Monthly e-Newsletter | January 2020 Edition
Happy New Year from the Mayor's Office
December and early January brought a couple of great events to our community. I already shared the success of Winterfest in the December newsletter with the record attendance numbers we had, and we just completed our inaugural Walker Mayor’s Cup this past week. We welcomed four teams to the Walker Ice and Fitness Center, with one of them being the host and home team Kenowa Hills Knights. There were approximately one thousand people that attended the tournament and allowed us to show our visiting teams and their families what a welcoming community and impressive Ice and Fitness Center that Walker has. Hearing the positive comments that myself and others did from people in attendance reaffirms that we are doing the right things with our community events.  Building on this, our traditional events will be enhanced and offer more opportunities for the community to enjoy. In addition, 2020 will have some new events that we have never done before to further engage our community.

I shared in the December newsletter, a discussion on the opportunity for a new Library and Community Center . We have been working with our partners at Kent District Library to review and address the growing community requests to provide a larger Walker Branch. This occurs in conjunction with our vision for a larger Community Center as the increased needs in this area grow as well. Ongoing discussion involving the community and city officials occurred in the form of public open houses and online surveys. From these we are starting to compile what our community have emphasized as priorities. By far the number one request in additions or renovations to a Community Center is the desire for more meeting and classroom space. This is followed by requests for new types of event space and programming that would allow for some educational and learning opportunities for both adults and children. As far as the Library needs go, there is a strong demand to have expanded space for traditional books, and children and adult reading spaces. Very high on the list as well are study areas and multi-function rooms to meet in. Additionally, the requests for additional public resources around computers and other technology is extremely high. Bringing all the Library requests together, they all had a common theme of people wanting to have a cup of coffee or maybe even an eating area in a comfortable setting. Lastly, the Ice and Fitness Center had an overwhelming demand for more space for items like a larger indoor track, rooms for fitness classes, and even indoor recreation space for something like basketball courts. If I can summarize these priorities for us, we can quickly determine a strong desire from our community for a new Community Center. A center which includes public meeting spaces that we don’t have now; a new and expanded Library that has more areas to relax and study in, with quiet meeting spaces; and additions to the Fitness Center that provide more and even new types of fitness opportunities. Because we have been discussing this for quite some time now, and the community support continues to grow at significant levels, we are moving forward into our next phase. Look for more details to come soon! It is exciting to see and hear the buzz from the community as we discuss and plan for the next steps.

In closing, as we start our new year together, I want to wish each of you and your families a most enjoyable and prosperous 2020. If I can be of any help to you along the way, please let me know. And as always, thank you for making the decision to call Walker home.

Gary L. Carey, Jr.
Mayor
January 23 & 24: Annual Senior Citizen Bowling Tournament, Lincoln Lanes
January 30: Alzheimer's Disease Workshop at Noon, Walker Ice & Fitness Center
February 1-29: Youth Spring Soccer Registration Open, Walker Parks & Rec
February 5: Alzheimer's Disease Workshop at 6:30 p.m., Walker Ice & Fitness Center
February 6: Identify Counterfeit Currency at 2 p.m., , Alpine Township Offices
February 8: Church Safety and Security Seminar at 9 a.m., Hosted by Walker PD
You can find more event details in the articles below, by following us on Facebook or by sending us an email! !!!
City Services Notices
Christmas Tree Recycling:

Dates
Now through January 18

Locations
Walker City Hall - 4243 Remembrance Rd. N.W.
Walker Community Park -  650 Cummings N.W.
Walker Fire Station #3 - 1470 Three Mile Rd. N.W. 

Who can Recycle?
Walker Residents only

* Trees only no plastic
Community Development Notices:

Beginning in January 2020, all notices from our Community Development Department (CDD) will be sent to home and business addresses on green postcards.

If you see one of these postcards in your mailbox and have any questions, please call the CDD office at (616) 791-6858.
Walker Fire Department: Department Alerts
FIRE HYDRANT ALERT

Winter is here and we are now faced with the chore of snow removal from driveways and sidewalks. However, many people do not realize that keeping our fire hydrants clear of snow is equally important. 

In the event of a fire emergency having access to the fire hydrants for a water supply is critical in order to successfully combat a fire situation where time is of the essence.  Therefore, the Walker Fire Department is asking for help in keeping the snow cleared away from the fire hydrant in front of (or near) your home or business. The best way to do this is by clearing the snow from the street to the hydrant in a three feet circle around the hydrant since this allows the fire hose to connect toward the fire truck faster.  
 
The Walker Fire Department would like to thank the many residents and business owners that have taken time to help in the past and to those who may assist us this winter in keeping our hydrants clear of snow.  
Walker Police Department: Department News
Walker has been lucky this winter, being spared from suffering through too much severe winter weather. But as Michiganders, we know cold temperatures, snow, & ice can pop up at any time, so remember these winter tips:

  • Be sure to know a few different routes to and from your destinations, as winter weather & crashes may create road shut downs or detours. 
  • Leave yourself plenty of time for travel, to avoid feeling hurried and driving too fast for road conditions. 
  • Keep extra distance between other vehicles and be aware it may take longer for your vehicle to stop on icy roads. 
  • Always clear snow and ice from your car before travel. Don’t be “that guy” who is driving through just a tiny hole of cleared windshield!
  • To avoid a car theft, avoid leaving your car unlocked & unattended while it is warming up.
  • Consider creating an emergency kit to keep in your vehicle.

**The moral of the story is this…TAKE IT SLOW ONE ICE & SNOW! **

Don’t forget that Walker PD, in conjunction with The West Michigan Church Security Network will be hosting a “ Church Safety & Security Seminar ” on February 8, 2020. Topics will include civilian response to active shooter events, creating & maintaining a church security team, dealing with disorderly persons, trespassing, and more. The event is free & lunch will be provided. For more info on this event, and all things Walker PD, please like/follow us on Facebook at “City of Walker Police Department.” You must RSVP for the event, to mharkema@walker.city.

We wish you a safe and happy new year and look forward to serving and protecting you in 2020! 
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 elections@walker.city .

If you have any questions pertaining to any of this information, don’t hesitate to call us at 616-791-6865 or email sbydalek@walker.city

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.
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.
Fall/Winter Facility Hours:
Monday - Friday: 5 am-10 pm
Saturday - Sunday: 7 am-8 pm
       
Upcoming seminars on Alzheimer’s
As part of our ongoing seminar series, the Walker Ice and Fitness Center is hosting representatives from Michigan State University’s Alzheimer’s Alliance to talk about the disease. We have two sessions scheduled –one on January 30 at noon and another on February 5 at 6.30pm. Meetings will take place in Room A. We do ask that you sign up prior to the seminars.

During the seminar, we will learn about signs and symptoms and tips for keeping our brains healthy using MSU’s P.A.C.T. method (Preventing Alzheimer’s with Cognitive Training). Caregivers and family members are all welcome!
Learn to Skate/Learn to Play Hockey
Session 3 of Learn to Skate/Learn to Play Hockey started on January 11. 
If you missed this start date – don’t worry! Feel free to reach out, we may still have room. Session 4 begins on March 7 and the summer session (which is held on Wednesday evenings) begins on June 10.

For more information, visit our Learn to Skate information pages at www.walkericeandfitness.com
Walker Mayor's Cup
January 3-4 saw the inaugural Walker Mayor’s Cup, with 3 area High Schools taking on the Kenowa Hills Knights. It was a hard fought, well played tournament with Mayor Gary Carey presenting the cup to West Ottawa High School with their 3-0 victory over Kenowa.

Thanks to all who participated and the all the fans that showed up to support the teams. We look forward to this becoming an annual event!

Don’t forget that all Kenowa Hills home games take place at the WIFC and spectators are welcome!
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! 
Where:
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.
Spring Coed Youth Soccer
“We get a kick out of this game”

  • Registrations February 1 - 29, 2020
  • 4-6 yr. old age group is $30 for Walker residents and $40 for non-residents
  • 7-8 yr. old, 9-10 yr. old and 11-12-13 yr. old age groups is $40 for Walker residents and $50 for non-residents
  • There is a $5.00 discount for each additional family member registered
  • There will be a $10.00 LATE FEE charged for any registrations received after the February 29th deadline
  • Volunteer to coach your child’s team and choose your practice day/time and get a $20 refund!

Register online or in-person at the Walker Ice & Fitness Center.

2020 Fall Coed Youth Soccer Registrations will be held July 1 – 31, 2020.
Snuggle up with a good book this winter! Adults and teens (age 11+) who read or listen to six books from our Let It Snow reading categories between January 2 and March 31 earn a Let It Snow mug. Pick up your prize mug February 1 through March 31.

Still want more? Log four more titles — for a total of 10 books — by March 31 and be automatically entered into our Power Reader drawing to win an iPad. The drawing will be done April 8.

Track your reading progress online using Beanstack or complete and turn in a paper form, available as a  printable PDF  or pick up a copy at any of our branches.

Not sure what to read? Check out our  Let It Snow reading recommendations  for ideas!

Log your reading online using Beanstack
This months highlighted database:

Free online courses devoted to work related skills that employers look for when hiring, including literacy, math, soft skills, and digital literacy. Course packs provides opportunities to learn, review, and practice essential skills.

Access this database via KDL.org than click Learn and Research on the lefthand side of the websiete and choose Online Learning from the drop down menu and click on Career Skills Training by Penn Foster
babies_playing_music.jpg
Reoccurring Regular Programs

Reoccurring Library Events
Toddler Time
Mondays, January 6 – February 24
9:45 A.M.to 10:35 A.M.& 10:45 A.M.to 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, January 9 – February 27
9:30 a.m.to 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, January 6 – February 24
6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Thursdays, January 9 – February 27
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, January 10 – February 28
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Move and groove together with action rhymes, songs, games and hands-on musical activities that will help children develop motor, listening and literacy skills.

Drop-In Tutoring with Sparta Adult Education
Wednesday, January 8 & 12, February 5 &19
4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 1 & 15
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 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. For adults

Adult Book Discussion
Tuesday, February 11
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Join us for a fun, informal book discussion. This month's selection is Warlight by Michael Ondaatje.

Special Library Events
Distilling Spirits 101
Thursday, January 23
6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Siciliano's Market  presents a condensed guide that explores the history, production methods and appreciation of the wide world of distilling spirits. For ages 21 and older.

Heart to Heart Craft Party
Wednesday, February 12,
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Roses are red, violets are blue, join our Valentine event, just for you! Celebrate Valentine's Day with snacks and crafts. For families with children.

KDL Lab Experience: A Journey Through Time
Monday, February 17,
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Travel through time and around the world at your local library! As a Time Traveler you will learn how to build structures like those first created in Ancient Civilizations such as Egypt or Greece. You can embrace your creative side with some funky, fun Medieval art. You will even learn how to write in one of the many ancient languages of our world! Disclaimer - actual time travel pending completion of a working time machine. 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!
Walker Firehouse Cafe / Senior Neighbors
At Walker Firehouse Cafe, we pride ourselves in being a social, welcoming location for seniors to connect and embrace life with other older adults in our community. Enjoy a cup of coffee or even a snack. Meet new friends as you play bingo, enjoy music, learn a new craft or play cards. Guests are always welcomed!

Hours: Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 9:00 am-2 pm
Lunch is served at Noon.

Cost: $3.50 for guests under 60.
*Suggested donation of $2.75 for guests 60+.

Location: Walker Firehouse Cafe
4101 Lake Michigan Drive
Located on the 2nd Floor in the Community Room

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