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East Express | May 21, 2020


Memorial Day


In reverence of Memorial Day, City offices will be closed on Monday, May 25. You can reach us via phone or email when we are back on Tuesday at 8 a.m. We hope you are able to enjoy a relaxing holiday. We wish to commemorate all those who have fought for our country and freedom. Thank you for your bravery and sacrifice!


Earlier this week the Secretary of State announced that all registered voters in Michigan will receive an application to vote by mail in the August and November elections. East Grand Rapids has also sent applications to all voters currently on the permanent application list. Some voters may receive more than one application due to this overlap. You only need to return one application form to our offices to receive your ballot.

Absentee voting has been in place for many years and is a safe and secure way of submitting your votes. It allows you to receive your ballot early and take time to research candidates and proposals prior to election day and to avoid lines at the polling place. If you have questions about absentee ballots, the voting process or your voter registration, please contact our offices at 616.949.2110 or contact City Clerk Karen Brower at You can also find more information and the absentee ballot application at


Hello Friends and Neighbors,

I hope this newsletter finds you all healthy and well.

I sense a different energy in the air. The weather is finally warming and there is a feeling of hopefulness, knowing that we may be turning a corner in our situation. As changes are potentially implemented over the next few weeks, you can stay informed by checking out the COVID-19 Response and Resource page on our City’s website.

Please save the date for the EGR Community Blood Drive! It will be held May 29, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the main floor of the Community Center in the library. We have partnered with Versiti Blood Center of Michigan to host this blood drive, and their need is now immediate. Versiti is the sole provider to all the hospitals in Kent County, so please consider donating if you are able. Rest assured that Versiti team members will follow safety protocols and practice social distancing. Sign-up for this event will ONLY take place online so sign up today!

Thank you to Cub Scout pack 3218 from Wealthy Elementary for implementing their White Ribbon Project this week! These scouts, with the help of their parents, have tied white ribbons on the lamps in Gaslight Village, as a way to honor our healthcare workers and first responders. Be sure to look for these ribbons the next time you are in Gaslight!

This week is National Public Works Week, so I want to extend a very special thank you to everyone in our Public Works Department! We are so fortunate to have such an amazing team. They work hard each and every day to improve our community. Thank you, Public Works, for continuing to make EGR a great place to live!

As the weather continues to improve, please remember to follow all social distancing protocols. It is great for us to take advantage of the season and sunshine, so let’s all be smart about it.

Lastly, I continue to hold virtual office hours, so please reach out anytime to make an appointment. I look forward to hearing from you.
Stay healthy!



To keep 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 2020-75, the Monday, May 18 City Commission meeting was held virtually via Google Meetings. At this meeting, our elected officials made a number of decisions regarding the previously approved mini traffic circle on Argentina/San Lucia, gypsy moth treatment and our Parks & Recreation and Library commissions. You can watch the meeting on our YouTube Channel and view its agenda at

Please note that the Monday, June 1 meeting will also take place virtually. We will share the Google Meetings link one hour prior to the meeting on our website and on Facebook. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow our Facebook page to be notified about meetings.


EGR recently surpassed an 85% participation rate in completing the 2020 Census. Thank you!

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. 



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.

Prescription Drugs


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.


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.



Construction is underway for the season. Visit our construction webpage for weekly updates 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.  
Public Works Week


It's 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. Our Public Works Department works hard to ensure EGR is a great place to live, work and play year-round between construction, traffic engineering, maintenance, management, planning and everything in between. Join us in thanking our department for all this top-notch work.


As a reminder, we ask that residents not place yard waste out for collection earlier than one day prior to the scheduled day of collection to keep streets free from clutter and driving obstructions.


With Memorial Day on the other side of this long weekend, just a reminder 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 use offsite storage.


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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