Monthly e-Newsletter | May 2019 Edition
Hello from Mayor Gary Carey
As I write this May newsletter, I am especially reminded this time of year that one of the stronger areas of pride that residents of Walker have is the miles and miles of parks and trails in our city. When you look at the newer City logo we have, it reinforces that brand and identity we have as a city. Walker has nine parks that we proudly maintain. The City Commission and Staff continue to make significant investments in these to further improve the quality of life we enjoy.

The Finance Committee has approved a proposed General Fund budget for our upcoming Fiscal Year 2019-2020, which begins on July 1. This has been sent to the full City Commission for its approval. As there is with most budgets, there is discussion with the City Commission and our respective Department Leaders to ensure our budget aligns with our strategic priorities. How this process works is there is a public hearing held prior to the City Commission considering final approval of the budget. This will take place during our regular City Commission meetings on Monday, June 10 at 7:00 pm. You can always find the agendas and everything that is in our packets online usually the Wednesday or Thursday before that Monday night’s meeting. In the meanwhile, I will share a few highlights with you of what is in that proposed budget. Because of the growth in Walker, we are trying to get ahead of this in addressing some key areas.

First on the list is our Police Department, who account for approximately 28% of our annual General Fund budget. We are adding two new Patrol Officers to account for the current and projected development in Standale. Our number of calls for service there seem to almost double every five years, so this will be an area of focus moving forward. These two officers that we will be hiring also bring us to our highest staffing levels in our City’s history. We also maintain a cadence of replacing two of our Tahoe’s every year. This is due to them being used about 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These vehicles have proven to be one of the best decisions City Staff and the Commission made years ago. They are practical for our usage needs, and usually return at least a third of their original price when we send them to auction. For equipment that is worked non-stop that hard, this is a strong return.

Second on the list at around 14% of the General Fund budget is our Fire Department. While their scope of mission is different than Police and we do not have the need to staff full time personnel to the levels of the Police Department, the equipment they need to have is more expensive. With that in mind, we are taking delivery of our newest Fire Truck, Engine 4 in the summer months which had a cost of over $500,000. This will replace a 1985 Rescue Pumper Truck that has served the City well. In addition, we have already started to set aside a significant amount of money in the upcoming budget to replace our Platform 1 Truck in the coming years. The replacement will cost an estimated $1.3 to $1.5 million dollars. We are also replacing the SCBA gear that our Firefighters depend on with a budgeted amount of over $250,000 this upcoming year. These are all needed expenses that demonstrate the City’s investment in public safety and are a follow through on what has been and will be my top priority as Mayor.

In addition to protecting our city, we also realize our infrastructure continues to need a major allocation from our annual budget. Excluding State Revenues, we will be investing approximately $1 million dollars into our Major Streets Fund. We have several significant upcoming projects that stretch over multiple years like the Walker and Three Mile intersection; Walker Avenue Bridge; and Northridge West Connecter just to name a few. Amongst the possible grants and projects that we are still working on are the Fruitridge Bridge replacement; possible Three Mile and Remembrance signalization; and a widening of the intersection at Richmond and Wilson. The process that we must follow to potentially place a traffic light in an intersection like Richmond and Wilson requires it to have a left turn lane first. That would require widening and intersection improvements, which we have again applied for grant support on. We have also added in the new budget an additional employee to our Public Works team. This allows us amongst other duties to maintain that high standard of road upkeep that distinguishes Walker from many other municipalities.

Lastly, I wanted to share that each of your City Commissioners listed on the City website and newsletters are extremely engaged and want to hear from you! If you have not already done so, I would encourage you to connect with them. They are here to serve and represent and are always up for a conversation with you.

Whether a resident or business, thank you for making the choice to call Walker home.

Gary Carey, Jr.
City of Walker
Upcoming Events:
May 27: Walker Memorial Day Parade @ 12:00 pm, Lake MI Drive in Standale
June 10: KDL Summer Fun Kick-off Carnival @ 4:30 pm, KDL Walker Branch (outdoors)
June 12: Pop with a Cop @ 6:00 pm, Double Dip Depot
June 13 : Summer Concert Series ft. Brena @ 6:30 pm, Community Park
Save the Date: Walker Memorial Day Parade
The Memorial Day Parade has been a Walker tradition for many, many years. Please join us in honoring those veterans that have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. All Veterans, bands, floats, scout troops, businesses and organizations are invited to participate in this year’s parade. 

The Memorial Day parade is on Monday, May 27 at 12:00 noon. 

Parade Route in on Lake Michigan Ave. (between Lincoln Lawns and St. Clair Ave)
Walker Fire Department: Grilling Safety Tips
Grilling Safety Tips From the Walker Fire Department and NFPA

  1. Propane and charcoal BBQ grills must only be used outdoors. If used indoors or in any enclosed spaces such as tents, they pose both a fire hazard and the risk of exposing occupants to toxic gases and potential asphyxiation
  2. Position the grill well away from siding, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  3. Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic.
  4. Keep children and pets away from the grill area. Declare a three-foot “safe zone” around the grill.
  5. Use long handled grilling tools to give you plenty of clearance from heat and flames when flipping burgers.
  6. Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below grill so a hot grill cannot ignite it.
  7. For charcoal grills, make sure you purchase the proper starter fluid, and store the can out of reach of children and away from heat sources.
  8. Never use any flammable or combustible liquid other than charcoal lighter fluid to get the fire going, and never add lighter fluid to coals that have already been ignited.
  9. As with cooking indoors, when cooking outdoors on the grill you should never leave the grill unattended.
  10. If you live in an apartment, you should check with the management concerning the rules pertaining to the use of grills on decks or under overhangs. The International Fire Code prohibits the use of open flame grills on balconies. The exception would be grills that use a small one-pound propane bottle. We have required all apartment complexes in Walker to enforce this rule.
Disposing of Ashes from Grills, Fire Pits and Fire Places
Many residents are spending time outdoors, enjoying the summer weather, and having barbecues. It’s very important that you take the time to allow the ashes from their grills – as well as any fireplaces or fire pits – to cool down completely before you properly dispose of them.

Hot ashes that are not correctly cooled and disposed are extremely significant fire hazards-- especially during the hot, dry weather conditions in the summertime. They are capable of starting fires when disposed of into a trash container. Improper disposal of ashes or hot coals from fireplaces, grills or mobile fireplaces designed for decks or patios has become a common cause of many recent fires.

Embers often concealed in what appears to be cold ashes, can remain hot enough to rekindle a fire for several days. We want residents to enjoy their fireplaces and grills but to always dispose of the ashes wisely.

Fire Department officials remind residents to:
• Allow ashes and coals to cool in place for several days.
• When it’s time to dispose of the ashes, transfer them to a metal container and wet them down. Only use an approved metal ash bucket that has a tight fitting metal lid.
• Store the metal container outside, away from structures, decks, fences, wood piles or other combustible materials
• Never use a vacuum cleaner to pick up ashes.
Never dump ashes into a plastic container, cardboard box, bag, or anything or in any place where combustible fluids or fumes are present.
• Don’t dump ashes outside on a windy day. The wind can whip up what may have seemed like cool embers, making them fiery hot and sending them traveling to ignite nearby combustibles.
• Always have working smoke alarms on every level of your home and test them monthly.

This article was edited from an article written by a staff writer with the MYMC Media in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Walker Police Department: Department News
April was a very busy month for Walker Officers, as several department trainings were going on.

First, all Officers attended Small Team Tactics Training. We utilized an indoor training area in Caledonia for these sessions. Role players from GRCC Police Academy were used as “bad guys” for the scenario training. Officers had to use prior training in response to each scenario and incorporate appropriate communications with their team. Scenarios included: room clearing, domestic violence situations, armed robbery, suicidal subjects, and in progress assaults. 

Some Officers attended a Tactical Driving Training, to brush up on driving skills used during an emergency response. Members of the Walker Police Honor Guard attended a joint training with other department Honor Guard members. Finally, all Officers attended a Michigan Incident Crime Reporting training session, with an emphasis on how Walker crimes are recorded and then reported to the state. Next up will be Spring Firearms Training at the Walker Police outdoor range.

We also held our Annual Awards Banquet at City Hall. Congrats to Officers Biel, Elliott, Harkema, Huisman, Jenkinson, Johnson, Kooistra, & Tapanes, as well as Records Clerk Jansheski & Volunteer Ball on their various awards.
As the weather gets warmer and outdoor activities increase, please remember to keep anything of value locked up and out of sight. We often find that larcenies from vehicles and sheds increase around this time of year. Don’t become a victim of a crime of opportunity. Be proactive by keeping items of value hidden, especially if they are left in a car. It is always best practice to keep car doors, as well as garage/home/shed doors locked as well when not in use.

If you know of anyone that is eligible to be hired as a police officer, we are hiring! Applications and instructions are on the city website, , as well as our Facebook page, “City of Walker Police Department.”

Be well & stay safe! 
Clerk's Department Updates: Election News
With the passage of Proposal 18-3 in November 2018,  all registered voters are now eligible to vote via absentee ballot . If this appeals to you, and you would like to be placed on our Permanent Absentee Voter list to automatically receive an absent voter application prior to each election, please email us your request at . Please be sure to print your name, address and date of birth in the email.
In February, 2018 the City Commission approved moving the City Elections to even years. So currently the next election will be March 10, 2020, for the Presidential Primary.
Summer Facility Hours
Mon-Thurs: 5am to 10pm
Friday: 5am to 8pm
Sat & Sun: 7am to 5pm

*Starts May 24th - September 2nd.                                  
Summer Fitness Class Schedule
Check out our new summer fitness class schedule on our website here .   Lots of great classes all summer long, Yoga, Pulse, Indoor Cycling, Total Body Workout and Silver Sneaker classes just to name a few! Something for everyone—check them out!! 
All classes are included in our memberships or drop-in rate of just $7 per class.

Fitness Class Punch cards are also available through Groupon at a discounted rate this summer!
Student Summer Special
3 months for $79!!!  Here is a great way for students to stay in shape all summer long! This also makes a great gift for the special graduate! Gift certificates available! 
Learn to Skate / Learn to Play Hockey
Session 5 of our Learn to Skate/Learn to Play Hockey starts on Wednesday, May 29 th at 6pm! Visit our website online for more information or call Mike Fountain, Ice Director (616) 735-6286 with questions. 
HAWK Fall Tryouts
HAWK Travel Tryouts for Squirt to U18 will be taking place May 20-24. Visit for more information. 
News and Events
Drop in 3 on 3 Basketball
“Court is in Session”
Starting April 29, 2019 every Monday 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. our two basketball courts behind Walker Ice & Fitness Center will be reserved for FREE drop in 3 on 3 Basketball. Ball not provided.
Drop in Inline Roller Hockey
“Don’t go through life without GOALS”
Starting May 1, 2019, we will have our outdoor inline rink reserved for FREE drop in every Wednesday from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. We do have limited youth goalie equipment for rent at the front desk at Walker Ice & Fitness for a $10.00 fee. No other equipment provided.

“Let’s keep it rolling and have a good time”
Drop in Volleyball
“Bump, set, spike it……that’s the way we like it”
Starting April 30, 2019 every Tuesday, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., our 2 sandy Volleyball courts will be reserved for FREE drop in beach Volleyball! Ball not provided.
Meet some new friends while you experience the outdoors, exercise and have fun!
Rent a Park Pavilion for your next Gathering!
The Walker Parks & Recreation Department would be happy to help reserve a pavilion for you! We have several available:
Alpine Estates
Bathroom Facility
Basketball Court
Ball Field
Walking Trails

Community Park  
Bathroom Facility
Pickleball Court
Tennis Courts
Basketball Court
Ball Field
Soccer Field
Playground (newly updated)

City Central Park
Bathroom Facility
Volleyball Courts
Pickleball Court
Tennis Court
Fishing Pond
Basketball Courts
Inline Skating Rink
Walking Trails
Ball Fields
Soccer Fields
Reserve any of our park facilities  ONLINE  !!!

Contact Walker Parks & Rec for more information and pricing at 616-735-6286 or email  or  .  
Friends of Walker Trails News
Summer is just around the corner and Friends of Walker Trails is gearing up for a great season of riding, walking, jogging, and meeting neighbors.

Join us (usually) the first Monday of the month at Walker Ice and Fitness Center from 6:30-7:30.

June 3
July 1
Aug 5
Sept 2
Oct 7
Nov 4
Dec 2

Speaking of gearing up, our trail tee’s are now available. Get yours today at Walker Ice and Fitness Center. Can’t make it to WIFC? We’ll be out and about at community events throughout the summer, or you can order one via email:
Tees are $15 each (plus S&H if ordered via email).

Don’t have a bike? You can check one out at the Walker library and hop on the trail right next door. Bikes can be checked out for up to 2 days with a library card and a photo ID. For more info on the KDL cruiser program contact the Walker Library at (616) 784-2007

We always welcome input from friends and neighbors. If you have questions, concerns, or just want to join a group run or bike, visit our Facebook page or email us to for dates and times.

Happy Trails!
Walker Chamber of Commerce Upcoming Events
Quarterly Meetings are held at:
Walker City Hall
4243 Remembrance Rd.
Walker, MI 49534
Held quarterly the second Tuesday of the month

Next Meeting: May 14 - Walker Police Dept. Presentation
Business Security, Mental Health, and Conflict Resolution

If your business would like to host an Walker After Work Event, please let us know!
Created by the Walker Youth Commission and adopted by the City Commissioners, this exciting video highlights the main attractions of the City of Walker, from Millennium Park to beautiful neighborhoods. This video was presented to the Walker community and soon-to-be citizens on how Walker is such a great place to live, work, and grow.