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East Express | APRIL 4, 2019


The East Grand Rapids Public Schools have called a special election for Tuesday, May 7 for voters to decide on two millage proposals. Sample ballots for the May election can be viewed here. All voting locations will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. The last day to register by mail or in person anywhere but the EGR City Clerk's office for this election is Monday, April 22, 2019. In-person registration with the EGR Clerk (must show proof of residency) can take place April 23 through 8 p.m. on Monday, May 7. Contact the City at 616.949.2110 for more information.  

Absentee ballots may be obtained by visiting city offices during normal business hours or by contacting us at 616.949.2110 to arrange for a ballot by mail. 


The US Census Bureau is seeking census takers for the 2020 Census. Jobs include great pay, flexible hours, weekly pay and paid training. For more information, please visit the 2020 Census website



Learn about great food and important financial information on Tuesday, April 9 from 6:30 to 7:30 PM during Money Smart Week. Meat and cheese selections and a presentation will be provided by The Cheese Lady followed by investing tips and tricks with an Edward Jones financial expert. This event is sponsored by the West Michigan Edward Jones Foundation Fund of Grand Rapids Community Foundation. Pre-registration is required. 


The Sweetheart Dance is just around the corner! Put on your dancing shoes and enjoy an evening with your sweetheart at this year’s masquerade-themed dance. Don’t forget to wear a crazy tie for the “Craziest Tie in East” competition. Register through the online catalog at before April 9 to receive a $5 discount. 


This year, the Parks & Recreation Department will update its five-year Community Park, Recreation, Open Space and Greenway Plan. By updating and submitting this plan to the state, Parks & Recreation will be able to apply for grants from 2020-2025, which will help continue the improvement and development of EGR’s facilities and grounds. Later this month, a survey will be available for residents to submit their input. The two public workshops will be held on June 10 and July 8 at 6:30 p.m. in room 102 at the Community Center. 

The Department of Public Works began regular service this week. As a reminder, for the start of spring pickup, the placement of loose leaves in the street is NOT permitted. Yard waste guidelines and additional information are available by visiting our website.  



In 2015, EGR residents passed a ballot proposal to allow the City to collect 2.0 mills for street and sidewalk improvements. Since the passing, the City has worked aggressively to upgrade the 47 miles of streets and 80 miles of sidewalks within the City.   

The City follows asset management best practices by rating every street each year through PASER ratings. Street projects are determined by the asset condition in conjunction with coordinating/planning public utility improvements within appropriated budgets. The City Commission recently approved the “spring cycle” of street projects. Notices have been or will be mailed to impacted streets. Coordinated utility work has been completed for Woodlawn between Maplewood and Berwyck and work on Englewood between Breton and Exeter is being completed this week into the beginning of next week.  

The sidewalk improvement target area construction will take place this summer and fall along with water and sewer utility projects.   

All spring project information is available by visiting our construction webpage.


Crews will exercise water main valves April 1-12 in zones six and seven between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. During this time, there should be no disruption to service.   

Following the exercising of water main valves, crews will flush water out of fire hydrants (flushing mains) in zones six and seven between April 15 and mid/end of May between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. During this time, there may be limited disruption to service, low pressure or discolored water from mineral deposits being flushed out of the mains.  

If discolored water is noticed, turn on a faucet nearest to the water service coming into your home, which is typically in a basement, for several minutes while the natural minerals are flushed out. If you notice discoloration in your water, we encourage you not to do laundry to avoid staining clothes. 

The City mailed out notice cards to residents in zones six and seven on March, 15 and DPW crews will also place notice signs in the right-of-way in areas they are flushing. 

For additional information and zone maps please visit the water sewer systems webpage. If you have any questions, please call Public Works at 616.940.4870. 



Last fall the City Commission amended the city’s fence ordinance in regard to corner lots. The new ordinance now requires a fence permit be obtained before any new fence installation may occur. Click here for the new ordinance and permit application.

Trash Bins 
A reminder that trash bins are to be placed behind your house or in your garage. If the side of your house is the only place they can be housed, they must be screened in a way that makes them inconspicuous to adjacent properties and the street. There are no regulations on yard waste bins, however, we politely ask that residents keep their yard waste bins behind their house until the day of pick up. 

Grass and Weeds 
Any grass or noxious weeds above five inches in height are considered a nuisance and a violation of City ordinance. Please stay up to speed with your yard maintenance and make accommodations if you plan on leaving for a long period of time. The city provides yard waste pick up on a weekly basis. 

Residential Zoning Guide 
Thinking about doing an addition to your home, but don’t know what the guidelines are? Check out this residential zoning guide that contains all the necessary zoning requirements for residential projects. A zoning map can be found on the City’s website to help you in figuring out which residential zoning district your property is in. 


The City of East Grand Rapids has a long-standing relationship with Cascade Inspection Services to review plans, issue permits and inspect construction activity for compliance with the statewide building codes.   

All communities that participate in this agreement benefit from the consolidated services Cascade Township offers. As a result of this collaboration, permit fees to remain low for all parties involved and our residents are able to take advantage of a wider variety and higher level of services than if our communities operated individually. By working together, there are great efficiencies achieved and each community’s participation is vital to the success of the partnership. 

Currently, Ada Township, Cascade Township, the City of East Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Township, Lowell Township, Plainfield Township and Vergennes Township participate in the group. 

Specifically, these partnerships allow Cascade Inspection Services to employ a full-time staff member and offer the following advanced services: 
  • Reduced permit fees  
  • Professional staff 
  • Next day service for inspections 
  • Shorter plan review turn-around 
  • Online permitting (including the recently added building permit module) 
  • Online inspection requests 
  • Email notification of inspection results 
Overall, these partnerships ensure that buildings around our community and surrounding areas comply with the state code – and keep residents safe – while reducing common violations.  

These mutually beneficial partnerships do not require any General Fund (TAX) dollars.  Operations are funded entirely from permit fees and used completely to provide inspection services throughout the partner communities. 

For more information, visit the Cascade Inspection Services website.


The City has been monitoring the existence of Gypsy Moth within a few pockets in the southwest part of the City.  

At the March 18 City Commission meeting, a variety of treatment approaches were approved. The City is partnering with Hamilton Helicopters, Inc. to perform gypsy moth spray treatment in May/June of 2019. The exact day and time of the spray will be determined by weather, including rain and wind conditions. The City will also provide tree wrap bands to residents within the impacted area. Residents within this area may stop by the Public Works Administration office in the lower level of City Hall to pick up tree wrap bands (once available). Additional details regarding the spray treatment will be sent out by a mailed notice and announced via this e-newsletter and on the City's Facebook page. 

For additional informational/educational materials, maps and notices, please visit our forestry webpage. If you have questions or comments, please contact the Public Works Administration office at 616.940.4817. 

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