Monthly e-Newsletter | November 2019 Edition
Hello from Mayor Gary Carey
November is here with cooler temperatures and stunningly beautiful scenery with the leaves changing their colors. Just as our seasons are changing right now, we have some positive and exciting changes I wanted to share with you. The first focused on growth and development, and the second around public safety.

During the last couple of weeks, the official press releases announcing the new Blain’s Farm and Fleet in Standale came out. I remember meeting with the CEO and her team from Blain's back in early January for the first time. Thinking back on my own interactions and observing the engagement between our City staff and the Blain's team, I knew this would be a business we wanted to be a part of our community. Their plans are to begin construction and work through the Winter months with a planned opening next Fall in 2020. The new store will bring approximately 100 new jobs to Walker. These will include a mix of full-time and part-time positions, and the company is planning to conduct hiring fairs in Summer and early Fall 2020. The Laker Line stops are almost completed, with the stoplight going in at Cummings and Lake Michigan Drive sometime before year end. In addition to Blain's and the Laker Line, we continue to have discussions with various other businesses looking to locate in Standale. With all this taking place, it will obviously provide us with challenges in ensuring the traffic flow is efficient through that corridor. Both myself and city staff have had numerous meetings with MDOT in discussing strategies on how to best address traffic on Wilson, as well as Lake Michigan Drive. Specific to Wilson, while there are no immediate project plans from MDOT to widen Wilson south of Lake Michigan Drive, discussion continues to take place on what potential changes would look like.

Development on the north end continues to be focused on commercial and industrial areas in Walker View and Northridge East. Our latest announcement of another new business coming into Walker is Flexco . They will be relocating from the City of Grand Rapids and bringing 175 current jobs. In speaking with the company and learning about them, they have a diversified business that is not just tied to one or two industries. This is important as this type of approach brings less volatility to job creation and loss. Flexco will be moving into a building that is over 288,000 square foot located on 36 acres. That brings the total of new building space in the Walker View and Northridge area (both already under construction or about to start) to over two million square feet of new space. This growth is exciting as most other communities are not experiencing what we are. I want to commend our City staff and the Planning Commission for their efforts in helping promote this growth in a strategic and practical way.

I believe that many of you are aware that I place a high value on Public Safety as a whole. Specifically, our Police Department who through high visibility and presence in our city provide us with one of the best approaches to crime prevention. Additionally, we live in an era when providing a comfortable and safe environment to hold meetings or events is paramount for all. As a result, one of the changes you will start to see in November at many of the major meetings moving forward will be a uniformed police officer present. This is a request that I have been considering for some time. I believe that presence provides assurance for what is sometimes a room full of people that they are in a meeting that is secure. It also has the benefit of promoting further community engagement with our officers as they will have more opportunity to interact with residents and businesses. We could not do this without the focus on adding more patrol officers the last couple of years. This is all to provide a safer and more secure environment whether at meetings or events.

Recently, the City Managers, Police and Fire Chiefs, and my office welcomed over 20 Pastors from the Walker area to City Hall . We spent the morning together informing them about City happenings, as well as learning about updates from each of the congregations represented. We also were able to spend some time discussing some of the issues we all see facing our cities. I believe this collaborative and inclusive approach to working with each other further strengthens that fabric of our community. We plan on meeting together each quarter, and already have our next date in January on the calendar.

As Monday, November 11 arrives next week, I want to recognize and thank our Military Veterans on their special day. To help honor them, City Hall will be closed on that day. To further add a special Walker touch, I might suggest that if you see a Veteran out in a restaurant maybe grab their bill. If it’s a neighbor, maybe head over and rake some leaves. Whatever you might choose to do to recognize them, please share your gratitude and that of a very grateful community for their service.

As always, I like to close with a thank you to each of you who make the decision to call Walker home. There are so many great things going on in our city, and we are grateful you are part of that.

Gary L. Carey, Jr.
City of Walker
Upcoming Events:
November 11: Veterans Day, City Offices Closed
November 12: Pizza with Police @ 5:30 p.m., Standale Pizza Hut
November 20: Walker Master Plan Rough Draft Open House @ 5:00 p.m., City Hall
November 28: Thanksgiving Day, City Offices Closed
November 29: City Offices Closed in observance of Thanksgiving Holiday
December 5: Walker Winter Fest @ 5:30 p.m., Walker Ice & Fitness Center
Walker Fire Department: Carbon Monoxide Safety
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas. It has no odor. CO gas is poisonous. It can make a person feel sick and can be deadly. Heating and cooking devices that burn fuel can be sources of carbon monoxide.

  • CO alarms should be installed outside each sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. It is best to use interconnected alarms because when one alarm sounds, all CO alarms in the home sound. If interconnecting is not feasible, battery operated CO detectors are still very effective.
  • Follow the instructions on the package to properly install the CO alarm. CO alarms should be replaced every 10 years, so it is a good idea to mark the date on your alarm so you know when it was installed.
  • Test CO alarms at least once a month.
  • Replace CO alarms according to the instructions on the package.
  • Know the sounds the CO alarm makes. The alarm will sound if CO is detected. It will make a different sound if the battery is low or if it is time to get a new CO alarm.
  • If the battery is low, replace it.
  • If the CO alarm sounds, you must get fresh air. Move outdoors or by an open window or near an open door. Make sure everyone in the home gets to fresh air. Call the Fire Department from a fresh air location. Stay there until help arrives.

  • When warming a vehicle, move it out of the garage. Do not run a fueled engine indoors even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not blocked. Clear snow away.
  • During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.
  • Clear all debris from dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace vents.
  • A generator should only be used outdoors. Use in a well-ventilated location away from windows, doors, and vent openings.
  • Gas or charcoal grills can produce CO. Only use them outside.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys inspected by a professional every year before cold weather sets in.
  • Open the damper when using a fireplace for adequate ventilation.
  • Never use your oven or stove to heat your home.
Walker Police Department: Department News
Halloween has come and gone, and we would like to thank everyone for making it a fun and safe holiday! Our officers enjoyed attending many trunk or treat events, as well as passing out candy between snowflakes during trick or treat hours.

We are hosting a “ Pizza with Police event on November 12 at Standale Pizza Hut. If you have joined us for this type of event before, you know it is an informal but informative time for residents to connect with Walker Officers. We will have officers at Pizza Hut from 530-7 PM. However, Pizza Hut is donating a portion of all-day sales back to our department, to be used to purchase supplies for classroom emergency buckets. Please consider grabbing lunch or dinner at Pizza Hut, or have it delivered, to ensure we can better prepare all area classrooms for lockdown emergencies.

We will also be hosting our annual Community Open House at Fire Station #3 on December 10. Please mark you calendars, as final times and details are being decided. Typically, we invite all department heads and community leaders to give a “year in review” speech that covers their respective departments.

All Walker Officers recently attended a training consisting of legal update and information regarding counterfeit currency.  Upcoming trainings will include defensive tactics, taser recertifications and scenarios, as well as MFR refreshers and stop the bleed training. November & December are always busy months for training as we try to squeeze as much into the year as possible!  

To keep up to date on all things Walker PD, please like/follow us on Facebook at “City of Walker Police Department” by clicking the green button below.
Officer Kurt Bindus started with Walker Police Department on October 14, 2019. Over the past 5 years, he worked for Fruitport Police Department, then the Ionia County Sheriff. Kurt has a BA from WMU and went to KVCC Academy.

Please join us in welcoming Officer Bindus!
Clerk's Department Updates
Did you know…. Anyone can vote via an absentee ballot since 18-3 passing in 2018.

Everyone can vote via an absentee ballot (by mail) if you have not contacted us to be put on our automatic permanent absentee application mailing list please email us at .

If you have any questions pertaining to any of this information, don’t hesitate to call us at 616-791-6865 or

2020 Election Dates:
Tuesday, March 10, 2020 Presidential Primary
Tuesday, May 5, 2020 Possible Election Date
Tuesday, August 4, 2020 Primary Election Date
Tuesday, November 3, 2020 General Election Date
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 AM – 4:00 PM and Friday from 7:30 AM – 11:00 AM. Visit our website for details on passport requirements.

Passports are currently taking longer than usual to process, please allow at least 6 weeks for your passport to be processed and mailed to you.
The Secretary of State’s office is rolling out the new REAL ID driver’s license, which will be required after October 2020, to fly domestically. You will need visit the Secretary of State office to convert your current driver’s license to a REAL ID driver’s license.

You will be required to take your original birth certificate and any certified name change documents, such as your marriage license or court order with you to apply.
Walker Business License Renewals for 2020
The Clerk’s office has mailed all Walker businesses their annual renewals, please complete and return as soon as possible, deadline is December 1, 2019.
Income Tax Department
Due dates
Fourth quarter estimated payments for calendar year 2019 are due January 31, 2020. Forms are available on our website.
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 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 . You can also call us at 616-791-6880.
Facility Hours:
Mon-Fri 5am-10pm
Sat-Sun 7am-8pm
WIFC is closed on Thanksgiving day, however open for regular hours on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday following.

If you’re looking for something fun to do over the Thanksgiving holiday break, come skating at the WIFC!
Skary Skate 2019
We had another amazing turnout for Skary Skate on October 25. Thanks to everyone for coming to one of our favorite events of the year! There were so many amazing costumes that it was difficult to choose the winners, but we eventually narrowed it down.
Toys for Tots Drive
Once again, the WIFC will be a drop off location for Toys for Tots. Bins will be located in our lobby very soon. Donations are due by Monday, December 9 th . Thank you, members for supporting this great cause!!
Upcoming Special Offers
November is the perfect time to stop by the WIFC to take advantage of our November membership, personal training, open skating and Pro-Shop specials:
Become a member in November for just $20 . For just $20, you can start a gym membership – this gives you access to our state of the art fitness facility, all of our group exercise classes, the sauna, steam room and the Ice Rink during open skate and drop-in hockey. 
Personal Training Special: Are you looking to push your fitness goals to the next level? Start working with one of our certified personal trainers to help you reach your goals. From November 21-December 5, if you buy 6 personal training sessions, you get a 7th free! That’s a $25 saving.
Black Friday Special:
Between November 21-December 5, buy 12 months and get 2 months free. 
Tanning Package:
Includes 5 tanning sessions, 1 lotion, and 1 pair of goggles. 
We still have spots available in the 2019/20 Cross Ice Program!
Our Cross Ice Program is perfect for kids aged 5-13 who want to develop their hockey skills. No previous hockey experience needed. Kids just need to have basic skating ability and we will take it from there! At WIFC, players get to progress at their own pace and the emphasis of Cross Ice is on making hockey fun! Friday night skill-based practices start at 5pm and the Saturday 11am sessions have skill skates and game day.

Late signing up? That’s no problem – kids are always welcome, and we can pro-rate for the remaining sessions! Contact Mike Fountain with any questions – 616-735-6286 or
On November 16, 12 teams will be participating in the next Mite Jamboree at WIFC between 12 and 2pm. 120 players will compete.

The jamborees give players aged 7-8 the opportunity to play with mites from other hockey associations in a fun, competitive, game-like environment. This allows them to develop their hockey skills and demonstrate their abilities to the enthusiastic crowd. 
Pro-Shop Sale: Stock up on hockey equipment and apparel during our Black Friday sale in the Pro-Shop! November 25 -December 1, you will get 15% off any SINGLE item over $25. 
News and Events
Annual Senior Citizen Bowling Tournament

Mark your calendar, our annual Senior Citizen Bowling tournament is coming up again January 23 & 24! You don’t want to miss this!! Raffle prizes, snacks, bowling and lots of fun with the Walker Rec Department! 
Lincoln Lanes
3485 Lake Michigan Dr. NW
Walker, Michigan 49534

Dates: Thursday, January 23 and Friday, January 24, 2020
Entry fee: $17.00 - bowl 3 games
Handicap: 90% of difference between most recent averages and 200
6 divisions for both men and woman

55 to 64 yrs.   65 to 69 yrs.   70 to 74 yrs.   75 to 79 yrs.   80 to 84 yrs.   85 yrs. & over

Squads: Thursday at 1:00 pm or Friday at 1:00 pm

Make your reservations now! Get a group together and have a fun day of bowling!
Men's and women's trophies will be awarded for actual and handicap scores in each age division.
Bowlers may win in only one category.
Pre-registration is required, deadline for registration is Friday, January 10, 2020.

Attention non - league bowlers!
If you are not presently bowling or have never been affiliated with a league –
you may enter and be eligible to compete for prizes in the actual score category.
Veterans Day Drive
Thank you to everyone that was able to help us give back and donate to the Veterans Day Drive!

We will be delivering all the donations to the Grand Rapids Veterans Home next week!
KDL Walker Branch:
Library News
Help us collect Toys for Toys for Tots!

As part of KDL Gives back in November the Walker Branch is collecting toy donations.

Toys for Tots is a program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve which distributes toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts for Christmas. The program was founded in 1947 by reservist Major Bill Hendricks.
This months highlighted database: World Book Online for Kids

Online version of the popular World Book Encyclopedia! Features easy-to-read articles and a wealth of engaging multimedia, games, science projects, interactive tools, and activities.

Access this database via than click Learn and Research on the lefthand side of the websiete and choose Student Resources –Elemantry from the drop down menu and scroll to the bottom of the webpage to find World Book Online for Kids.   
Join us Saturday, November 16 from 10 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. at the Kentwood (Richard L. Root) Branch for the KDL LAB Extravaganza!

Have hands-on fun at the KDL Lab Experience Extravaganza! KDL Lab will be showcasing a variety of STEAM experiences and partnering with local STEAM experts to provide hours of challenges and pure STEAM fun.

Reoccurring Regular Programs

Toddler Time
Mondays, September 9 – November 26
9:45 10:35 A.M.& 10:45 11:30 A.M.
Nurture your toddler's love of books through music, movement and stories while helping to develop their language, motor and social skills.

Baby Playgroup
Thursdays, September 12 – November 29
No program: November 22
9:30 10:15 A.M.
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 9 – November 18
6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Thursdays, September 12 – November 21
10:30 a.m to 11:30 a.m.
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.

Rhyme Time Music and Movement
Fridays, September 13 – November 22
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Travel Tales
Wednesday, November 20
6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Listen to fellow “travel bugs” each month as someone will share a story of a memorable travel trip and why it was special. Speakers will share pictures and mementos from their trips with a chance for Q&A. Light refreshments will be provided thanks to Wonderland Family Vacations, who will also have a travel agent in attendance to help answer any travel related questions.
Did you have an awesome travel experience you would like to share? Are you willing to talk to a group of people about this experience and share some pictures? If so consider signing up for one of our future travel tales by contacting Walker Branch staff

KDaLe Book Club: Osgood Brewing
Thursday, October 17
7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Combine your love of books and brews at the KDaLe Book Club. Enjoy a drink from  Osgood Brewing  while we talk about what we've been reading. Expert book recommendations from KDL librarians included. The book club will be held at Osgood Brewing, 4051 Chicago Dr. SW in Grandville. For adults 21 and older.

Fall Fest
Friday, October 18
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Celebrate the season with Autumn crafts, games and process art activities that focus more on the process and less on the final product.
Drop-In Tutoring with Sparta Adult Education
Wednesday, November 13
4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 23
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Wednesday, November 27
4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Drop-in tutoring is available to adults 18 and up enrolled in any of the following programs: High School Diploma, English as a Second Language (ESL), Adult Basic Education (ABE), High School Equivalency (GED) and Career Technical Education (CTE). Questions on all subjects are welcome. Tutoring is hosted by Sparta Adult Education.

Adult Book Discussion
Tuesday, November 12
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Join us for a fun, informal book discussion. This month's selection is Circling the Sun by Paula McLain.

KDL Lab Experience: NASA @ My Library
Wednesday, November 13
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
3, 2, 1 BLAST OFF! Come down to your local library and learn all about the world outside of our own! Learn about the other planets that make up our solar system, UV rays from the sun and how the tiny moon is able to block out the entire sun. For ages 6 and older.
Friends of Walker Trails News
The Friends of Walker Trails has a new Facebook page, follow along for updates and news on our lengthy network of trails right here in Walker!
State of The Rapid:

Our Community Partner, The Rapid's CEO, Andrew Johnson, provides an inside look at current operations and goals for the future of mobility in the Grand Rapids metropolitan area. As the region transforms, The Rapid will follow suit to meet the needs of the community. The year ahead holds the launch of the Laker Line, on-demand paratransit service, and more.
Walker Chamber of Commerce Upcoming Events
Quarterly Meetings are held at:
Walker City Hall
42 43 Remembrance Rd.
Walker, MI 49534
Held quarterly the second Tuesday of the month

Next Meeting: November 12
"Take Your Business to the Next Level - Marketing and Networking"
Created by the Walker Youth Commission (2018) 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.