Monthly e-Newsletter |June 2020 Edition
Greetings from the Mayor's Office
About a week and a half ago I had my June newsletter ready to go with the usual updates. Then, the horrifying incident involving the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis took place. The public outcry that started out with peaceful protesters in that city and many others was right and just. The escalation that came about because a group of rioters chose violence and destruction. This has caused me to change some of my messaging to share my thoughts and where Walker stands.

What happened in Minneapolis was deplorable. There cannot be any acceptance or reason given in defense of the cruel suffocation and death of George Floyd. For those that know me, my support of law enforcement has been and will be unwavering and steadfast. I believe that almost every person that puts that uniform on does the right thing every day and capably represents their profession. It is a role that is easily criticized yet at its deepest roots the unwavering need to serve and protect is omnipresent. In situations like Mr. Floyd’s and others like his, it is understandable to doubt the justice system within our country, but we do have to recognize the injustice George Floyd had to suffer.

With regards to the protests themselves, I understand and support the right to protest as it is a constitutional right. When I think of the why these most recent protests happened in Minneapolis, Grand Rapids, and elsewhere, I believe it is evidence that voices are not being heard and action is not being taken. This is not something that just happened overnight and without question is systemic in its nature. When even one person in our community is a victim of racism or social injustice, we are all affected. Our lives are all intertwined and together make up the fabric that makes a strong community when our problems are heard, understood, and acted upon. There are deeper challenges that we as individual communities and our country must address in the coming weeks and months. I know that Walker always has and always will stand ready to be a part of solutions to these problems.

As far as the violence, looting, and destruction that took place in downtown Grand Rapids I am deeply saddened. The business owners that were already reeling from the impacts of the Covid-19 crisis, have been brought to their knees and some may never reopen. The danger that our law enforcement and peaceful protesters were put in last weekend trying to stop the mayhem is without comprehension. My hope is that those responsible are brought to justice and served with full sentencing of the law. The City of Walker has extended our full support and services to the City of Grand Rapids in their clean-up and recovery efforts. This is a time while painful in its experience, I am reminded of how special West Michigan is in our people and their resilience and unconditional love for one another and our communities.

I want to be incredibly clear that my pride in the professionalism and ‘sense of community’ approach that the Walker Police Department has is higher than it has ever been. This pride also extends to the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, the Michigan State Police, and other local agencies who at times are asked to work with or support us. The proactive approach that we leverage in being in our neighborhoods and community events and getting to know people by listening, engaging, and empathizing has been in place for a long time. We are all in our journeys together and never has there been a time when we needed each other more. The next time you see our officers out serving and protecting, please do not hesitate to say thank you or even a simple wave or smile. The job can be challenging enough, and any random act of kindness that we can share with each other I am sure will be appreciated.

In closing, we are excited to have our community back open more and more in the coming weeks. We know events like our Summer Concert Series and other large group events will not be here this summer. Yet, there are so many offerings that our city has that are still able to be utilized. Not to mention the strength of our neighborhood communities and spending time with each other, maybe even listening, understanding, and acting on the unjust things we see. There has never been a better time to either start doing or increase the time spent with any of these opportunities.

Thank you for making the decision to call Walker home.

Mayor Gary Carey, Jr. 
From the Income Tax Department
Due dates
2019 Individual resident and non-resident returns have been extended to July 31, 2020. Second quarter estimated payments for calendar year 2020 have also been extended to July 31, 2020. If you have already completed a W-1040-ES form requesting an automatic withdrawal of your 2020 second quarter estimated payment on or before June 30, 2020 and wish to extend the payment date, please call 616-791-6870. 
Forms are available on our website here
I need help
Although we are unable at this time to prepare returns at the counter, we can help you complete your Walker return by e-mail or phone. Please e-mail or call 616-791-6838 for more information.

Where’s my refund?
Processing refunds remains a priority for the department even though our offices are closed to the public. 

We are also processing 2019 returns that were missing required information. If we did not receive the information upon request from the taxpayer, deductions and credits will be disallowed resulting in a lower refund or assessment. 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 website.

You can also call us at 616-791-6880.
Walker Ave and Coopersville & Marne Railway Improvements
6/3/20 Walker Avenue Bridge Removal Update:
(1) The roadway is still closed to traffic. Additional signage is being added for northbound traffic to help highlight that there is “no outlet”.
(2) The Contractor is working with Bissell to coordinate a watermain crossing near the entrance.
(3) Lots of earthmoving continues to balance the old bridge elevation with the railroad.
(4) Railroad traffic has been dramatically reduced during the pandemic, slightly reducing the need to bypass freight.
(5) The wet conditions have the contractor about 1 week behind schedule.

For more detailed information, please go to our website.
Coronavirus Disease Resources
Please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's  website  for credible information regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus). 

We have added a quick link to the CDC's website under the residents tab on our website.

We also encourage you to like and follow the Kent County Health Department and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Facebook for helpful tips and reliable COVID-19 updates on a county and state level.
Be Counted Walker | Census 2020
An accurate census ensures Michigan's voices are heard and our vulnerable populations receive needed assistance.

Over 130 federal programs use census data to allocate more than $675 billion each year to households, towns, cities and states throughout the nation. An inaccurate count would impact funding for programs that support our state’s most vulnerable populations.

An undercount could also lead to decreased representation at the federal level, decreasing Michigan’s voice in Washington. Michigan is at risk of losing another congressional seat and a reduction of electoral college votes.

Be counted today at . It takes just 10 minutes!
Walker Fire Department: Department Alerts
July 4 th Celebration

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 affect 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.
Walker Police Department: Department News
The Police Department participated in the City of Walker Neighborhood Parades organized by Mayor Carey. We enjoyed the ability to drive around and wave to citizens. It will be refreshing to eventually be able to have contact with people who are out and about within the city. 

There was also a parade organized by Stonebridge and Yorkshire Manor for their elderly residents. The residents have not been able to have visits from their families and it was nice to be able to see so many families participate. The residents appreciated seeing everyone drive through the parking lot.

We are looking forward to having more and more of our local businesses open up after being shut down for so long. Get out and support your local businesses and shops!! They have missed you for the past several months.

As always, keep on with our daily posts on Facebook by liking & following “City of Walker Police Department.”
Clerk's Department Updates
Dear Walker Residents:

We are facing some extraordinary challenges as a community and as a nation due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Your City Clerk is working hard to ensure you are kept informed on the continuous election changes to make sure your voice will count in the 2020 election cycle.

Currently we are anticipating that all precinct locations will be open for the August 4 th and November 3 rd elections, however, “Vote by Mail” is a convenient and secure option and is highly recommended.

Due to the changes implemented by voters in Proposal 18-3, every voter in Michigan has the right to cast a ballot by mail in all elections. You can ensure that you receive an application for a ballot by requesting to be placed on our Permanent Voter Application list.

Email us at with your name and date of birth.

Once placed on the Permanent Voter Application list, you will receive an application for a ballot about 2 months prior to every election. Please complete the application and return it to the Clerk’s office immediately in order for us to issue and mail your ballot to you. You can review your ballot and research the choices in the comfort of your own home.

Ballots are NOT allowed to be forwarded to another address, so if you need your ballot mailed to a different address, you must place this mailing address on your application with the dates you will be away.

How to return the Application:
  • Place the application in the Green Drop box located outside City Hall
  • Email a digital image of the full application including your signature to
  • Return it by mail

Voters may receive multiple applications in the mail from other political party groups. We have no control over this. However, only one ballot can be issued to any registered voter from our database.

If you need to change anything on your ballot once you have submitted it, you can come to the City Clerk’s office to spoil your ballot and receive a new one until the day before the election.

Summary - Understanding the Vote by Mail Ballot Process
1) Clerk’s office mails an application to all voters on the Permanent Voter Application list 2 months prior to each election.
2) Application must be signed by registered voter and returned to the local clerk. This signature is verified against the Secretary of State database signature on file and MUST match. (Power of Attorney signature is NOT acceptable)
3) Once the application is received by the clerk and signature is verified, a ballot is sent to the voter.
4) Complete your ballot and place in the ballot envelope. Voter must sign the envelope for the ballot to be counted.
5) When ballot is received in the clerk’s office, the ballot envelope is verified for voters’ signature and marked received.
6) The ballot envelope remains sealed and secured in the clerk’s office until election day, when they are opened and tabulated. Your ballot must be returned to the clerk’s office by 8 pm on Election Day in order to count!

You can also track the status of your application and your absentee ballot at
Community Engagement Committee Pop Can Drive
 The Walker Community Engagement Committee is holding a pop can drive on Monday, June 22 nd from 4pm – 7pm in the parking lot of the Walker Ice & Fitness Center. All proceeds will go to Walker Feeding Kids.

Please save your recyclables and bring them to Walker City Hall to support Walker Kids!
Summer Facility Hours:
Currently Closed

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for healthy tips and fitness inspiration while you are away!
The Ice and Fitness Center remains closed waiting for the Governor to lift restrictions. But we are getting ready for everyone's return! Hand sanitizers, self check-in scanners, fresh paint and spacing of equipment to name a few of the changes to welcome you when we open. We cant wait to get BACK AT IT !!!
Pickleball courts are very busy! Please be respectful of the neighbors in regards to noise. Courts are open daily from 8am to 8pm!
The Adult Softball Program registration has been extended to June 15th. If you are interested in registering your team, please visit our website.  Co-Ed and Men’s teams only. No Women's league this year. 
All City of Walker Parks and Playgrounds remain open. The Park Restrooms are now open everyday from 8am to 8pm.  Please note the posted cleaning schedules and wash your hands!

Please be mindful of social distancing etiquette when visiting our parks. Please sanitize your hands often, distance yourself from others and be safe. We encourage you to take advantage of the open spaces and trails while enjoying the outdoors!
Check out M Parks' Virtual Play and Wellness Network: Physical activities for everyone from children to seniors!
KDL is currently closed due to COVID-19.  The situation will be closely monitored and we are exploring alternate ways to continue providing service. For updates, visit  and our social media pages.

In the meantime, many digital services are available to you remotely and for free, such as eBooks, eAudiobooks, movies, music, newspapers, magazines and more. Visit for more details.
Summer Wonder, our annual summer reading (and more!) program, starts Monday, June 1, this year and runs through Saturday, Aug. 8.

Sign up online via Beanstack , print out a PDF of the summer reading log or pick up a paper form at your nearest KDL branch . To complete Summer Wonder, log all your 30-Day Challenge activities.

Prizes will be available for pickup at your nearest KDL branch starting Wednesday, July 1.

Little Readers will get a free book. Youth readers will get a prize that is to be announced. Teens and adults will receive a stainless-steel water bottle , available while supplies last. Adults will automatically become eligible for a chance to win a special prize basket. 

All completers will be entered for a chance to win one of 16 $250 Meijer gift cards. The Meijer gift card drawing will be done Monday, Aug. 17. Once we have contacted the winners, the drawing results will be posted here and on Beanstack .

Tune in for our next show! Our staff are livestreaming storytimes, yoga, book discussions and STEAM experiments and more. Head over to for the full details and times. 
This months highlighted database:

One-of-a-kind reports on daily life and culture, including the background, customs and lifestyles of the world’s people. Covers over 200+ countries, the Canadian providences and all 50 states.

Access this database via than click Learn and Research on the lefthand side of the websiete and choose Student Resources – Middle School from the drop down menu and click on CultureGrams  
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!
Walker Firehouse Cafe / Senior Neighbors
We all know by now the effects COVID-19 has had on our planet. We are constantly striving to do our part in making sure seniors stay safe. In order to keep the members of our senior centers, exercise classes and transportation clients safe, Senior Neighbors has temporarily suspending our senior centers. We hope to be open soon and will be following the lead of our governments. At this time we have staff answering phones from our centers and central office if you have questions.

Questions? Contact Sherri Meines at 616-735-3240 or by email.