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Winter East Express

East Express | January 16, 2020



In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the Monday, Jan. 20 City Commission meeting has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. You can view the meeting agenda on our website. 



As a reminder, property taxes are due before or on Friday, Feb. 14. You can learn more on our Property Taxes webpage, where you can also pay your bill online.  


Looking to get involved in the community? You can apply for an advisory board position on the Planning, Parks & Recreation or Library commissions, the Board of Review or the EGR Community Foundation board at any time by visiting our website.  

Appointments are made by the Mayor and affirmed by the City Commission each year before the start of the fiscal year on July 1. 

The last day to register to vote by mail or at locations other than at the City offices for the March 10 election is Monday, Feb. 24. Stop by City Hall or any Secretary of State office to register. You can also obtain an absentee ballot and check your voter registration details on our Elections webpage.  

Absentee ballot applications were mailed this week to everyone on our permanent application list.  If you’re not on the permanent list and would like an application, please contact our offices at 616.949.2110 or download and mail/fax/email the application which can be found on our website. Absentee ballots will be available the week of January 27. 

All EGR polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on March 10 for the presidential primaries. You can check your polling location online at the Michigan Voter Information Center or by contacting our offices at 616.949.2110. Sample ballots for each precinct can also be found on our Elections webpage



Starting Oct. 1, 2020, you’ll need a REAL ID-compliant document to fly in the U.S. and enter some federal facilities per federal law. You can obtain a REAL ID-compliant driver's license or state ID from the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office. Learn more at



You are now able to register for spring programming! Visit the Parks & Recreation webpage to check out all the great offerings. 


Our Parks & Rec. Department, which partners with Kent Conservation District, is looking for volunteers to help control several aggressive woody non-native invasive species on park property on Jan. 25, Feb. 15 and March 14 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.  

Stewards will help cut stumps and treat targeted species that are growing unchecked and poisoning wildlife. Volunteers will also learn about winter bud identification and how non-native invasive species alter ecosystem processes in complex ways. All ages are welcome to help, but only those 18 years old and up may treat the stumps. No RSVP is required.  

Questions can be directed to EGR Grounds and Maintenance at 616. 949.1750. For more information, visit our website


Join us this Saturday, Jan. 18 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. for sports, sports and more sports! You and your elementary school child will be in for a fun evening of games and challenges, including a photo booth and more. 

Couple R $40 NR $50 // Individual R $28 NR $38 


2019 was another busy year for our Public Works crews! Read the year’s construction highlights at



The only remaining City construction work beyond routine water valve replacements is cured-in-place-pipe sanitary and storm sewer lining. This is a trench-less technology that rehabilitates pipe typically between eight to 24 hours. The City will mail notices to the impacted areas and the contractor will utilize door hanger notices. Preparation work, including cleaning and televising, is currently taking place with lining to follow in late January and through February. 

DTE is also currently rehabilitating select gas mains in coordination with upcoming City project areas.  Residents and impacted areas have been or will be provided notices by DTE. DTE project site areas also are signed with contact information. 

For project areas and associated notices and information, please visit

Christmas tree and the special leaf pick up will end tomorrow, Jan. 17. 

Please note that the City is not able to collect trees, wreaths or other holiday decorations that have wire, ornaments, lights, etc. on them as the trees and wreaths are chipped/recycled. 

The additional leaf pick up period will only take place under the following conditions: 
  1. Leaves MUST be in paper bags or reusable containers — no loose leaves will be picked up.  
  2. Leaves CANNOT be placed in the street during this time as they may be plowed under if/when the snow returns.  
  3. Bags/containers should be kept in your garage or next to your house until your usual pickup date and then placed on the grass next to the street that morning. Do not leave bags or containers out by the road indefinitely as the bags disintegrate or the containers are knocked over if the plows are out plowing snow. 
If you have already raked leaves into the street, they will NOT be picked up. You will need to rake them into containers for them to be picked up. 

After Jan. 17, there will be no yard waste pick up until early April as crews will be concentrating on snow removal, tree trimming and utility maintenance. 

Additional information can be found on our Refuse Collection webpage


The EGR Planning Commission unanimously approved a recommendation to the City Commission to accept Blodgett’s revised site plan with conditions. It is anticipated that the City Commission will consider a variance and revised site plan at the Feb. 17, 2020 City Commission Meeting. To view additional information pertaining to this project, please follow the Blodgett Hospital Construction link located on the City website home page as well as the Planning Commission documents page


Through the remainder of the month, a City contractor will continue to perform tree pruning of public right-of-way trees as noted in the highlighted red streets on our tree maintenance map. Public Works crews will also be performing tree maintenance trimming in the right-of-way adjacent to streets and sidewalks throughout winter months. 


Public Works staff continues to work hard to keep streets and sidewalks cleared of snow during the winter season. City sidewalk plow operators plow approximately 80 miles of sidewalks after snow events.   

Sidewalk plows have rubber attached to the bottom of the plow blade to reduce the risk of damage of sidewalk, equipment and for the safety of the plow operators. Sidewalk plows can leave approximately an inch of snow after they have passed through.  It is important for residents/property owners to clear the small remaining amount of snow after the sidewalk plow has made a pass. If the small amount of remaining snow is not removed from sidewalks, it is subject to thaw/freeze cycles that can result in icy conditions. Salt is not used on sidewalks because it can damage/spall the sidewalk, is harmful to the environment and is cost prohibitive. The City uses concrete-safe calcium chloride snow melt products at school crosswalks after snow events to improve safety at school crossing routes. During winter months when icy conditions are sometimes present, it is recommended that additional footwear products like grippers, traction bands, etc. are utilized while running or walking outdoors.  

Please visit our Street/Sidewalk Winter Plowing webpage for additional winter maintenance information.   


The City Commission recently approved the installation of an RRFB at the Lake Drive/Bagley/San Lu Rae pedestrian crosswalk as a continuation of escalated pedestrian safety features. The approval is for a 12-month pilot period where use data and feedback will be collected to measure effectiveness for consideration of future installations and associated policy. Other improvements in recent years include upgraded signage, bump outs to narrow crossings, use of in-street crosswalk signs and an additional crossing guard. 


Did you know that flushing baby wipes, disinfecting wipes, disposable mop refills, toss-in toilet bowl wands, dental floss and even paper towel can cause problems in the City’s sewer system? Many of these products are labeled as disposable/flushable, but they can clog the sewer system, causing costly clean-up. These items don’t dissolve or break down after being flushed. The potential consequence can be a sewer backup at your home, neighbors’ home or out in the community impacting the environment. Please help protect public health, the environment and water quality by putting used cleaning wipes, pads, swabs, or anything else besides human waste and toilet paper in the trash and not in the toilet. 

Take a look at the following video by the City of Spokane Wastewater and Environmental Services Department in partnership with the Water Environment Federation to learn more about what should and should not be flushed.  

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