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East Express Header Summer 2018

East Express | July 2, 2020




FOURTH OF JULY 2020
Parade

COMING TO A NEIGHBORHOOD NEAR YOU: EGR’S INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE

Although the City will not hold its annual day-long celebration this year for the health and safety of all involved, the City has planned an event where the community can still honor America’s birthday together by bringing a smaller parade of city vehicles to you!

For approximately 45 minutes, Public Works and Public Safety vehicles will travel approximately 9 miles of EGR roads, passing through each of the City’s neighborhoods to bring the parade to you this year. This new parade route has been designed to allow everyone to practice social distancing and to be within a few blocks of your home. We ask that you stay near your home and not gather along Wealthy Street. Please note that we will not be passing out candy nor will non-municipal vehicles be participating in the parade this year.

Our parade map details an estimated time frame the parade will reach the road nearest you. If you have any questions, please contact Parks & Recreation at 616.949.1750.


FIREWORKS
The East Grand Rapids fireworks ordinance can be found on our website. We ask that you be courteous to neighbors when using fireworks over the holiday weekend.


CITY HALL HOURS
City Hall will be closed on Friday, July 3 in honor of Independence Day. We wish you all a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July! 



CITY MANAGER’S OFFICE & FINANCE
AUGUST & NOVEMBER ELECTIONS UPDATE
The first batches of absentee ballots for the August 4, 2020 election were mailed on June 29. We will continue sending ballots out as applications are received.

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, contact our offices at 616.949.2110 or contact City Clerk Karen Brower at elections@eastgr.org.

The August primary ballot contains county, state and federal office choices. The "open primary" format means that there are two columns, one each for democratic and republican candidates. You must choose one of the parties and then vote the front and back of the ballot within that party/column. You cannot "split your ticket" by crossing back and forth between the parties. Voting for more than one party will mean the machine will not count any of your votes. For more information on absentee voting, including sample ballots, visit our elections webpage

SUMMER PROPERTY TAXES
Summer property tax bills were billed on July 1 and are due Aug. 14. Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, for your safety and the safety of our employees, we encourage residents to pay property taxes in one of the following ways:
  • Dropbox: The City has a drop box located in the Community Center vestibule at 750 Lakeside Drive that is available 24 hours a day.
  • Online: Online payments using a savings or checking account (EFT) will be free for the 2020 property tax cycle. Credit and debit card payments may be made online but will still have a 2.75% convenience fee added at the time of the transaction.
  • Mail: Payments must be received on or before the due date. Postmarks are not accepted. If you desire a receipt, send a self-addressed stamped envelope along with both portions of the tax bill or supply an email address on the tax bill stub for an electronic receipt.



A NOTE FROM MAYOR FAVALE
Dear Friends and Neighbors,

What a beautiful stretch of weather we’ve seen these past couple of weeks. It seems as if summer is finally here and our City is beginning to buzz again. Residents and visitors alike are enjoying walking and dining in Gaslight Village while outdoor seating has been added or expanded at many of our restaurants. Also, many are enjoying our beautiful green spaces, whether boating and kayaking on Reeds Lake or enjoying the view from John Collins Park.

As we turn this corner and begin to open up our City again, I urge all of you to continue to follow social distancing protocols and proceed with safety in mind. It is my hope that we can continue to move forward while also keeping each other safe.

Save the date: On July 30 we will be hosting another EGR Community Blood Drive. We have partnered with Versiti, the sole provider to all the hospitals in Kent County. Their need is very high and they currently border on an official blood shortage. Please consider donating if you are able — sign up today!

A special thank you to City Staff for their hard work in finding a creative way for us to celebrate July 4th. This year’s parade route has been designed to bring the festivities to you and to allow everyone to practice social distancing while still honoring America’s birthday together. Thank you to all of them for their hard work and creativity with this important and fun event!

I wish you and your families a safe and happy Independence Day. As you celebrate with family and friends, please join me in expressing gratitude to those who protect our freedoms. To the members of our armed services, past and present, thank you for your sacrifice.

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,

Katie



PUBLIC SAFETY

Community Engagement Sessions

UPCOMING COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT SESSION
Join the EGR Public Safety Department for its next Community Engagement Session on July 23 at 7 p.m. You will have the opportunity to meet your officers, learn more about the department and discuss topics important to EGR. This session will specifically include discussions around law enforcement and race. All residents, employees and community members are welcome to attend. RSVP is not required.  



PARKS & RECREATION
CONCERTS & MOVIES IN THE PARK
Brought to you by The Brouwers Agency, Auto-Owners Insurance and Consumers Credit Union, Parks & Rec. will host movies and concerts in John Collins Park on select Mondays and Fridays this summer. For a list of COVID-19 safety measures and protocols as well as park rules, please visit eastgr.org/recreation.
July 17 — The Zookeeper’s Wife
July 31 — The Legend of Tarzan
Aug. 14 — Dolittle (2020)
Aug. 21 — The Secret Life of Pets 2

July 13 — Shimmie Pearl
July 20— Ben Traverse
July 27 — Rachel Curtis
Aug. 3 — Awesome Distraction
Aug. 10 — Full Cord Bluegrass
Aug. 17— Keys to the Kool

triathlon woman biking

RHOADES MCKEE REEDS LAKE TRIATHLON

Wondering whether the Rhoades McKee Reeds Lake Triathlon is still on? As of now, the answer is yes and registration is still open.

We are currently configuring new safety measures and procedures while monitoring CDC and state guidelines to ensure the safety of everyone involved. We plan to reevaluate in mid-July so that our community-favorite event is in accordance with Gov. Whitmer’s MI Safe Start plan. Should we need to cancel, all participants will be refunded in full. You can learn more and register at eastgr.org/triathlon.

Thank you all for your ongoing support — we hope to see you at start line on Sept. 12.  


PARKS USE ON THE RISE
Most communities are experiencing “visitor surge” in their parks and East is no exception. It is truly wonderful to see people out enjoying the warm Michigan weather. City staff is working hard keeping our parks clean including trash removal every day of the week. We have added additional trash receptacles to help alleviate overflowing bins or trash being thrown on the ground. Please help us keep our community clean and inviting by disposing your trash and dog waste appropriately in a trash receptacle. We thank you in advance for helping us reduce the visible “trash surge.”



PUBLIC WORKS
CONSTRUCTION UPDATE

Phase two of the mill and overlay street maintenance process was completed earlier this week. Visit our construction webpage for weekly updates on all construction projects.  

MOBILITY/BICYCLE ACTION PLAN UPDATE
In accordance with Gov. Whitmer’s MI Safe Start Plan, the City anticipates moving forward with its Mobility/Bicycle Action Plan near the end of July/early August. While the project was approved by the City Commission in February, it was placed on pause due to COVID-19. Stay tuned for additional information and opportunities to provide feedback.

Boat

BOATS, TRAILERS AND RVS
With the upcoming holiday weekend, we’d like to remind residents 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 may have to use offsite storage.

LGROW SUMMER 2020 NEWSLETTER
Have you read the Lower Grand River Organization of Watershed Summer 2020 newsletter? It's jam-packed with important information on how to protect our watershed during the warm months and much more.  

TREES & SHRUBS OBSTRUCTING SIDEWALKS
With the warm weather, trees and plants are growing. Residents are asked to make sure that any trees or shrubs, bushes, etc. are clear from impeding over sidewalks. Chapter 32 section 3.38 of the City Code prohibits trees, shrubs, etc. from obstructing sidewalks. The required height for clearance over a street or sidewalk is 10 feet, meaning that trees can overhang sidewalks at a greater height.  

WATER QUALITY CONSUMER CONFIDENCE REPORT
The City of East Grand Rapids 2019 Consumer Confidence Report has been e-mailed or mailed to all residents/property owners. To view the report please visit our website. 



COMMUNITY PARTNERS

one east

"ONE EAST” BRINGING OUR COMMUNITY TOGETHER TO SUPPORT OUR SCHOOLS

Because of COVID-19, our schools are facing an extraordinary budget crisis. More than 60% of school funding comes from state sales and income taxes, not our local property taxes. Projections show reduced state revenue because of COVID-19 may create school finance shortfalls of $944 per student — more than double those during the Great Recession of 2008-2009.

An unprecedented crisis demands an unprecedented response. The East Grand Rapids Schools Foundation is organizing One East, a community-wide, coordinated fundraising effort so every dollar raised by school entities this summer supports programs in our district that are in danger of being cut. One East is bringing together organizations, students and families at all our schools to protect the East Grand Rapids Public Schools’ Tradition of Excellence.

Look for more information about One East later this month. Or, to make a donation right now, visit the Foundation’s website at egrsf.org.  

GASLIGHT VILLAGE REOPENING
Thank you to all those who have supported and continue visiting our business district during these challenging times. It is thanks to you that our local business owners can operate again! As we move forward, we ask you remain patient and continue to follow CDC and state guidelines while we work through this adjustment together. Visit gogaslight.com and follow us on Facebook for updates. 

KENT DISTRICT LIBRARY REOPENING DELAYED
Please note that our KDL branch has delayed its reopening. Curbside pickups, availability of exterior drop boxes for returns, live streamed programs and expansion of digital resources is unaffected. Learn more at kdl.org



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