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East Express | May 2, 2019

May Election 

The East Grand Rapids Schools have called a special election for Tuesday, May 7 for two millage questions. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day at all six EGR precincts.  Absentee ballots may be obtained from the City offices up until 4 p.m. on Monday, May 6. Stop by our offices, call us at 616.949.2110 or visit our website for more information and to download a sample ballot.

Assessor’s Office Update 

The deadline for filing a Homeowner’s Principal Residence Exemption Affidavit is June 1, 2019.  If you recently bought a home, you may qualify for this exemption. You can only claim the exemption on one home (in Michigan or any other state) and you must own and occupy by the June 1 deadline. Most title companies have you fill this form out at closing. 

The initial request for Conditional Rescission of a Principal Residence Exemption form must be submitted to the assessor by June 1, 2019. This exemption enables a person who has purchased a home and reestablished their Principal Residence Exemption (PRE) to continue to have the reduced school operating millage on the home they are in the process of selling. An owner may receive a PRE on the previous principal residence for up to three years if that property is for sale, is not rented or leased, and is not used for any business or commercial purpose. 

Contact the assessor’s office at 616.940.4818 or email for additional information and the forms. Forms are also available on our website.  

Participate in Parks & Recreation Survey 

The Community Park, Recreation, Open Space and Greenway Plan update is underway! Provide your feedback to the Parks & Recreation Department by filling out its survey and attending the public workshops on June 10 and July 8 at 6:30 p.m. in room 102 in the Community Center. 

By updating and submitting this plan to the state, Parks & Recreation will be able to apply for grants from 2020-2025 that will help continue the improvement and development of EGR’s parks, natural spaces and recreation opportunities. Your feedback allows the department to present a genuine representation of residents’ desires for the City’s improvement. 

Reeds Lake Run  

Save the date for the Reeds Lake Run on June 22, sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. All ages can participate in this family-friendly event! More information, registration and volunteer sign-ups can be found at

May is National Water Safety Month! 

Whether out on the beach, enjoying time at a neighbor’s pool or visiting one the City’s pools this summer, water safety is incredibly important. Here are some tips for you and your family — even your pets: 

1. Always swim with a buddy. 
2. Stay within arm’s reach of young children and avoid distractions. 
3. Rescue equipment and phones should be close by in case of emergency. 
4. Store toys not in use away from the pool area to avoid accidents. 
5. Not all pets can swim — if out on a boat, make sure your furry friend has its own life jacket. 

You can learn more about water safety at


Construction Update  

Want stay updated on all the construction in EGR? Visit our construction webpage — it’s updated on a weekly basis. 

National Public Works Week-Touch a Truck Event 

The week of May 19-25 is recognized by the American Public Works Association (APWA) as National Public Works Week. The East Grand Rapids Department of Public Works will be partnering with the EGR Kent District Library on May 22 for a story time at 10 a.m. followed by Touch a Truck in the parking lot north of the library at the municipal complex until noon.  

This year the APWA theme poster is “It Starts Here.”  This theme represents the many facets of modern civilization that grow out of the efforts put forth by the public works professionals. What starts here? Infrastructure starts with public works... Growth and innovation starts with public works... Mobility starts with public works... Security starts with public works... Healthy communities start with public works...  

The bottom line is that citizens' quality of life starts with public works. 


 Trees and Shrubs Obstructing Sidewalks and Clear Vision Areas  

The City Code prohibits trees, shrubs, etc. from obstructing public ways and clear vision areas. With spring upon us trees and plants are growing.  Residents are asked to make sure that trees or shrubs, bushes, etc. are clear from impeding the sidewalks. The required height for clearance over sidewalk is 10 feet. Clear vision areas at street corners may not have plant height in excess of 30 inches in 20-foot by 20-foot triangle areas adjacent to street corners. Properly maintaining trees and shrubs adjacent to sidewalks and streets helps keep pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists safe.  


Tall Grass Reminder 

The Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) adopted by the City allows for a maximum height limit of grass at five (5) inches.    

Boats, Trailers and RVs 

Are you dreaming of getting your big toys out and ready for the season? 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 might have to seek offsite storage for your “recreational unit.” 

Tree Maintenance Reminder 

The City would like to remind residents who participated in the 50/50 tree planting program this past year that the trees need to be watered. Please reference the tree planting and maintenance guidelines that were sent along with the purchase of trees for additional care guidelines. 


If you are planning maintenance, replacement or constructing a fence you may need a fence permit. Visit our website to view fence ordinance regulations as well as the free permit application.  

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