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East Express E-Newsletter
January 05, 2017

As we face low temperatures again this winter, pipes and water meters can freeze as temperatures remain below freezing for extended periods of time. The City is responsible for water service from the curb stop in the right-of-way to the water main in the street. Property owners are responsible for their water service from the curb stop to and throughout their property. Check out these tips help protect your pipes from freezing. 

Broken pipe 

CHRISTMAS TREE-HOLIDAY WREATH PICKUP. Christmas trees, holiday wreaths and other natural plant-based decorations will be picked up on the grass side of the curb by Public Works Tuesday, Jan. 3 through Friday, Jan. 13 following regular yard waste collection routes. (Monday's route on January 2 will be collected on Tuesday, Jan. 3.) The City is not able to collect trees, wreaths or other holiday decorations that have wire, ornaments, lights, etc. on/part of them as the trees and wreaths are chipped/recycled. Please make sure any of these items placed out are only natural, plant-based material.

 Christmas tree

SIDEWALK PLOWING. Public Works continues to work hard to keep streets and sidewalks cleared of snow during the winter season.  City sidewalk plow operators plow approximately 80 miles of sidewalks after snow accumulation of three inches or more, and only after all priority street routes have been cleaned.  Sidewalk safety routes to school are cleaned as needed to ensure sidewalks are clear prior to the start of school. For more information on sidewalk plowing, click here

Sidewalk plow

If you have a fire hydrant near your home, please consider helping Public Safety by keeping snow piles away from the hydrants or shoveling out around the hydrant after heavy snows. Public Safety officers do make the rounds and shovel where necessary, but traffic issues, accidents and other duties may keep them from getting to all the hydrants in a timely manner. If there is a fire in your neighborhood, seconds count, and taking the time to dig out a fire hydrant to attach hoses can make a difference in fighting a fire. Thanks for any help you can give!

 Fire hydrant

PHIL SKAGGS STEPS DOWN AS COMMISSIONER. After serving on the East Grand Rapids City Commission for nearly five years, Phil Skaggs will step down from his position as he transitions into his newly elected role as a Kent County Commissioner. Read more.

 Phil Skaggs

Tax return season is here. Did you know that you can easily print and view your tax bill online? To learn how, click here.



ICE SAFETY. WOOD TV8's Sarah Hurwitz stopped by Reeds Lake to talk with our Public Safety Dept. and learn more about ice safety. The EGR Public Safety Dept. never recommends going out on the ice. In the unfortunate incident that someone should fall through, our officers are trained for rescue with speciality equipment. See the story here

 Ice skater

SWEETHEART DANCE. The annual Sweetheart Dance (formerly the Daddy Daughter Dance) will be held on Saturday, Feb. 11 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Girls from age four to the eighth grade are invited to bring their dad, grandpa, uncle or special friend to this Valentine’s Day themed event. Enjoy delicious desserts and make a special craft to bring home. “Dates” will compete for the most outrageous heart-themed tie. It’s sure to be a magical night! For more information, click here

 Dancing couple

Already dreaming of warmer weather? The Parks & Recreation Dept. Spring Brochure will be arriving in the mail over the next week or so. Check out all the great new programs
 that will debut as well as longtime favorite.


ast’s 13th annual all student produced play, this new adaptation of the play, which inspired She Loves Me and You’ve Got Mail, is a warm, gentle comedy that follows the tangled tale of Parfumerie employee George Horvath. For the employees of the Parfumerie, only the truth can lead to a happy resolution in this old fashioned, romantic tale.  January 13 & 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the Little AuditoriumTickets available at the door or in the High School main hallway the week of the show from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

 Drama mask

SCRATCH CODING CLUB. Scratch is a website for eight to 16 year-olds who want to build games, interactive stories and animations through code blocks. During these volunteer-led weekly sessions, kids will learn technical skills and help each other work on projects. Attendees are strongly encouraged to bring their own laptop with Wi-fi capabilitiesif possible, or arrive early to claim one of the limited number of computers available on a first-come first-served basis. Sponsored by Friends of the East Grand Rapids Library. Weekly on Tuesdays from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

 KDL logo
KDL WEATHER OR NOT! Enjoy clever crafts that teach about the weather. Design a cloud identifier, create a tornado in a bottle and build rain gauges and anemometers to measure wind! Ages six or older are invited to drop-in on Sunday, Jan. 15 between 2 and 4 p.m.  


BRUTAL GRACE: JIM HARRISON'S MICHIGAN. Michigan native Jim Harrison (1937-2016) was a singular voice in American literature -- fierce, lyrical, mythical and rooted in the natural world. Harrison's Michigan is by turns harsh and beautiful, with irascible characters, lovable creatures and an evocative landscapes. Fellow author Liesel Litzenburger Meijer shares her long-time familiarity with Jim and her own literary perspective, drawing on the words of others whose insights create a compelling portrait of one of our most important contemporary writers.

Event will be held on Thursday, Jan. 12 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Commission Chambers.
 If weather requires this event to be cancelled, it will be held the following week on January 19. Sponsored by Friends of the East Grand Rapids Library.


Kent District Library's 11th Annual Teen Filmmaking Contest submission deadline is Friday, Jan 20. For more information, click here

 Film maker

The best time of year to trim and prune most trees/shrubs is during the winter months (from late fall to early spring) when they are dormant. Since they are not active during this time, trimming/pruning is less stressful and they have more time to adequately seal and heal before the growing season starts in the spring. Learn more about tree/shrub trimming/pruning here


 Please remember, EGR has "rear-yard pickup" regulation of household trash to keep our streets from becoming cluttered with trash containers. Waste containers must be kept next to the house or garage or out of sight behind the structure -- not brought to the curb. Thank you for your attention in this matter.

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