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East Express E-Newsletter
April 21, 2016


NEW WATER/SEWER RATE STRUCTURE APPROVED.  On Monday, the city commission approved new water/sewer rates that will go into effect on July 1, 2016.  Most residential customers will see an increase of $5 to $10 in their monthly bill.  The new rates will provide funding to repair and replace the aging infrastructure of the water/sewer system.  A significant percentage of the water lines under our streets are nearing the end of their life expectancy and have had multiple leaks/breaks in the last few years. 

The additional funding will go directly to address these issues so that our water/sewer system continues to provide you with safe drinking water and reliable sanitary sewer service.  If you have questions about the rate increase or would like an estimate on your new monthly bill, contact Keyla in the Finance Department at 616.949.2110.


Water faucet

REGISTER TO VOTE NOW FOR NOVEMBER ELECTION.  With the Presidential election coming in November, the City Clerk's office would like to remind 17-, 18- and 19-year olds to make sure they register to vote before heading off to college this fall.  It's important that young voters register in person at City Hall or at a Secretary of State's office so they can be eligible to apply for an absentee ballot in the fall.  Those under age 60, who register through the mail, are coded with a "must vote in person" designation for their first election.  College students are often caught by this provision when they register at a rally on campus or print out an online form and send it in.  Voters can register up to six months before they turn 18 and are eligible to vote on their birthday.  For more information or to check your registration, contact Chris Berg or Karen Brower at 616.949.2110.


 Every Vote Counts button
BROADBAND CITIZEN SURVEY.  As part of the recently formed Kent County Broadband Initiative, our community is participating in Connect Michigan’s “Connected Community” program.  This project will assess the current status of broadband access, adoption and use in our area so they can develop a Broadband Technology Action Plan to improve the quality of life and economic potential across Kent County.  Take the survey online.

 Network cable

7TH ANNUAL REEDS LAKE TRAIL BLAZER.  Mark your calendars on Monday, July 4 for the annual Reeds Lake Trail Blazer.  The annual community event takes place the morning of the 4th of July and is a great start to the day's activities.  Lace up your walking or running shoes and join your friends and neighbors for a 5k walk/run through the tree-lined streets of East Grand Rapids.  A new route and starting location will be announced soon.  Stayed tuned to this e-newsletter, or like our Facebook page (facebook.com/egrcf) to get all the updates delivered to your newsfeed.

 Trail Blazer tshirt
PRESCRIPTION DRUG DROP OFF EVENT.   In association with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the EGR Public Safety Department will be participating in a nationwide effort to get unwanted and expired prescription drugs out of homes to prevent potential misuse.  On Saturday, April 30 from 10 am until 2 pm, the Public Safety Department lobby (770 Lakeside Dr SE, EGR) will be one of the participating locations where you can drop off prescription drugs with no questions asked.

If you can't make it out to drop off medications on April 30, there is a dropbox available in the Public Safety Department lobby from 8 am until 5 pm, Monday through Friday.   Prescription drugs should not be flushed down the drain as they can contaminate the water supply.

Medications dropped off at the Public Safety Department are incinerated at the Kent County Waste-To-Energy facility.

Prescription drugs
GASLIGHT VILLAGE LED LIGHTS.  Over the past few years, the city has been retrofitting city owned streetlights to LED.  This past Friday we received shipment of the lights that will be used to replace the tall overhead lights in Gaslight Village.  Please note, City staff will be placing cones in front of these lights this afternoon to indicate no parking on Friday – when the replacement will take place. You can still park there today, however. 

 Streetlight

EGR NAMED HAPPIEST CITY IN MICHIGAN.  According to a recent study by Zippia, East was named the happiest place to live in Michigan.  Read the story.

Smiley face

TORNADO DRILLS.  Kent County Emergency Management would like to remind Kent County residents that its outdoor tornado/high wind storm siren testing occurs on the first Friday of the month from April through October.  Residents can learn more about emergency preparedness using this helpful fact sheet from the county. 

 Tornado
EGR TURNED 125.  Last week, the City of East Grand Rapids turned 125!  The first village council meeting was held on April 13, 1891. You can read more about our history and view some historical photos in this article from the Cadence. 

 Birthday cake

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED.  The Huntington Reeds Lake Run and Rhoads McKee Triathlon are looking for  volunteers.  Volunteers provide a safe and fun event by controlling and directing traffic.  To register as a volunteer,  visit eastgr.org or the Parks & Recreation Department. Questions? Contact  Run & Triathlon Volunteer Coordinators   Rachel Seese  & Pam Slater  at 616.949.1750.


 Volunteers graphic

SIDEWALK MAINTENANCE.  In May, a contractor will be on site to complete all areas scheduled for sidewalk replacement.  A link to a map containing which sidewalks will be replaced can be found HERE. These areas had sidewalk trip hazards cut/ground down this past summer/fall and the same area will now have sections that could not be cut/ground down replaced.

 Sidewalk

LIBRARY WINS HIGH ACCESSIBILITY MARKS.  A new website, called "Johnny's Pass," offers reviews on public facilities in our area based on accessibility. We are proud to say the KDL – EGR Library branch, located in the EGR Community Center, received high marks for  parking, mobility and general ease of use for those with disabilities.  Meticulous planning went into the design of the center 10 years ago to ensure it would be friendly to all.  You can read the review HERE

 ADA symbol
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