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Winter East Express

East Express | January 7, 2021


City Manager Shea Charles

We are delighted to share that Shea Charles is officially EGR's new City Manager! Shea’s contract was unanimously approved by the City Commission at its Jan. 4 meeting. He joins us from Howell with over 25 years of municipal experience and he will transition into his new role in early-mid February.

“East Grand Rapids is such a vibrant community, and I am eager to get started working with the team and jumping right in,” Charles said. “I am looking forward to getting to know the residents and the community and learning more about how we can work together to continue enhancing it.”

Please join us in welcoming Shea, his wife, Barb, and son, Ethan, to EGR! Learn more about Shea.

Fred Bunn and Mayor Favale

As declared by Mayor Favale at the Jan. 4 City Commission meeting, Jan. 15, 2021, is officially Fred Bunn Day in East Grand Rapids in honor of his 30+ years of service to the City.

Fred spent his first five years with the City serving as the Sports Supervisor/Middle School Athletic Director followed by another five years as Assistant Parks & Rec. Director. Since then, he has served as EGR’s Parks & Rec. Director. During his tenure, Fred has accomplished much for the City, taking on and managing several large projects, including the John Collins Park redevelopment, Waterfront Park development and Wealthy Pool renovations. He has also assisted other significant projects: the Community Center redevelopment, Reeds Lake Trail, Wealthy Streetscape, Lakeside Streetscape and the Rusty Swaney Baseball Field at Remington Park.

When asked what his favorite memory of the last 30+ years has been, Fred shared a story from a Daddy Daughter Dance organized by his department. During what was one of the worst snowstorms he can recall, Fred and his team constantly shoveled snow and escorted guests into the building for about three hours and two feet of accumulation.

“These fathers and daughters look forward to this event all year. They get dressed up and are ready to enjoy time together.” Fred said. “We wanted to make sure we could provide that special experience for them so we kept shoveling. It was awesome in a crazy way.” We know there are few that would describe this situation as such but believe this to be a true depiction of Fred’s incredible commitment to his work and our community.

Although he’ll miss serving the City, Fred is very much looking forward to traveling and spending more time with family and friends. He also plans on spending plenty of time just as you’d expect a USA Triathlon Master’s Duathlete of the Year would — running and biking to #recreate.

Mike Ferris and Vicki Vander Lugt

Facilities Coordinator Mike Ferris and Assessor Vicki Vander Lugt are also retiring from the City after impressive dedication to East Grand Rapids.

Serving the City for nearly 30 years, Mike has been part of several significant projects throughout his career. Namely, he helped research and convert City-owned street and parking lot lighting to LED lighting while addressing environmental concerns and stretching tax dollars by lowering associated electrical costs. He has also led the City’s tree planting program, helping keep the City’s tree canopy healthy and safe for the residents and community members. Mike’s retirement plans are in the works, but he’s looking forward to enjoying some well-deserved time off.

Vicki has spent the last 5.5 years as the City Assessor. Among all the great work she’s accomplished during her time in EGR, Vicki has implemented the new state-required valuation system as well as successfully passed two assessing audits. She’ll miss interacting with residents and staff as well as walking the Reeds Lake Trail and through Gaslight Village over the lunch hour. However, she is very much looking forward to volunteering at her church and spending more time with her five grandchildren which includes visiting Australia, where her son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter live.

Please join us in thanking and congratulating Mike and Vicki on their dedication to our community!

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the Monday, Jan. 18 City Commission meeting has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 6 p.m.

City Hall continues to follow state and local guidelines. Until the MDHHS order is lifted, the Community Center will be open for business-related activities only. You can find resources and more information at

Additionally, the EGR COVID-19 Volunteer Task Force is up and running again ready to help residents and community members. Learn more about the program on our website.   

Winter property taxes are due Feb. 15. You can make a contactless payment online or by dropping it off in our secure drop box located in the front vestibule of City Hall any time before the due date. For more information, visit our Property Taxes webpage.  


You can now virtually flip through Parks & Recreation’s program guide!  Please note:
  • The program guide will NOT be sent by mail.
  • All programming will adhere to CDC, State and local recommendations and guidelines. Health and safety protocols can be found at and
  • We will update our virtual guide as needed to provide you the most current information.
  • You will continue to register for classes via Rec 1 and we also welcome phone enrollments as well as in-person registration at 750 Lakeside Dr.
Important Dates
  • Jan. 7: Resident registration begins
  • Jan. 14: Non-resident registration begins

At its Dec. 21, 2020 meeting, the City Commission approved Option 3-modified. The approval of Option 3-modified includes adding dedicated bike lanes on the south side of Hall Street from Grace Episcopal Church east to Lakeside Drive, modifying existing bump-outs several feet to accommodate sharrow pavement markings throughout the remainder of the project area instead of a slot-through design option. This will allow for all existing on-street parking to remain unchanged with no loss of parking spaces. A revised visual plan and detailed plans will be uploaded in the near future.

The City would like to thank residents of Hall Street and the community-at-large for participating in the various forms of community engagement. More information can be found at Please contact the City at 616.940.4817 with any questions.  

Christmas tree on curb

Every year, Public Works collects Christmas trees, wreaths and other natural plant-based decorations that have been left at the curb after the holidays. The crews will pick up these decorations following regular yard waste collection routes from Monday, Jan. 4 through Friday, Jan. 15. 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. Learn more on our Refuse Collection webpage.  

To improve the reliability of electric service to residents, Consumers Energy will conduct tree trimming and removals in private utility easements in January and February in various areas around EGR. Take a look at the maps below for details.

Postcard notices from Consumers Energy were mailed to residents within the areas where tree work will be completed and follow up notices will also be sent before work starts. To learn more about the tree trimming process, FAQs and contact information for Consumers Energy, please visit the Consumers Energy Trees and Power Lines webpage.

Please note: Consumers Energy is a private electric utility that is regulated by the State of Michigan through the Michigan Public Service Commission. When tree trimming and removal work takes place, contractors working for Consumers Energy will chip branches and brush and cut larger wood and leave it stacked on site. When the tree trimming and removal work is completed, the City will provide a special yard waste pickup to the impacted areas to pick up any brush of larger cut wood that is placed out in the right-of-way (typically between the street and sidewalk).


For information regarding 5G small cells in EGR, please refer to our Small Cell/DAS webpage for the most accurate and reliable data, including a comprehensive FAQ sheet, maps, contact information and more.

The City’s authority to regulate 5G small cells is extremely limited and largely preempted by Federal and State Law. On Nov. 4, 2019, the City Commission approved amendments to the City Code for the regulation of 5G small cell wireless facilities, meaning that before any small cell or supporting equipment is installed in the city right-of-way, a permit must be approved. Had the City not approved these amendments, service providers could locate small cells in the right-of-way at their discretion without needing a permit.

If you are interested in changing small cell regulations, we encourage you to contact Federal and State elected officials who made the decision to exclude local control on small cell regulation.  


Did you miss our 2020 Construction Recap? No worries! You can still take a look at our PASER rating and project updates at

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