked in until the following day, but items will be back dated upon check in.

We are making the following changes to the start times of some of our weekly programs. The Babytime program is switching time frames. It will still occur on Thursdays, but will now start at 9:30 am. Furthermore, the Thursday morning Family Storytime will now start at 10:30 am, while the Friday morning Rhymetime will now begin at 10:30.

Weekly Events

Toddler Time
Monday, Jan 15 and Jan 22| 9:45 am-10:30 am & 10:45 am -11:30 am
Nurture your toddler's love of books through music, movement and stories while helping to develop their language, motor and social skills.

Family Storytime
Monday, Jan 15 and Jan 22 | 6:30 pm -7:00 pm
Thursday, Jan 18 and Jan 25 | 10:30 am - 11:30 am
Read and sing together. Enjoy stories, music, movement and rhymes that develop early literacy skills and encourage everyone in the family to share their love of reading.

Thursday, Jan 18 and Jan 25 | 9:30 am -10:15 am 
Delight and stimulate your baby with songs, a story and playtime. Get to know other families and help your baby develop listening and language skills. 
Rhyme Time Music and Movement
Friday, Jan 19 and Jan 26 | 10:30 am - 11:30 am
Move and groove together with action rhymes, songs, games and hands-on musical activities that will help children develop motor s, listening and literacy skills.  
Upcoming Events
Adult Book Discussion: The Reader's of Broken Wheel Recommend
Tuesday, Dec 12| 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Join us for an informal and lively discussion of The Reader's of a Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald.

KD aLe: Building Beer City
Monday, Dec 18 | 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Patrick Evans, author of Grand Rapids Beer: An Intoxicating History of River City Brewing, presents on the deep history of our area's beer culture. Learn about brewing from pre-prohibition to the resurgence of local craft beer. Join us for a lively and interesting discussion of the history and future of Beer City.

Gingerbread Lane
Wednesday, Dec 20 | 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Pre-registration is required. Stroll down Gingerbread Lane and enjoy tasty gingerbread stories. Each child will make a simple gingerbread house. For families with Children.
KDL Lab Experience: Marble Runs!
Tuesday, Jan 2 | 2:00 pm-4:00 pm
Build a Marble Run track that twists, turns, races and spins marbles at incredible speeds! Use your imaginations to create unique runs and test the laws of physics. For families with Children.
Cabin Fever Cupcakes
Wednesday, Jan 3 | 1:00 pm -2:00 pm
Pre-registration required. Is it summer yet? Fight cabin fever with cupcakes! Teens are encouraged to sport their beachiest resort wear (no bikinis, much wear shoes) and decorate a summer themed cupcake. Be sure to top your outfit off with a coat and boots on your way over! For teens grades 6-12.

A Day at the Beach!
Thursday, Jan 4 | 10:00 am -11:00am
Forget about the cold, snowy winter and enjoy a day at the beach! Bring your beach towel and join us in beach reads, sandy activities and fun in the sun games! For ages 6 and younger.
Adult Book Discussion: The Aviator's Wife
Tuesday, Jan 16 | 10:00am -11:00am
Join us for an informal and lively discussion of The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin.