Spring Preparedness

Photo of purple flowers against a blurred meadow backdrop

We’re planning $14.6 million in road and sidewalk projects

What’s happening in my neighborhood?

As we begin our sixth season of ramped-up road construction, you again can expect to see improvements to streets and sidewalks near you this summer. Thanks to our Vital Streets efforts – approved by voters – we’ll have completed preventative maintenance and reconstruction on 365 miles of streets since 2014. We’ve gone from 37 percent of streets in good or fair condition to 61 percent thanks to the Vital Streets program.

Your City Commission is reviewing the road construction plan for July through June 2020. If the plan is adopted and carried out, it brings the total miles of streets improved over the past six years to 396. We’ve inspected and repaired roughly 25 percent of our 870-mile sidewalk network. We’ve been busy making a $11.9 million investment at 64 locations over the past year. We’re planning improvements on an additional 31 miles of streets this coming fiscal year with an investment of $12.8 million at 61 locations. In addition, we plan to dedicate a total of $1.8 million for various sidewalk repair and construction projects in all three city wards.

Vital Streets projects are backed by a voter-approved plan in 2014 that extended a local income tax levy for 15 years.

You can find information on construction projects online or call our 311 Customer Service

Center at 616-456-3000.

We can help you resolve issues in your neighborhood

Graphic with the Grand Rapids 311 logo and tagline,

 


 

If you come across any of the following issues, you can report them to us online at grandrapidsmi.gov/report-it, on our grcity 311 mobile app or by calling our 311 Customer Service Center at 311 or 616-456-3000.


Potholes

Snow and snow plowing can wreak havoc on our roads. Now that the snow has melted, you may notice potholes in the road during your travels.

When reporting a pothole, please provide us with its specific location and site. This helps us find it and repair it as quickly as possible.

If you don’t have the address, an intersection works, too. Don’t have the size of the pothole? Here are helpful questions:

  • Is it the size of a basketball?
  • Your car tire?
  • Would it swallow your car whole?

Graffiti

Notice graffiti in your neighborhood or other parts of our city? Help us reduce graffiti in our community by reporting it.

We can remove graffiti that abuts or faces the public right-of-way (between the street and sidewalk or within 5 feet of the street).

We’re not able to remove graffiti that doesn’t face the public right-of-way. It’s the responsibility of the property owner to take care of graffiti on private property.


Illegal Dumping

Did someone dump trash or old furniture in front of your home or in an alley behind it?

If the items are in the public right-of-way or in the alleyway, please report it. We can send out a team to take care of it.

Items dumped on private property are the responsibility of the owner to remove. The issue can be reported to the Police Department by calling 616-456-3400.


Property complaints

Does your neighbor always have trash or other items in their yard? Do they let their grass become a small jungle?

Is the trash and debris making it difficult to travel safely down the sidewalk? These types of issues can be reported anonymously as code violations.

When reporting an issue, please give us the address of the property and your specific concern.

Help us keep recycling clean and out of the landfill

We’re pleased to offer curbside recycling services to our residents. We want to maintain this service and continue to help divert as much trash as we can from the incinerator or landfill for the sake of our environment and planet. To do this, we need to keep recycling material free of contamination. If it’s contaminated, it’s rendered trash and ends up at the incinerator or landfill.

Recycling is only effective when it’s done right. Our recycling processing facility only accepts a load if it contains appropriate items that are clean and dry. During any given week, a number of the recycling carts we collect are contaminated. This is problematic. If our drivers empty a few contaminated carts into a truckload of recyclables, the entire load can be deemed contaminated and end up at the incinerator or landfill.

To minimize this, we’re performing route contamination reviews. If your cart is contaminated, you may receive a violation notice that includes a fee. In some cases, recycling services may be interrupted.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Only put items in your cart that have the recycle symbol on them. When in doubt, throw it out.
  • Be sure all recyclables are clean and dry – clean out food cans, yogurt cups, glass jars – and let them dry before you put them in the cart.
  • Put items into the cart loose.
  • No Styrofoam, dirty diapers, yard waste, wax-coated items, needles, automotive parts or trash.

Thanks for partnering with us to make sure we’re recycling as much as we can.


Recyclable Items

Cardboard

Flatten boxes, remove plastic and foam. Tape and labels are OK. Clean pizza boxes are OK!

Cartons

Coated paperboard that held liquid: milk, soy & almond milk, juice boxes, creamer, broth. Keep caps on.

Glass Bottles & Jars

CLEAN, clear & colored food or beverage glass. Remove lids (if metal). Labels are OK.

Plastic Bottles, Jugs, & Tubs

Clean, rigid plastic only. NO FOAM. Labels are OK.

NEW: Rinse & keep cap on.

Paper, Paperboard & Magazines

Remove plastic bags. Shred only what is necessary and place shredding in clear plastic bag.

Plastic Shopping Bags

Stuff bags inside another bag and tie shut.

Metal Cans & Foil

CLEAN; labels are OK. Aerosol cans MUST be empty.

We've got the perfect venue for your perfect event

Now that the weather is warmer and the sun is shining, it’s time to get outside.

Have a birthday party, graduation or wedding coming up? We can’t think of a better place to have it than at one of our beautiful parks!

You can review a list of our park facilities and reserve a space online. Have questions? Call us at 311 or 616.456.3000.

Summer property taxes due soon

It’s almost that time again – tax time. Summer 2019 property taxes will be mailed in late June and arrive in mailboxes on or about July 1. They’re due without penalty on July 31. As of August 1, interest and penalties will apply.

Summer/winter taxes will be consolidated this year. If your winter tax bill is $100 or less, the summer/winter taxes will be billed on July 1. If the five Kent County-voted millages appear on your summer tax bill, the summer/winter taxes were combined into one bill.

Did you forget to pay your taxes in 2018 or a year prior? Call the Kent County Treasurer’s Office at 616.632.7500.

Tips for filling your pool

This is the time of year when we all start dreaming of relaxing by the pool in the summer sun. But how do you fill your private pool for the season?

  • You can get a fire hydrant connection permit by filling out the hydrant connection rental online. Once your permit is approved, you can pick up the necessary tools to access the hydrant at our field operations office, located at 1900 Oak Industrial Drive NE. The office is open 7:30 a.m to 3 p.m. weekdays.
  • You can fill a pool with a garden hose. However, this method reflects on your water bill. You can calculate the cost by multiplying the length, width and depth of your pool in feet times the per unit water cost in Grand Rapids and dividing by 100 – this is the number of cubic feet in a unit. For example, for a pool that is 20 feet wide, 30 feet long and with an average depth of 4 feet, the Grand Rapids Water System cost of the water would be roughly $47.52. This is based on the 2018 cost of $1.98 per unit.

Questions? Call us at 311 or 616.456.3000.

Be cautious around wind-damaged trees

Spring always brings thunderstorms, and thunderstorms bring wind, rain and lighting. These storms can do damage to trees and cause branches to come loose – or even whole trees to fall. Trees can also be infested with an exotic species of beetle known as the Emerald Ash Borer. These bugs can cause considerable damage to a tree and they can even kill it.

If you know of a tree on public property that needs to be trimmed or removed, report it to us online, on our grcity 311 mobile app or calling our 311 Customer Service Center at 311 or 616.456.3000. Any tree on private property is the property owner’s responsibility.

News about your city and neighborhood

Be in the know of what’s happening in YOUR city and YOUR ward with GR Connect.

This free monthly e-newsletter highlights neighborhood news and is your source of information about activities at City Hall and your Police, Fire and Parks and Recreation departments, among others.

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Notes of interest

Yard Waste Drop-Off

Our yard waste drop-off site at 2001 Butterworth Ave SW is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The site remains free for City residents.


Yard Waste Collection

City yard waste tags are $2.50 each, City yard waste paper bags are $12.50 for a package of five and yard waste cart tags are $6 each. Curbside yard waste is collected on the same day as refuse collection. All yard waste needs to be placed at the refuse collection point by 7 a.m.


Refuse & Recycling Holiday Schedules

Refuse and recycling will not be collected on Memorial Day (May 27) or on the Fourth of July. Service will be delayed throughout the week the day after each holiday.