Monthly e-Newsletter|September 2018 Edition
Hello from the Mayor
Dear Residents,

I hope you had a great summer – it certainly feels like fall is here, but I suspect there will be many more summer-like days in the weeks ahead.  


Please continue to be cautious as there are several road projects still underway. New traffic signals are being installed at Butterworth and Wilson Avenue, the Leonard Street project will continue into November and that section of the road between Kinney and Wilson is closed to through traffic.
 
On Saturday, September 8, myself and nearly 2,000 other people, participated in the annual “Mayor’s Clean up the River” project. I had a chance to meet several Walker Residents who participate in this great community event. This annual event has volunteers walking along the banks of the Grand River from the Northern section of Walker all the way to the South in Grandville. Lots of interesting debris was found from fishing gear, to plastics, old tires, lumber, pallets etc. Last year over 17,000 pounds of trash was collected along the shore.

The Pumpkin Bash is coming up on Saturday October 6. I hope to see you and your families at this wonderful community event!

Kind Regards,

Mark E. Huizenga
Mayor
Walker Pumpkin Bash
Location: Walker City Hall (4243 Remembrance RD NW)
Saturday, October 6 - 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
FREE Event for ALL ages - Halloween Costumes encouraged

Free pumpkins for the first 1,000 kids, free doughnuts and cider, live music, pumpkin decoration station and fall crafts with the KDL Library Walker Branch, Family laser tag, live farm animals, vendor trick or treating, fire truck and police cruiser and more!
Upcoming Events:
September 13 : Community Pickleball at 6:30 pm; Walker Community Park
September 25 : Dinner at Freddy's with your First Responders at 5pm
October 6: Pumpkin Bash at 1:30 pm; Walker City Hall
October 9: Last Day to register to vote for November 6th General Election
FOLLOW OUR FACEBOOK PAGE FOR EVENT DETAILS AND UPDATES!
Clerk's Office: Updates
September 25 is National Voter Registration Day! The deadline to register to vote for the November 6th General Election is Tuesday, October 9.

Are you over 60?
If you are 60 years or older, you can be added to our permanent absentee voter list. This means you can skip the lines, avoid crowds and vote from home! We will mail you your absentee voter application automatically two months prior to each election. Contact your City Clerk, Sarah Bydalek, to be added to this list.

DON'T WAIT UNTIL IT'S TO LATE! Apply for your Absentee Ballot to be mailed to you now if you are not available to vote in person on November 6th.

Please call (616) 791-6865 for more information.
City Hall Drop Box
Did you know you can drop off ANY document for ANY department to the gray City Hall Drop Box?! The Drop Box is located outside City Hall by the USPS mailboxes.

Absentee ballot applications or ballots can be placed in the drop box or dropped in the designated ballot box inside the Clerk's Office.
Walker Fire Department: Smoke Detectors Save Lives
Walker Police Department: Department News
The Walker Police Department continues to embrace a community policing philosophy, where we encourage and promote collaboration and cooperation opportunities between the department and citizens. We thank all those who have recently joined us for Coffee with a Cop, Pop with a Cop, National Night Out, Neighborhood Watch, and The Remembrance Car Cruise. Also important is forming the same bond with your neighbors. Consider the following suggestions and safety tips:
  1. Start a Neighborhood Watch Group and meet periodically. Most of the information flow can be directed through social media.
  2. Get to know your neighbors. Say hello. Know each other’s names. Consider an annual block party to promote neighborhood unity.
  3. Encourage your block members to have a neighborhood emergency preparedness plan.
  4. Find a trusted neighbor to hold a spare key. Never leave your key under a door mat or planter, or any other “obvious” places a thief may find it.
  5. Close and lock gates, doors, and windows after each use. 
  6. Set timers on lights when you are away, to make the home appear occupied.
  7. Establish emergency plans with your family and practice them.
  8. Become familiar with your general area. Learn alternate routes to and from your home.
  9. Learn to recognize suspicious activity and remember to report it to Walker PD as it occurs.
  10. Pay attention to situations that may attract crime, such as broken street lights. Report them to the city so they can be repaired (Report them here).
Patrol took a report of a larceny of hotel property. The suspects were identified and contacted by detectives. After lengthy interviews with the two suspects, both ultimately confessed to stealing several hotel room articles from two rooms. Warrants were authorized for both suspects on Larceny charges.
Detectives were assigned to assist Adult Protective Services with an investigation into an embezzlement from a vulnerable adult. During the investigation, admissions were made by the suspect that they inappropriately spent a large amount of the victim’s money for their own benefit. The case is presently being reviewed by the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office for charges.

KANET detectives were called out to the City of Walker to assist officers with a traffic stop which evolved into a drug investigation. Detectives interviewed two suspects and seized 28 grams of Marijuana and $590 in cash. One suspect was cited and released. Drug charges are pending for the other suspect. KANET detectives were called out to the City of Walker to assist officers with a narcotics investigation. Officers had conducted a traffic stop and found suspected narcotics in the vehicle. Detectives conducted interviews and seized 1 dosage of liquid Methamphetamine. Two suspects were lodged on outstanding warrants. Drug charges are pending.

Freddy’s in Standale (25 Lake Michigan Drive) is hosting a “Freddy’s with Your First Responders” fundraiser on September 25, from 5-9 PM. A portion of all sales during that time will be donated to Walker PD, to be used as a community kickback, to help families in need. Officers will be on hand to chat with citizens and provide community resource materials. This is another opportunity for citizens to connect with their officers in a more informal setting, while raising money for a good cause.

As always, keep up on all things related to the Police Department by following us on Facebook at “City of Walker Police Department,” or check out the monthly reports that are posted on the city website. 
Walker Income Tax Department
Due Dates
Third quarter estimated payments for calendar year 2018 are due October 1, 2018. Forms are available on our website at:  http://www.walker.city/income_tax_forms.php
 
Forgotten Returns
If you have past years of Walker returns that you have forgotten to file, contact the tax department immediately at (616) 791-6880. If you file prior year returns and pay the tax and interest due, you may request a waiver of penalty. If the tax department contacts you first regarding unfiled returns, you will not be eligible for a waiver of penalty. We are electronically matching 2016 State of Michigan returns filed from a Walker resident address with Walker returns filed. If you have forgotten to file Walker returns from prior years, now is the time to get that cleared up before the letters go out from this matching program. 

Have questions?
If you are not sure if you need to file Walker Income Tax returns, the most common questions are answered on our website at: http://www.walker.city/government/departments/income_tax/income_tax_faqs.php
You can also call (616) 791-6880.
KDL Walker Branch
We had an awesome summer at the Walker Branch of Kent District Library! I hope everyone enjoyed the programs as much as we did hosting them! We had two days with door counts of over nine hundred people and a few programs of over four hundred people. We also had our biggest participation in the Summer Reading Club with 1095 finishers who completed their summer reading and picked up their prizes. Four won the big prize baskets, some of which were donated by our Friends of the Library group. Thank you to all the summer reading participants and Friends of the Library.

Pictured above: An excited KDL Prize winner
Pictured right: Bangarang Circus
Our seventh annual Write Michigan Short Story Contest runs through November 30. Authors of all ages are welcome. It is presented by  Kent District Library  and  Schuler Books & Music . Writers of all ages can enter in English or Spanish, with cash prizes awarded for Readers' Choice and Judges' Choice. Winning entries will also be
published   by  Chapbook Press .



2019 Contest Timeline
Entries Accepted: September 1 – November 30, 2018
Review Process: December 1, 2017 – January 2, 2019
Semi-Finalists Announced: January 11, 2019
Public Voting Online / Judges' Review: January 11-31, 2019
Winners Announced: February 5, 2019
Anthology Layout and Production: February 5 – March 15, 2019
Awards Ceremony, Anthology Sale & Book Signing: March 16, 2019

Regular Events at the Walker Branch
Toddler Time
Mondays, September 10 – November 26
9:45 AM to 10:15 AM & 10:45 AM to 11:15 AM

Nurture your toddler's love of books through music, movement and stories while helping to develop their language, motor and social skills.

Baby Play Group
Thursdays, September 13 – November 29
No program November 22
9:30 am to 10:15 AM

Get to know other families and help your baby develop listening skills while you gather and play. We provide the space and variety of sensory and play activities. Each play group also includes 15 minutes of stories, rhymes and songs. For babies from birth to 18 months with a caregiver, older sibling welcome.

Family Storytime
Mondays, September 10 – November 26
10:30 AM to 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.

Adult Book Discussion
Tuesday, September 11
10:00 am to 11:00 am
Join us for an informal and lively discussion of The Zoo keepers wife by Diane Ackerman.

Rosie’s Mom and other stories of the WW1 Homefront
Saturday, September 22
10:30 am
During World War II, Rosie the Riveter became the symbol of working women. Was she an orphan? No… During the Great War, twenty year before, her mom worked building armaments for World War I. For teens and adults.
Walker Ice & Fitness Center
September Membership Special

For the entire month of September, we are offering a $0 Joining Fee with NO CONTRACTS for all new and returning members to the gym!! A new line-up of Classes begins Oct 1, 2018. We have fantastic instructors, classes, childcare, new state of the art gym equipment and an extensive selection of weights. Come check us out! 

Still unsure? We offer a FREE 7-Day trial membership . Anyone 18 years and older, local resident, and first-time visitor to our facility! Come try classes, gym equipment and childcare free of charge for a week and decide if we are a good fit for you.
Groupon Ends Sept 30
Purchase your fitness class punch cards soon! Offer expires Sept 30, 2018. Stock up today by visiting www.groupon.com/

Fall Class Schedule Coming Soon
Are you looking to mix up your workout routine? Our new fitness class schedule will begin on October 1. We have classes 7 day a week. Classes are included in the cost of a gym membership or a Drop-In Rate of $7 per class ($4 per class for Seniors 55 and older) New class schedule will be post to our website the week of Sept 24 th  walkericeandfitness.com             
Skating Party Packages
Are you looking for a fun place to host a birthday party? We have Birthday Skating Packages that start at just $6.99 per person. Call Facility Director—Mary Kay Sherman (616) 735-6286 for more information and room availability!!
Fall Youth Co-ed Soccer
Fall Youth Co-ed Soccer is underway...we have over 350 kids registered to play this season and are looking forward to another fun season!
First game day is September 15. Games start at 9 a.m. Come out and cheer for your favorite team! 

Community Pickleball
Have you ever heard of Pickleball and wondered what it is? Here’s your chance to find out! Join us for a Pickleball demonstration and a chance to try it on September 13 at 6:30 p.m.
Starting October 1, 2018, the City of Walker Parks & Recreation Department will be collecting items to donate to the Grand Rapids Home for Veteran’s again. Last year we donated an entire truck full of items thanks to all the help from our Walker community and beyond! This year help us honor our Veteran’s by doubling last year’s donations!

Drop off location is in the lobby at Walker Ice & Fitness. Please see the list of items in need below. Remember no expired items will be accepted.
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

Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Noon ­ 1:30 pm
The Travel & Tourism Industry
Th e travel and tourism industry is one of the world’s largest industries with a global economic contribution of about $8 TRILLION!
Among our Speakers you will hear;
Jim Gill, CEO, Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority
Gentle Fur in Action
Margie Lenau, Owner, Wonderland Family Vacations, LLC

If your business would like to host an Walker After Work Event, please let us know!
Follow our Facebook Page for announcements on our upcoming Walker Pumpkin Bash and Winter Fest!
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.