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East Express | August 20, 2020




A NOTE FROM MAYOR FAVALE

In June, Mayor Favale wrote a letter in response to the death of George Floyd. This week, she writes again, urging EGR residents and community members to become more involved by learning about and engaging our Public Safety Department. Read her full letter on our website.



CITY MANAGER’S OFFICE & FINANCE

Vote
A LETTER FROM THE CLERK ON ABSENTEE VOTING 
There have been many news stories and social media conversations recently about absentee ballots vs. voting in person. City Clerk Karen Brower shares how the City administers elections to ensure every vote counts so you can decide between in-person and absentee voting come November. Read her full letter on our website.  



PUBLIC SAFETY

Accreditation Presentation, Herald, Favale, Kolster, LaFave

EGR PUBLIC SAFETY EARNS ACCREDITATION STATUS
After an extensive, three-year review and implementation period, our cross-trained department, which offers police, fire and medical first response services, has completed the MLEAC’s law enforcement accreditation process and was granted accredited status. The MLEAC recognized the department at Monday’s City Commission meeting. Our department is one of 25 accredited departments in the state of Michigan which has 600 police agencies.

To learn more about this recognition the accreditation process, read our latest press release.  

BACK TO SCHOOL SAFETY
The East Grand Rapids crossing guards are excited and ready for the upcoming school year! During their annual training this August, the guards not only went over the usual protocols, but also reviewed their COVID-19 procedures and the EGRPS Return to Learning plan.

“We love being here for the kids and it’s extremely rewarding to give back to the community in this way,” said Jean Timmer, crossing guard supervisor. “We’ve discussed our COVID-19 protocols at length and just as always, we’re prepared to help students through rain, shine, hail and snow — pandemic or not.”

To learn more about the program and review back-to-school safety tips, visit our website.  



PARKS & RECREATION
VIRTUAL FALL PROGRAM GUIDE
Searching for ways to stay active? Flip through our virtual Fall Program Guide! Due to COVID-19, this season’s offerings are primarily listed online. Please note the following:
  • The fall program guide will NOT be sent by mail this season
  • All programming will adhere to CDC, State and local guidelines. Visit our website to view our health and safety protocols.
  • We will update our virtual guide on a weekly basis to provide you the most current information.
  • You will continue to register for classes via Rec 1.
  • We also welcome phone enrollments as well as in-person registration at 750 Lakeside Dr.
  • Back-to-school details, including sports leagues, are still pending. We will update you as we learn more from Gov. Whitmer and EGRPS. 
Fall Program Guide

CONCERTS & MOVIES IN THE PARK 

Thank you to all who participated in our movie and concert series this summer and followed our protocols to help everyone enjoy the entertainment safely. We could have not held successful events without your help!

Our last event for the season is a screening of The Secret Life of Pets 2 in John Collins Park on Aug. 21. For a list of COVID-19 safety measures and protocols as well as park rules, please visit eastgr.org/recreation.

Concerts and Movies in the Park are brought to you by The Brouwers Agency, Auto-Owners Insurance and Consumers Credit Union.
 

PUBLIC WORKS
CONSTRUCTION UPDATE 

Looking for information on EGR construction projects? Visit our construction webpage for weekly updates.  
 
MOBILITY_BIKE ACTION PLAN (2)

UPCOMING MOBILITY/BICYCLE ACTION PLAN WORKSHOP 
Thank you to all those who participated in our first public workshop on July 27. This was the first of three sessions during which the City, in collaboration with Progressive AE, will seek community conversation and input. At this meeting, we asked how people get around EGR, what concerns they might have and where new or improved pedestrian and bike facilities are needed. A large map at John Collins Park was filled with comments.

Join us on Tuesday, Aug. 25 from 5 to 7 p.m. in John Collins Park where we will focus on setting a vision, creating goals and prioritizing routes. There will be three stations where you will be asked to:
  • Review proposed vision and goals, confirm if you agree, and identify what is missing
  • Verify proposed street types and identify priority bicycle and pedestrian route
  • Interact with different bicycle facility types that may be implemented in the future
You can also lend your voice to the conversation by completing our SECOND survey.

We look forward to seeing you there! 

TREE PLANTING PROGRAM
Interested in having a new tree planted in the outlawn area in front of your home? Split the cost 50/50 with the City! The estimated total cost of a tree is between $350-$450 which includes a two-inch diameter tree between 12-14 feet tall, planting, mulching and a two-year warranty.

Interested residents should complete an order form and send it to or drop it off at the City Forester at City Hall (750 Lakeside Drive SE) by Oct. 1. Planting occurs in the fall, between October and December, depending on the weather.

Questions related to the tree planting program can be directed to Mike Ferris at 616.940.4817 or mferris@eastgr.org. To learn more about the City’s tree planting program, please visit our Forestry webpage.  

BOATS, TRAILERS AND RVS
As summer winds down, we’d like to remind residents that outdoor storage of boats, trailers and RVs is allowed for up to 72 hours on streets and driveways. Otherwise, they must be stored indoors, or in a rear yard only, and then they must be reasonably shielded from view. Not all properties can accommodate such storage, so you may have to use offsite storage.

PROTECT YOUR WATERSHED & WATER QUALITY
Public Works reminds residents that only rain goes in the drain as the City maintains a storm sewer system that discharges storm water into local watersheds. Help reduce flooding and have a positive impact on water quality in our local watersheds by:
  • Keeping yard waste and debris out of the street. Debris can clog catch basins which can cause temporary flooding of streets and can also fill catch basins and end up ultimately in the watershed. You can help by clearing any accumulation of leaves and debris and properly disposing of these items in your yard waste bags or container. You can also help by not blowing or sweeping grass clippings or leaves into the street.
  • Cleaning up after your pets. Pet waste is a major source of bacteria and nutrients that are harmful to waterways. Pet waste that is not properly disposed of can end up getting into storm drain catch basins and into our watersheds.
  • Using fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides sparingly and following manufacturer's instructions or use alternative natural methods.
For information on the Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds please visit: lgrow.org.

RAIN

SUMMER 2020 GYPSY MOTH UPDATE
Please visit our Forestry webpage for an update and additional information on gypsy moths in East Grand Rapids.  



COMMUNITY PARTNERS
EAST GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC SCHOOLS

2020 WELCOME LETTER

Read Superintendent Dr. Heidi S. Kattula's 2020 Community Welcome Letter.

ONE EAST
In 45 days this summer, One East raised more than $460,000 to help our schools make it through the budget crisis caused by COVID-19. Organized by the East Grand Rapids Schools Foundation, One East brought together organizations including the EGR Community Foundation, PTO’s, East alumni, teachers, teams, families and booster groups.

Together, we were able to average more than $10,000 a day in donations, all without being able to gather for a party or a committee meeting. When the story of how our community rallied to make it through this pandemic is written, one chapter will read that when our schools told us they needed our help, we answered their call.

One East is only one part of the support the Foundation will give to our schools this year. Thanks to our donors and the strong base of the Foundation’s endowment, the Foundation will be able to contribute an additional $334,000 to our schools this school year to fund vital programs. We’re also funding more than $24,000 in professional development for our teachers, and we provided $54,000 to the district to purchase state of the art robotic air sanitizing machines to help make the return to school safer. Together with the $462,000 raised through One East, that means the Foundation and its supporters will provide our schools with more than $870,000 this school year.

Thank you to our donors. Thank you to our volunteers who held garage sales and collected and returned more than 150,000 bottles and cans. Thank you to the kids who baked cakes and sold flowers to support the schools they love. Thank you, to all of you from all of us!



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