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East Express E-Newsletter
April 20, 2017


EGR NAMED A BEST SUBURB. East Grand Rapids was recently named the second best suburb in Michigan, according to Niche. Thanks to all our residents and staff who make our community such a special place to live.  

Niche Logo

LANNIE ROSS RETIRES. Please join us in wishing Lannie Ross a fond farewell as he retires on April 28 after 25 years with the Public Works Department. When asked about his favorite part of his years in East Grand Rapids, Lannie immediately mentioned his coworkers.
Read more about Lannie here.   


 Lannie Ross

SMART911. The Kent County Dispatch Authority is investing in the community’s safety by adopting Smart911, a nationwide service that allows individuals to create an online safety profile for their household – providing key information to 911 call takers during an emergency. 
 
This information enables faster and more effective emergency response by law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services. When Smart911 enrolled citizens make 911 calls, their safety profile is automatically displayed to dispatchers, providing them with an enhanced level of information that can assist in assigning the correct public safety responders. 
 
To learn more and to register, click here

Smart 911 Logo 

EGRHS ROBOTICS GOING TO WORLDS. Congratulations to the EGR Robotics team on once again qualifying for the 2017 FRC World Championships, which will be held in St. Louis. Only 3% of all FRC teams ever qualify for the world championship – Michigan is the largest and one of the most competitive FRC districts. To follow their journey and learn about their fundraising efforts, visit their Facebook page.  

 High School logo

CADENCE REPORTER JAN HOLST RETIRES. At Monday's City Commission meeting, Mayor Seibold thanked Jan Holst for her more than eight years of service as our Cadence reporter. At the end of the month, Jan will begin a well-deserved retirement. We thank Jan for her hard work and dedication to the residents of East Grand Rapids and wish her the best of luck in her next chapter! 

Jan Holst 

HOW SHOULD WE USE OUR PARKS?  Join the Parks & Recreation Commission for two round table discussions on whether City parks should allow businesses to rent public spaces for fitness classes and other recreation opportunities. What is the overall impact on our parks and community? We want your opinion.   
 
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 26 at 6:15 p.m. in the Commission Chamber located at the Community Center. Reservations are appreciated, email Fred Bunn or call 616.949.1750.  

John Collins Park 

GREASE. EGR High School’s Drama Department is excited to present Grease. Performances are April 27, April 28 and April 29 at 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center, 2211 Lake Dr SE. Tickets available at the PAC Box Office on April 22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., April 24 to 28 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and also at the door on performance nights starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets may also be ordered and purchased online. $8.00 for students, $12.00 for adults and $15.00 for the preferred seating sections. All tickets are reserved seats. Recommended for ages 13 and up due to mild adult themes.  

Theater graphic 

ABSENTEE BALLOTS AVAILABLE. Absentee ballots for the May 2 Kent ISD Millage Election are now available for those who are 60 or older, who will be out of town on election day, or those who meet the other requirements. Sample ballots and more information can be found on our website.  
 
East Grand Rapids Public Schools has also placed information on its website.    

VOTE button 

TRAILBLAZER SAVE-THE-DATE: It's hard to believe, but summer will be here before we know it. Save the date for the annual East Grand Rapids Community Foundation Reeds Lake Trail Blazer 5K Run/Walk, which will be held July 4. More information available here.   

Trail Blazer finish 

CITY COMMISSION FILING. The filing deadline to run for one of three open city commission positions is Tuesday, April 25 at 4:00 p.m. Candidates must be a registered voters who have been residents of the city for at least one year on or before the date of the election. Candidates must then fill out an affidavit of identify and submit 25 signatures from registered voters within their ward. Contact City Clerk Karen Brower at 616.949.2110 for more information. 
City Commission Chambers 

TOUCH-A-TRUCK. Save the date for this popular event! Bring your kiddos down to the Community Center on May 24 between 10 and 11:30 a.m. to learn about – and climb in – all the trucks we use to keep our City running. This event is held in collaboration with Kent District Library – East Grand Rapids branch.  

 Sewer truck

ATTENTION LAKESIDE VOTERS. Starting with the May 2 election, Lakeside School will no longer be a voting location.  Voters in Precinct 6 will now vote at the High School Performing Arts Center lobby.  
   
Located at the corner of Lake Drive and Bagley, the PAC has separate entrances on the north and south side. Voters should park in the PAC’s north (Bagley) lot and follow the “Vote Here” signs.  The south entrance can be used if walking to the polls.  Voters cannot enter through the front door of the high school as this entrance will not connect to the voting location.   
   
For more information, contact City Clerk Karen Brower at 616.949.2110. 

Moved sign 

2017/18 CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS. Construction and rehabilitation on City roads, utilities and sidewalks will beginning soon. While the City is still waiting on final bids and City Commission approval, a list of proposed projects is available on our website. We'll have more frequent updates on construction starting later this spring.  

Construction warning 

WITH SPRING COMES RAIN. During extreme rain events, roads may flood if the excess rain overwhelms the storm sewer system. During these events, the heavy rain can saturate the soil causing the increased water volume to be pushed into the streets/drains. There are things, however, residents can do to help alleviate the stress rain creates on our infrastructure:  
  
  • Please do not place yard waste in streets, place it in the out lawn (between sidewalk/curb).  Yard waste in streets makes it difficult for street sweepers to clear small debris and allows more material to clog storm drain catch basins. 
  • If catch basins are clogged, residents can help by removing debris so water can enter the drains. 
  • If you see a flooded street ahead, turn around and find a different route. A puddle appearing only a couple inches deep can be much deeper. 
  • If a heavy rain event occurs, consider moving any parked vehicles in the street to higher ground. 

Umbrella 

YARD WASTE SERVICE REMINDERS. With the beautiful weather we’ve had, many residents are working on their yards. A quick reminder on yard waste regulations.  Please remember that yard waste is not permitted in the street and needs to be placed it in the right-of-way between the sidewalk and street. Also, yard waste should be placed in paper yard waste bags or reusable 32-gallon containers with weights not exceeding 40 pounds. For your pickup day, please check the route map here.   

Yard waste truck 

STREET MAINTENANCE. This spring and summer, contractors and City crews will perform preventative maintenance and repairs around the City. Major streets such as Breton, Hall and Plymouth will receive extensive patch repairs and crack sealing along with local streets. These repairs and preventative maintenance work will be ongoing and should only cause minor interruptions. Most work will be completed on streets within one day. Thank you for your patience and understanding while crews work to improve our streets. 

Patching crew 

POTHOLE PATCHING. Crews continue to fill potholes caused from changing seasons. You can report a pothole here or by calling Public Works at 616.940.4870. 

 Pothole

SIDEWALK REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE. As part of the 2015 Streets and Sidewalks Millage, the City has invested more funds into sidewalk rehab and replacement – targeting areas around the City on an annual basis. This spring, work will take place in the area of Oakwood Drive (Breton Road to Woodlawn Avenue) south to the City limit from April to June – depending on weather and any unforeseen issues. 

 

WATER SYSTEM MAINTENANCE. Public Works performs preventative maintenance on the City water system on a routine basis.  Crews will flush water from mains out of fire hydrants now through mid-May between 8 a.m., and 3:30 p.m. in zones 8 and 9, which includes Elmwood Drive (Cornell Avenue-Breton Road) south to the south City limit and south of Hall Street (Conlon Avenue to Woodshire Avenue) south to the south City limit.   
  
The purpose of flushing water mains is to remove natural mineral deposits that build up in pipes like iron and calcium, which helps ensure a high water quality in the system. There may be limited disruption to service, low pressure or discolored water from mineral deposits being flushed out periodically during this time. If discolored water is noticed, turn on a faucet nearest to the water service coming into the home (typically in a basement) for several minutes while the natural minerals are flushed out. If this is noticed, please refrain from doing laundry so clothing is not stained. For questions or more information, please call Public Works at 616.940.4870. 

Hydrant 

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