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East Express | Sept. 16, 2021




Shea Charles, Sharla Seath, Derek Melville headshots; Meet and Greet

NEW CITY OFFICIAL MEET & GREET THIS AFTERNOON 

City Manager Shea Charles, Finance Director Sharla Seath and Parks & Recreation Director Derek Melville joined the City of East Grand Rapids during the pandemic, which has made it challenging to meet residents and community members. You're invited to get to know them and learn more about their roles at the City during an open house TODAY between 4-6 p.m. at Wege Plaza, located behind the Community Center at 750 Lakeside Drive SE.  


CITY COMMISSION UPDATE 

At its Sept. 7 meeting, the City Commission recognized the artists involved in the Lakeside Drive Mural redesign project. Special thanks to the high school Art Club for painting this new mural celebrating our community’s history. 

The Commission also discussed three zoning-related items, including the establishment of a separate Zoning Board of Appeals. The Commission will finalize the arrangements for the new Zoning Board of Appeals at its Sept. 20 meeting. 

You can always find agenda materials at eastgr.org/agendas and watch meetings live via our YouTube channel.  

Lakeside Mural


CITY MANAGER’S OFFICE & FINANCE 

NOV. 2 ELECTION UPDATE 

In addition to the 2021 Parks Improvement Millage proposal (see below for details), three City Commission candidates, one in each ward, are running for election. They are Marc Schulz, Laura Schwartz and Chris Wessely. More information on the election and sample ballots can be found on our Elections webpage.    

Absentee ballot applications were mailed in late August. Once returned, you can expect to see your absentee ballot in the mail in late September/early October. If you did not receive one and would like to vote via absentee ballot, visit the Community Center at 750 Lakeside Drive SE. 


COFFEE TALK WITH MAYOR FAVALE & CITY MANAGER CHARLES 

The next EGR Coffee Talk will be held on Monday, Sept. 27 at Bagel Kitchen located in Gaslight Village. Join the mayor and city manager from 10 -11:30 a.m. to ask questions and chat about all things East. 


JOB OPENINGS AT THE CITY 

There are several positions open at the City! We’re looking for an account clerk, a crossing guard substitute, a lead mechanic, lifeguards and swim instructors to join our team. Learn more and apply on our Careers webpage.   

 

Styrofoam squares with event title

STYROFOAM RECYCLING EVENT 

The EGR Sustainability Advisory Committee is hosting a Styrofoam Recycling Day on Saturday, Oct. 2 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Public Services parking lot (2310 Reeds Lake Blvd SE). 

Accepted Styrofoam mostly comes from food and beverage containers and electronics and furniture packaging. Look for a triangle with the number 6 inside. All Styrofoam must be clean. No plastic peanuts, please. 

Partner Atlas Molded Products will recycle the polystyrene we collect into new products.  

View this event on Facebook. 


SEPT. 28 BLOOD DRIVE 

Sign up to donate blood 2-7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28 in Rooms 101 and 102 of the Community Center.  


PUBLIC SAFETY 

OCT. 23: PUBLIC SAFETY OPEN HOUSE & NATIONAL PRESCRIPTION DRUG TAKE BACK DAY 

Save Saturday, Oct. 23 on your calendar for these two important events: 

Residents of all ages are invited to visit Public Safety between 10 a.m.-noon to meet the officers, climb into the firetrucks and check out the cruisers. Enjoy donuts and cider as you mingle with friends and neighbors and learn more about the department and its role in our community. 

While you’re visiting, bring your unused prescription drugs into the lobby between 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for safe disposal.  

If you have questions, contact Public Safety at 616.949.7010. More details to come.  


Smart911

SMART 911 

It can be difficult to prepare for an emergency. However, you can provide 911 call-takers with critical information about you and your loved ones during an emergency through Smart911. Through this service, call takers — in EGR’s case, from Kent County Dispatch — can alert first responders of any medical conditions, a description of pets and vehicles and emergency contacts while help is on the way. You can customize how much or how little information you provide and even set up an account for a loved one. Smart 911 saves time and saves lives. Learn more and sign up by visiting the Smart 911 website


PARKS & RECREATION 

2021 PARKS IMPROVEMENT MILLAGE UPDATE 

Thanks to all who attended our first educational meeting on the Parks Improvement Millage proposal yesterday. There’s still time to learn more about the millage proposal — join City Manager Shea Charles and department directors Sept. 30 and Oct. 19 in person and Oct. 11 via Zoom. 

What if the millage passes? It would provide funding for the replacement of the five playgrounds located within the City as well as several improvements throughout EGR’s parks identified in the City’s Master Plan and the Community Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Residents would pay an annual 0.56 mills (assessed taxable home value multiplied by 0.00056) that would allow the City to borrow up to $7 million over 20 years beginning July 1, 2022, at the earliest. 

What if the millage does not pass? The City will reassess the listed projects and determine which are feasible to accomplish with the available funding to ensure parks remain the vibrant community asset EGR is known for. 

More information and resources at eastgr.org/parksmillage

playground


RHOADES MCKEE TRIATHLON/DUATHLON 

Special thanks to all the athletes and volunteers who participated in the Triathlon last weekend! It was wonderful starting the day swimming, running and biking through East Grand Rapids with you.  

  

PUBLIC WORKS  

CONSTRUCTION IN EGR 

Visit our Construction webpage for the latest updates and learn more about upcoming projects. As a reminder, residents impacted by construction projects will receive mailed notices with project details. Public Works also posts notices at project locations. 


Leaf-Pickup-10-05

FALL LEAF COLLECTION 

Fall leaf pickup will begin the week of Oct. 11 and ends the week of Dec. 6. Leaves may be placed in the street without obstructing the roadway or storm sewer catch basins. Yard waste rules and regulations can be found on our Refuse Collection webpage.  


BIKE LANES VS. SHARROWS 

If you’ve driven down Hall Street since construction was completed a few weeks ago, you may have noticed new bike lanes and sharrows, fulfilling a priority of our Mobility/Bike Action Plan

What’s the difference between bike lanes and sharrows? Read our latest news article to find out. 


TREE TRIMMING 

Consumers Energy and its contractors continue to conduct tree trimming and removal in private utility easements in various areas around EGR — take a look at the provided map and brochure.  

If you have any questions regarding this work, please call the local Consumers Energy work planner at 616.530.4306. To learn more about the general tree trimming process and view FAQs, please visit the Consumers Energy Trees and Power Lines webpage.  


Sprinkler spraying on lawn

LAWN IRRIGATION TIPS 

The City suggests the following tips for watering lawns safely and most effectively: 

  • Sprinklers should be timed to irrigate in the early morning, about one to three hours before sunrise. This allows more water to get to roots instead of evaporating due to the sun and wind.  
  • Setting sprinklers to an early morning schedule can also promote pedestrian safety as sprinklers that spray on or across sidewalks can divert children walking to school or those out for a morning run or walk into streets. 
  • Sprinkler heads should be regularly checked for direction. Sprinklers pointed toward the street waste water and do not help lawns. 


TREE PLANTING PROGRAM 

Interested in having a new tree planted in the out-lawn area in front of your home? Split the cost 50/50 with the City with our tree planting program. The estimated total cost of a tree is $350-$450, which includes a tree that is 2 inches in diameter and 12-14 feet tall as well as planting, mulching and a two-year warranty. 

 Interested residents should complete an order form and send it to or drop it off at City Hall (750 Lakeside Drive SE) by Oct. 1. Planting occurs between October and December, depending on weather conditions. 

Have questions about this program? Call Public Works at 616.940.4817. Learn more on our Forestry webpage.   


COMMUNITY PARTNERS 

FREE TIRE & CAR SEAT RECYCLING EVENTS 

Our friends at the Kent County Department of Public Works will be collecting tires on Oct. 2 and Oct. 9 as well as car seats on Oct. 9 between 8 a.m.-noon at Algoma Township Hall. Learn more at reimaginetrash.org.  

Because car seats are made of multiple materials, they cannot be recycled through single-stream curbside recycling carts or recycling drop-off stations, only at special recycling collection events.  


Books in moving boxes

FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY USED BOOK SALE 

Books, movies and music for all ages! Mark your calendars for the next Friends of the Library Used Book Sale

  • Friday, Oct. 8 — Members presale, 4 - 8pm 
  • Saturday, Oct. 9 — Public sale and bag sale, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., $10 per bag 
  • Sunday, Oct. 10 Public sale and bag sale, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.,  $10 per bag 

View this event on Facebook.  


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