September 2020 eNewsletter
Welcome to the City of Kentwood's monthly eNewsletter. Stay up to date about community news, events and programs happening this month.
City of Kentwood Operations Update
Kentwood City Hall remains open for essential in-person services. City Hall visitors are required to wear a mask and practice physical distancing per the Governor’s Executive Order. A mask will be provided if a visitor does not have access to one.

Residents are encouraged to continue accessing City services online at kentwood.us and by calling or emailing City staff. Bills may be paid through U.S. mail, the drop box, drive-up teller tube located outside City Hall or electronically using ACH.

The City remains in contact with health officials to ensure City operations align with their guidance. Updates about our operational changes in response to COVID-19 are available at: kentwood.us/COVID.
Avoid the Door Knock, Respond to the 2020 Census Today
The 2020 Census is more than a population count, it will provide a snapshot of our nation – who we are and where we live. It's an opportunity to shape the future as its results will impact communities for the next decade. The deadline to respond to the 2020 Census is Sept. 30. 

Counting our population and households will provide the basis for how many seats in Congress each state gets and how billions of dollars in federal funding will flow into states and communities each year — impacting housing, education, transportation, employment, health care and public policy. Ultimately, the success of the census depends on everyone’s participation. It’s critical we get a complete and accurate count to ensure our community gets its fair share of vital resources.

The U.S. Bureau is sending census takers to households that have not yet responded to help get everyone counted. Click here to learn what to expect. You can avoid an in-person visit to your home by responding online, over the phone or by mail today. It only takes a few minutes. Visit 2020census.gov to get started.
Watch: Kentwood Fire Department Video
Last month, the Kentwood Fire Department joined other emergency response teams from the Gerald R. Ford International Airport and surrounding municipalities to prepare for potential emergencies at the airport with full-scale exercises, including a simulated plane crash. Watch this video to learn more about the drills and the importance of West Michigan community agencies practicing emergency response together.
Register for Programs, Rentals at City Hall
Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 1, individuals will be able to register for Kentwood recreational programs and shelter rentals at the Treasurer’s counter at City Hall or by calling the Treasurer’s office at 616.554.0761. Those interested in registering for programs and rentals can also continue to sign up online or by calling the Parks and Recreation Department at 616.656.5270.

When the Kentwood Activities Center reopens to the public, Parks and Recreation staff will resume taking registration there as well. The KAC building remains closed at this time per the state’s Executive Order. 
Kentwood Senior Pantry to Launch Sept. 30 with Meals on Wheels Western Michigan
Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 30, the Kentwood Activities Center will host the Kentwood Senior Pantry in partnership with Meals on Wheels Western Michigan. It will be open the last Wednesday of each month from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. for Kent County residents who are 60 years of age and older and who meet income requirements.
                                                                   
The senior pantry will be a “fresh” pantry providing pre-made food boxes for each senior. Due to COVID-19, boxes will be distributed in the parking lot. Participants will be also be asked to stay at least six feet apart from other seniors and wear face coverings while at the pantry. Once it is safe to open the building, the pantry will be set up inside.

To register, residents must show photo ID and bring in proof of income. Monthly income cannot exceed $2,126. A suggested donation of $2 is appreciated. For questions, please call 616.364.1104.
School Safety Reminders
As schools come back in session, please be mindful of the school bus stops in your area. Remember you must stop for the red flashing school bus lights unless there is a physical median or barrier between you and the school bus on the roadway.

Please be aware more children may be out and about during after-school hours. Drive slowly, watch for children and exit driveways with care. Learn more here.
Election Workers Needed for November
The Clerk’s office is always looking for people interested in serving their community on Election Day. Any registered voter who is interested in working the polls this November may contact the Kentwood Clerk’s office at 616.698.9610.

An election worker must be a registered voter in Michigan, provide excellent customer service to voters and have attention to detail. Familiarity with computers is preferred, but not required. Additional information and an application can be found at kentwood.us/elections.
Kent District Library – Kentwood
(Richard L. Root) Branch Update
Kent District Library is now welcoming the public back for in-branch visits with limited hours. Guidelines and precautions, which meet or exceed health department guidelines, have been put into place for everyone’s safety. Curbside services, including curbside printing, are available Monday through Friday during standard branch hours. For more information, visit kdl.org/coronavirus.
Summer Construction Coming to a Close
Summer road construction is coming to a close with just a few projects remaining:

  • Intersection of East Paris and Burton: completion by the end of September
  • Roger B. Chaffee Memorial Boulevard: final paving by the end of September
  • 52nd Street from Division Avenue to Kellogg Woods Drive: completion in early October

This year's resurfacing and maintenance program included improvements to more than 40 miles of major and local roads at a total investment of about $4.1 million. Additionally, approximately $500,000 in watermain has been constructed since July 1.

We appreciate everyone's patience as we work to complete these remaining projects to maintain and improve our streets! The City of Kentwood maintains one of the highest-rated major street networks in Kent County according to hard data compiled by the Grand Valley Metro Council, which is based on PASER ratings.

If you have any questions, please contact the Engineering Department at 616.554.0781 or eEngineering@kentwood.us. To learn more about summer road construction, click here.
2020 Master Plan Nears Adoption
Thank you to all those who shared public input on the City’s long-range vision for growth, land use, development and open space conservation, known as the Master Plan. The public hearing to adopt the 2020 Master Plan has been moved to Tuesday, Sept. 8. The meeting will allow for additional public comment directly to the Planning Commission.

For information about the meetings, please visit our website.
Temporary Sign Reminder
As the election nears, please keep the City’s code ordinance on placing signs in public places in mind. Temporary signs may not be placed on public property, such as telephone poles or in the public right-of-way, which is the section of land between the sidewalk and street. Property owners must keep signs within their own lots. For further information, please visit our website or contact Code Enforcement at 616.656.6574. To file a complaint, please complete our online form.
Help Make South Division Avenue Thrive Oct. 2-3 Events
Division United is a project that’s currently underway to come up with transportation and development improvements that benefit the people of Division Avenue. Anyone who lives or operates a business in Kentwood, Wyoming or Grand Rapids is invited to share thoughts on how to build the best possible community along Division Avenue. Free, family friendly community engagement opportunities are set for early October. Please save the dates for the events:

  • Everyone’s Plaza - Division and Logan: Friday, Oct. 2 from 5 to 9 p.m.
  • Everyone's Corner - Division and Burton: Saturday, Oct. 3 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Division Art & Cultural Market - Division and 43rd Street: Saturday, Oct 3 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information on the project and upcoming events or to sign up for updates, please visit www.divisionunited.org.
Summer Tax Deferment Applications Due Sept. 15

Summer tax deferments are available to qualifying taxpayers. Applications must be filed with the Treasurer’s office by Sept. 15. Click here for the application and click here for a list of frequently asked questions.

For more information, visit our website or contact the Treasurer’s office at 616.554.0761.
Explore Resources for Residents and Businesses
Many organizations have stepped up to offer community support during this time. To explore a variety of resources for both residents and businesses, please visit kentwood.us/resources.
Kentwood Food Truck Festival Postponed to 2021
As a reminder, the City of Kentwood and GR8 Food Trucks have postponed the Food Truck Festival to next summer due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and restrictions on large group gatherings. For more information on this decision, visit kentwood.us/foodtruckfestival, and please save the dates for the food truck events set for 2021:
  • Saturday, June 19, 2021 – Kentwood Kick-off to Summer Food Truck Festival
  • Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 – Kentwood Food Truck Festival
 
We continue to monitor public health guidance and state orders. Please continue to keep an eye on Facebook and our website or call 616.656.5270 for the latest event updates.
City Offices Closed on Labor Day
Please note, City offices will be closed Monday, Sept. 7 in observance of Labor Day.
For more information, please visit our website: www.kentwood.us
4900 Breton Ave. SE Kentwood, MI 49508 | 616.698.9610 | Contact Us

City Hall opens daily at 7:30 a.m. and closes Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 4:30 p.m.; Tuesdays at 6 p.m.; and Fridays at noon.
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