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East Express | September 17, 2020


Election Update

Absentee ballots for the Nov. 3 Presidential Election are expected to be delivered to our offices soon. Once received, we will begin the process of getting ballots out to our residents who have requested them. We’re hoping to begin mailing the ballots the week of September 28. Stay tuned for updates! If you haven’t yet requested an absentee ballot, visit our website for more information
You can also visit the Michigan Secretary of State’s webpage to make sure we’ve received your application form or to check your voter registration.   

If you’ve moved recently, please make sure you’ve updated your voter registration prior to election day. Not registered yet? Get it taken care of early by visiting our office. Questions? Call us at 616.949.2110.

At its meeting on September 8, the City Commission reviewed the advertising materials, community profile and suggested timeline to begin the search for a new city manager. The commission will be working with the Michigan Municipal League to recruit and screen candidates for this important position with the hope of conducting interviews late in 2020.
Whether for fundraisers, yard sales, contractors or political candidates, temporary signs are very popular around this time of year. If you are planning to have a sign in your yard, please note there are a few rules to follow:
  • Temporary signs must be at least five feet back from the public sidewalk.
  • Contractor signs are allowed only during the work – not from when you sign the deal until the last payment is made. You can always have your contractor contact us about specific questions.
  • Signs are never allowed between the sidewalk and the street, especially where clear vision would be obstructed, or anywhere else on public property.
  • Signs may not be attached to utility poles or street lamps.
Questions? Give us a call at 616.940.4817.

Looking to get involved? The Kent County Board of Commissioners is seeking residents interested in serving on various County boards, commissions and committees for 2021.

Any Kent County resident may apply by completing an online application form by September 30 via the County's website at Resumes and cover letters are encouraged and may be attached. 

Mayor Favale has organized another blood drive for Tuesday, Sept. 29 from 2 to 7 p.m. in room 105 at the Community Center. COVID-19 antibody tests will be performed on all blood donations as part of standard testing. Learn more and sign up today! 

If residents choose to hold block parties on National Night Out, which was rescheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 6, please contact Public Safety at 616.949.7010 so our officers can join you in important community conversations as well as bring around the cruisers and/or firetruck for the kids. 

We ask all those holding block parties to continue practicing social distancing and avoid serving food. As a reminder, outdoor gatherings are currently limited to 100 people under Gov. Whitmer’s MI Safe Start Plan.   

National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie. Learn more about National Night Out.

Community Engagement Sessions

Join the EGR Public Safety Department for its next Community Engagement Session on October 22 at 7 p.m. You will have the opportunity to meet your officers, learn more about the department and discuss topics important to EGR. All residents, employees and community members are welcome to attend. RSVP is not required. Stay tuned for a meeting agenda.  

The Kent County Dispatch Center is currently utilizing Smart 911, which allows citizens to create an online safety profile that can assist responders when a 911 call is placed from a pre-registered phone number. Information such as the names and ages of people in the home, medical conditions and pets can aid responders during an emergency, such as a house fire. For more information or to set up a profile, please visit  

Looking for information on EGR construction projects? Visit our Construction webpage for weekly updates.  
On Monday, Sept. 14, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced that it will conduct targeted aerial spraying in high-risk areas within 10 counties throughout Michigan to combat further spread of Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Read the full press release on the MDHHS website.

Kent County is listed among the 10 counties, however, treatment by MDHHS will ONLY take place in areas where there are positive tests, which have only been found in a small northeastern area of the county. East Grand Rapids does not currently have any positive tests. A treatment map can be viewed here. Please note certain athletic events and activity times may be impacted by EEE this year.

For additional information on EEE, including how to prevent mosquito bites, we recommend reading the MDHHS press release and visit the KCHD’s EEE webpage.

Thank you to all those who participated in our first public workshop on August 25. This was the second of three sessions during which the City, in collaboration with Progressive AE, will seek community conversation and input. Stay tuned for our next meeting date and additional details.

Please note that the City will also be implementing a few demonstration sites to solicit feedback on potential changes for facilities in the future as part of the plan’s community engagement process. Details will be shared soon for the community to participate in and provide feedback.  
For information regarding 5G small cells, please refer to our Small Cell webpage for the most accurate and reliable data, including a comprehensive FAQ sheet, maps and more.  

Leaf pile

Fall leaf pickup begins Monday, Oct. 12 and will end during the week of Dec. 4. During this time, leaves may be placed out without being placed in containers. Leaves should be placed along or in the street without obstructing the traveled portion of the roadway and away from storm sewer catch basins.  Yard waste rules and regulations can be found on our Refuse Collection webpage.

Storm debris placed along the street for yard waste pick up should not obstruct the sidewalk nor the roadway.  

There's still time to have have a new tree planted in the out-lawn area in front of your home. Split the cost 50/50 with the City! The estimated total cost of a tree (to be split with the City) 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 October 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 To learn more about the City’s tree planting program, please visit our Forestry webpage.  

Have you been taking on DIY projects around the house over the past few months? When you’re finished, please remember to dispose of hazardous waste such as paint properly. You can find SafeChem drop-off locations and more information on hazardous waste at

Learn more about what you can do to keep out watershed clean and healthy at

Starting Monday, Sept. 21, the EGR KDL branch will be open for its pre-covid hours with the exception of Sundays. The library will continue offering curbside service during regular hours as well.

Learn more by visiting

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