View Other Items in this Archive | View All Archives | Printable Version

East Express Header Summer 2018

East Express | September 19, 2019


Q: Are there any plans to develop the empty property that is currently behind the parking ramp, and how will that affect Gaslight Village?

A: We have had very exciting news regarding Gaslight Village. Jade Pig, who redeveloped the old Jacobson's store and reignited the business district a dozen years ago, has announced they are preparing to develop the vacant property behind the parking ramp, and are projecting a $30 million investment. They see Gaslight Village as a huge success they want to build upon. The plans have not yet been brought to the City.

Gaslight is going strong! For example, I recently spoke to the owner of our newest business, MIX. He told me that after looking all over the Grand Rapids area — over a dozen locations — he knew he wanted to be in Gaslight. There weren’t any properties available at the time so he kept an eye out, and even before Subway announced they were leaving (Subway closed over 1,000 stores closed nationally), he was able to secure the spot for MIX. And MIX is already seeing almost double its projected business! 

Through the efforts of the new master plan, City staff have recently brought zoning changes to the City Commission for approval. These changes will allow Gaslight to adapt to changing business environments. One of the suggestions in the Master Plan was to encourage a boutique hotel. But will there be a hotel?  That is unknown; it would be up to someone to bring forward such a project, but it is now allowed under our changed zoning. We want to be sure we keep up with what our business district needs to stay vibrant.


Join the Mayor and City Commissioners in Gaslight Village at the grand re-opening of Coldwell Banker this afternoon from 4 to 6 p.m. More details can be found on Facebook


Calvin University will host a fireworks display on Saturday, Oct. 5 at approximately 8 p.m. over the northwest corner of its campus. The 15-minute show is part of its homecoming festivities and the entire community is invited to participate in many of the activities planned for the day. More information can be found on Calvin’s homecoming website.

Please spread the word about the fireworks so people aren’t caught off guard when the show starts. 

EGR Goes Organic


Join us this Saturday, Sept. 21 at John Collins Park for the EGR Grows Green event! From 1 to 4 p.m., there will be free face painting, live music, a bounce house and organic yogurt snacks for all to enjoy as we celebrate with Stonyfield Organic for their aid in helping us transition two of our parks from traditional lawn care treatment to organic turf maintenance. 


Have you reviewed the Community Park, Recreation, Open Space and Greenway Plan? You can do so until Sept. 26. Take a look at it online or visit City Hall, the Parks & Rec. Department or the library for a hard copy. 
Comments on the plan can be submitted in writing or by email to Fred Bunn at

yard waste


Fall leaf pickup begins Monday, Oct. 14 and will end on Friday, Dec. 6. During fall leaf season, 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. Please view yard waste rules and regulations on our website.

* Please note that any storm debris placed along the street for yard waste pick up should not obstruct the sidewalk nor the roadway.  

Visit our construction webpage — which is updated weekly — for current information on construction projects in EGR. 


The Parks and Recreation Department is offering a plethora of fun classes to brighten up those winter days. Here are two that may catch your eye: 

Holiday Card Making 
Looking to be creative for the holidays? Join Debbi Bell in this fun card making class and learn how to create unique cards that can be sent out to friends and family. 
$63 R / $78 NR 

Learn techniques in watercolor and how to control it to create beautiful works of art. Step-by-step instruction is offered while implementing your own unique twist.  
$106 R / $126 NR 


The last day to register to vote in the Nov. 5 election is Monday, Oct. 21. Stop by City Hall or any Secretary of State’s office to register. You can also obtain an absentee ballot and check your voter registration details on our elections webpage


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. 
  • They 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 telephone poles or street lamps.  
Questions? Give Public Works a call at 616.940.4817. 


The City’s tree planting program allows residents to have a new tree planted in the out-lawn area (between the sidewalk and curb) in front of their home. The program is a cost share between the requesting property owner and the City where each pays for 50 percent of the tree. The City has a variety of trees to select from on the order form, which provides descriptions of each tree as well as appropriate out-lawn area and overhead wire requirements. 
The estimated total cost of a tree is between $350-$450. This cost includes a two-inch diameter tree that will be between 12- and 14-feet tall, planting, mulching and a two-year warranty. Residents are asked to care for the tree after it is planted which includes watering and fertilizing as needed. The warranty does not cover trees that die as the result of being drought stricken or weed whipped. 
Planting occurs in the fall between October and December, depending on the weather. Residents interested in having a tree planted in their out-lawn should complete an order form and send or drop off to the City Forester at City Hall — 750 Lakeside Drive SE — by Oct. 1. Questions related to the tree planting program may be directed to Mike Ferris at 616.940.4817 or
For more information, please visit our forestry webpage


The City has partnered with other local jurisdictions through the Grand Valley Metro Council (GVMC) and Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds (LGROW) to promote water quality for our watersheds while also mitigating localized flooding by creating an online “adopt a drain” portal.

What Does it Mean To Adopt a Drain?  
By pledging to keep your drain free of leaves and debris, you are joining your neighbors in helping to protect the environment, manage stormwater, and minimize flooding.  

How to Care For Your Adopted Drain
Check the weather report weekly. If possible, clear leaves and debris off the drain before it starts raining and shovel snow off the drain in winter to keep water flowing. Remove leaves, other natural materials, and trash. Compost if possible or dispose of them according to your community’s guidelines. Clear about 10 feet on both sides of the drain.  

Drain Cleaning Safety Tips  
Please stay out of the street as much as possible. Place yourself in the right of way (the area between the sidewalk and the street) to clear the drain. Always wear gloves and be careful of sharp objects!  

Use a rake, broom, or shovel if possible. Never try to lift/remove the drain grate. Wear reflective clothing so vehicles can see you.  

Adopt a Drain

Stay up-to-date with all things East Grand Rapids by following us on 
Facebook and Twitter.