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East Express | May 7, 2020


Dear Friends and Neighbors, 

Sitting down to write this letter today, I noticed the sun is shining and there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel. As difficult as this time can be, I find myself with much to be grateful for. 

I want to personally thank each and every one of our residents for all you have done to stay safe at home. I know it can be difficult, however, social distancing IS working. Thank you also for continuing to reach out to me with your thoughts and suggestions. Together we will get through this and I always appreciate hearing from you.  

I would also like to again thank our entire City Staff especially our Public Works and Public Safety departments for all they do. Each and every day I am amazed at how fortunate we are to have such an amazing team. Their dedication, hard work and creativity during this unprecedented time is truly a blessing. They don’t hear it nearly enough, so if you have an opportunity, please be sure to thank them for all they do. 

Our EGR COVID-19 Volunteer Task Force is up and running and doing a tremendous job! Thank you to all of our volunteers - the numbers grow by the day. I am humbled by your commitment to serving our community. 

If you or someone you know could use a helping hand during this difficult time or would like to volunteer on our task force, visit the Task Force news article on our website and fill out the proper survey. Please be sure to spread the word about this helpful task force. It is our hope that everyone that needs a helping hand will get one. 

Of course, a big CONGRATULATIONS to the EGRHS Class of 2020! Although I’m sure this is not the senior year they had envisioned, EGRHS, the EGR Schools Foundation and senior parents are coming up with creative and unique ways to celebrate this year’s senior class. Look for yard signs, banners on the high school track fence and enjoy a Virtual Cup of Coffee with our seniors. Thank you to all that are making this year memorable for this special class. 

Lastly, thank you to everyone that has supported and continues to support our Gaslight Village businesses. From gift cards, take-out, curbside and online shopping, there are lots of great choices in our village. Your support is truly appreciated! 

I continue to hold virtual office hours on Mondays and Wednesdays so please reach out via phone or email to schedule a time, I would love to hear from you! 

I will host another Virtual EGR Talk via Zoom on Friday, May 15 from 4 to 5 p.m. Please join me if you are able. 

Meeting Link: 

Meeting ID: 788 3084 7629 

Again, thank you for all that you are doing to keep yourselves and others safe during this time. Together we will get through this. 

Stay home. Stay safe. Stay Healthy. 

All the best, 





To stay up to date on all COVID-19 information regarding City operations, including closures and cancellations, please visit, which is updated regularly. 


As allowed by Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-48, the Monday, May 4 City Commission meeting was held virtual via Google Hangouts. You can watch the meeting on our YouTube Channel and view its agenda at  

At this meeting, our commissioners approved the construction of two neighborhood mini traffic circles and held a work session on capital improvement plan requests. 

Stay tuned for additional information on the May 18 meeting. 


The City Code is officially live on our website! This has been quite the project over the past few years and we're pleased to so easily share it with all of you now. 


The deadline for filing a Homeowner’s Principal Residence Exemption Affidavit is June 1.  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.  This exemption enables a person who has purchased a home and reestablished their Principal Residence Exemption 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. Our forms are also available on our Assessing webpage


EGR recently reached the 84% participation rate in completing the 2020 Census. Way to go! 

If you haven’t already, visit the official census website today! Please note that the U.S. Census Bureau has adjusted its operations schedule for the 2020 Census due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  


Lock Doors


While we continue to spend time at home, Public Safety urges EGR residents to continue to lock doors and bring any bikes, gardening tools and other possessions inside each night to prevent theft. The department also reminds you to never provide personal information, such as social security numbers, over the phone.  


We know many have been doing some major spring cleaning as we shelter in place. If you have found any unused prescription drugs in your home, bring them over to Public Safety for safe disposal. 

While the lobby door remains locked for the time being, give the department a call at 616.949.7010 once you've arrived and one of our clerks or officers will meet you at the door. 


Our officers will continue the birthday driveby salutes through the expiration of Gov. Whitmer’s Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order. If you would like Public Safety to stop in front of your home with one of the police cruisers and/or fire trucks with lights and sirens activated for a few moments so your children can see the emergency vehicles from a distance, please email Captain Ric Buikema at  

A few things to note: 
  • We will still need everyone to keep their distance in order to remain safe. 

  • We will try our absolute best to make it to everyone’s requests, however, emergency calls for service and staffing may affect our ability to respond to everyone. 

  • We will schedule the visits between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and if staffing allows, between 1 and 5 p.m. on Saturdays 

  • We will do this for residents that live within the City limits of East Grand Rapids. 



Due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and its timeline and restrictions on large group gatherings, the Parks & Recreation Department has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Reeds Lake Run. 

Please visit for additional information. 
Stay Home Active


Parks & Rec. has created a list of resources for anyone looking to stay active during this time. Take a look by visiting our Stay Home, Stay Active page.  


Getting outside for some fresh air and exercise has been crucial for physical and mental health during these days at home. We ask that you help us maintain our community’s health by picking up after yourself and your pets when out in the neighborhoods, parks and trails. Please help us keep EGR clean by disposing of any trash or animal waste at your own home — do not dispose of items in other resident’s trash or yard waste containers. 


Road Closed


Construction is underway for the season. Visit our construction webpage — which is updated weekly — to stay up-to-date on all construction projects.  

The State of Michigan has determined that certain infrastructure projects are permitted within the Executive Order. If any changes are required, the City will adhere to them. 


The Department of Public Works will be conducting water system maintenance by flushing water out of fire hydrants (flushing mains) in zones 8 and 9 until mid- to late-May between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Flushing is scheduled overnight to minimize impact to residents.  

During this time, there may be reduced 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 8 and 9 in March. DPW crews will also place notice signs in the right-of-way in areas they are flushing adjacent to hydrants while work is taking place. You can view the zone map here

If you have any questions, please call Public Works at 616.940.4870. 


May 17-23 is National Public Works Week. This year, the theme is “The Rhythm of Public Works,"  illustrating how essential services work in concert to create a great place to live. Every community has a rhythm, a heartbeat that reflects its essence and tempo of life. 

Although different this year, we are excited to celebrate our Public Works department later this month.   

Please note that 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.  

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

As a reminder, the Property Maintenance Code adopted by the City allows for a maximum height limit of grass at five inches.    

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