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East Express | FEBRUARY 7, 2019


Any outage reports and questions regarding power restoration can be directed to Consumers Energy by calling 800.477.5050 or by visiting

While Public Works crews cannot restore power, they are working hard to address the icy roads and maintain public operations while also addressing the downed trees and limbs. Water/sewer utilities continue to operate as we have been using our backup generators. 
Please call 616-940-4870 to report any downed trees or limbs over sidewalks or streets if you do not already see barricades or caution tape up.  If you see barricades or caution tape the City already has the location noted. The City will be picking up storm debris per the City yard waste policy regulations over the next few weeks. The pickup will follow normal weekly pickup day routes from Monday, Feb. 11 through Friday, Feb. 22.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all work together to clean up after the storm.

The Community Center is running on a generator and we have heat. If you or someone you know is without power and the house is getting too uncomfortable, please feel free to come over and warm up. In addition to our lobby areas, the Library branch is open from 12 noon until 8 p.m. with lots of comfortable chairs, tables and, of course, things to read. Please spread the word to any elderly in the area that may need to warm up.



After an extensive search process, we are happy to announce that Emmanuel (Manny) Toribio has accepted our offer to become our next City Manager. Joining us from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, Manny has 12 years of municipal experience and truly impressed the City Commission during his interview. He will be relocating to the area with his wife, Emily, and infant daughter, Elena.  

We hope you will join us in welcoming him to East Grand Rapids. Learn more about Manny by reading our press release announcing his new position.



The Parks & Recreation Dept. Spring Program Guide is live — check out all the great offerings available!


Contractors hired by residents/businesses must be licensed with the City of East Grand Rapids and adhere to the following regulations: 

  • * Snow shall not be deposited in the street or in public sidewalks. 

  • *Snow shall be deposited behind the curb (or where curbs do not exist, off the traveled portion of the roadway) along the same side of the street as the driveway being plowed. 

  • *Snow shall not be deposited across the street from the driveway being plowed.   

  • *Snow shall not be deposited around fire hydrants.   

Licenses may be obtained through the Finance Department.  Complaints/concerns with respect to private snow plow contractors may be directed to the Department of Public Safety by calling 616-949-7010.  Please provide as much detailed information as possible when reporting complaints, for example time/date, what occurred, business name, plate number and photos or video if possible. Learn more about Winter Street & Sidewalk Plowing on our website. 



Building snow forts can be a fun winter outdoor activity for children in the community, but it can also be dangerousThe City asks parents to help protect and educate children about appropriate areas to play outside and discuss the dangers with them. City plow crews operate large, heavy equipment and it is difficult to see children playing in the road right of way (area between sidewalk and street) where snow piles can accumulate. Please help make sure children are playing in a safe area that is away from the street.



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 services 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. 

To learn more on how to prevent your pipes from freezing and what to do if they do, please read our news article.



If you have a fire hydrant near your home, please consider helping the Department of 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.



Department of Public Works employees ask for help to keep storm sewer catch basins free from snow and ice during winter months to help prevent localized flooding.  While staff routinely clears catch basins help from residents is appreciated. 



KDL will hold two Meet the Author! events featuring award-winning children’s authors over the next month: 

On Feb. 25, from 6 to 7 p.m., Hena Kahn, will visit the library for a meet and greet and book signing. Her books, including Amina’s Voice, will be available for purchase. Visit her website to learn more about her and her work: 

At 6 p.m. on March 7, Denise Brennan Nelson will be giving a fun and engaging presentation. Visit her website to learn more about her books: www.denisebrennannelson.comThese events are sponsored by the Friends of the East Grand Rapids Library. 



Fathers, grandpas, uncles and special friends—make sure your sweetheart's first dance is a special one by taking her to this year's masquerade-themed Sweetheart Dance! The evening includes your sweetheart's choice of corsage, crafts, music and dancing, delicious desserts, and two themed photo backdrops to help capture this unforgettable evening. To learn more information and register, please visit



Assessment Notices will be mailed by Feb. 18, 2019. The Assessor’s Review will be held Feb. 25-26, 2019. March Board of Review hearings will be held March 11-12, 2019.  You can call 616.940.4818 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday to make an appointment for either upon receipt of your notice.  Please review your Assessment Notice as Assessor’s Review and March Board of Review are the only times a valuation issue can be resolved. 

The Consumer Price Index for assessment purposes for the 2019 year is 2.4%. If there was NOT a transfer of ownership on your property in 2018, your 2019 taxable value is calculated by multiplying your 2018 taxable value by 1.024.  Physical changes of your property may also increase or decrease your taxable value. If there was a transfer of ownership on your property in 2018, your 2019 taxable value will be the same as your 2019 state equalized value. 

If you have any questions, contact Assessor Vicki Vander Lugt at or Deputy Assessor Stacey Hayes at or call 616-940-4818. 


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