City updates service changes following Stay Home, Stay Safe extension

Published on April 10, 2020

Photo of City Hall with an

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – City Manager Mark Washington today announced updates to temporary service changes following the extension of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order. The executive order now goes through April 30.

The extended and expanded executive order directs all Michigan businesses and operations to temporarily suspend in-person operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life and directs residents to stay in their homes unless they are part of the critical infrastructure workforce, engaged in an outdoor activity or performing tasks necessary to the health and safety of themselves or their loved ones. It also clarifies that travel for vacations or any other purpose is prohibited and imposes restrictions on stores in an effort to reduce crowds.

“We have a responsibility to our residents and our employees. That’s why it’s important we do what we can to stop the spread of COVID-19 and maintain the critical services our community depends on,” Washington said.

The City is extending its previously announced service adjustments to align with the extended executive order. The following changes are in effect through April 30 unless otherwise noted:

  • City buildings remain closed to walk-in traffic. Staff members are available to provide services via email, phone or 311 Customer Service. The City’s website – – also offers a wide range of services. Call Customer Service at 311 or 616.456.3000 or email Community members who require police services are encouraged to file a report online or by phone. CLICK HERE for more information.
  • The following meetings will take place online via Webex:
  • All April 14 and April 28 City Commission committee and full body meetings
  • April 22 SmartZone Development Finance Authority
  • April 23 Planning Commission meeting

For more information on how to watch or listen by phone to the online meetings, CLICK HERE.  The City Commission meetings are shown live in English on Comcast Channel 26, Facebook and YouTube. They also are streamed live in Spanish HERE. The Planning Commission meetings are streamed live on Facebook and YouTube. Public comment may be provided during the City Commission and Planning Commission meetings by calling 311 or 616.456.3000.

  • Non-essential meetings of City boards and commissions are postponed.
  • The City’s curbside yard waste collection continues. Materials in City-issued yard waste carts and bags and brush that is bundled and tied with a yard waste tag are accepted. Yard waste bags and tags are available for purchases at stores listed HERE. For more information about the City’s curbside yard waste service, including accepted materials, CLICK HERE.
  • The City’s yard waste drop-off site remains closed to maintain safe physical distancing and operating provisions per the executive order. Residents who do yard work on their property are encouraged to use the City’s curbside yard waste collection program and dispose of as much material as possible through the service. Overflow material that can’t be placed in a yard waste cart or bag may be stacked neatly in the rear or side yard of one’s property – not in the public right-of-way or front yard – until it can be disposed of at the yard waste drop-off site once the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order is lifted. Enforcement of code regulations related to neatly stacked and temporarily stored materials are temporarily suspended during the executive order. 
  • All special events are suspended.
  • Parks and Recreation facility rentals are suspended. A full refund will be provided.
  • Indian Trails Golf Course remains closed.
  • The following park amenities remain closed:
  • Playgrounds
  • Basketball courts
  • Bike polo courts
  • Futsal courts
  • Pickleball courts
  • Tennis courts
  • Volleyball courts
  • Disc golf
  • Soccer fields
  • Baseball and softball fields
  • Exercise equipment
  • Skateboarding features
  • Picnic shelters and picnic tables
  • Grills
  • Restrooms
  • Drinking fountains
  • Swimming pools
  • Splash pads

All parks, dog parks and trails remain open with warnings. The City continues to encourage community members to get outside and stay active. While the use of parks, trails and open spaces is allowed under the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order, visitors must follow the 6-foot physical distancing requirement. The City urges visitors to follow these park usage guidelines:

  • Don’t visit a park, trail or open space if you’re feeling ill.
  • Visit only with members of your household.
  • Wash your hands before and after you visit and don’t touch your face.
  • While on a trail, warn other users of your presence and step aside to let others pass.
  • If the park, trail or open space is busy and social distancing isn’t possible, find another time to visit or find an alternate location. 
  • Funerals with no more than 10 attendees can continue.
  • Metered parking enforcement downtown and in neighborhood business districts and residential parking permit enforcement remain suspended. Enforcement on safety violations such as “No Parking” and blocking crosswalks remains in effect, with specific attention paid to medical facilities, Grand Rapids Police Department and areas that are providing food pickup services.
  • DASH service remains suspended. For other Rapid service changes, CLICK HERE.
  • Water service shutoffs remain suspended.
  • Interior inspections of occupied residential units for code enforcement, water services and lead remediation projects remain suspended except in the case of an emergency health, safety or welfare concern.
  • Rental certification inspections of all types remain suspended. Existing certifications due in April and May are extended through May 31. Code enforcement staff will issue extensions and reschedule certification inspections as necessary.
  • No new applications for Community Development Block Grant contracts for housing rehabilitation and lead remediation are accepted.

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss praised the community for taking public health recommendations and the governor’s executive orders seriously over the past month. She also reminded residents to wear masks when in public and continue to practice physical distancing.

“I continue to be impressed by our community’s response to this crisis,” Bliss said. “We are staying home, staying safe and looking out for one another. We are finding ways to support our local businesses and we are checking in on our neighbors to make sure they’re safe. As long as we continue to work together, we can ensure the health and safety of our friends, family and neighbors.” 

Bliss reminded community members to participate in Grand Rapids Waves – a neighbor connection initiative launched by the City to encourage residents to get outside every day at 7:30 p.m. to wave to neighbors and make sure everyone is OK. She also touted, which gives community members ideas for how to support local businesses from the comfort of their homes.

Community members are reminded to call United Way 211 or 800.887.1107 or visit for community and social services such as food and shelter, bill pay assistance and cybercrime support. For City services such as trash, recycling, water and City bill pay, call 311 or 616.456.3000 or visit Call 911 for emergency services such as police, fire and paramedics. Follow the City on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Nextdoor.

Community members also are reminded to call 311 or 616.456.3000 – not 911 – to report concerns about individuals and businesses not following the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order.

Read more about the City’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts in English HERE and en español AQUÍ. Watch the latest video message from the city manager and mayor in English HERE and en español AQUÍ.

Track the City’s COVID-19 updates HERE. For up-to-date information on COVID-19, click HEREHERE and HERE.

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