Mayor's News (Archive)

Fire Engine | 9/18/2014
The City of Kentwood dedicated its newest fire engine to the memory of former City Commissioner Frank Cummings whom passed while serving the City in August 2012.  We are very excited to honor Frank’s service to the City this way and thanks to Frank’s family for participating in the ceremony. We look forward to Engine No. 53 serving our residents with pride.  Here is a newslink to the dedication.

  ---  Mayor Kepley

Construction Projects Wrapping Up for the Year | 9/9/2014
With the approach of cooler days and winter, the City is finalizing road construction and watermain projects. The reconstruction of 52nd Street from Kalamazoo to Eastern Avenues has been postponed until next spring due to easement issues and the ability for the concrete to cure properly before experiencing snow removal and deicing materials.  We do intend to get 52nd Street in a bit better shape prior to winter so it survives those potentially treacherous freeze/thaw cycles.  I know some of you were hoping for 52nd to be completed this year but we just could not make it work.  For more on that check our Top Stories.

  ---  Mayor Kepley

Thank You To Michigan Army National Guard Volunteers! | 8/18/2014

The Cities of Kentwood and Wyoming were the welcome recipients of volunteer assistance from the Michigan Army National Guard’s 44th Street Armory.  About 30 soldiers took part in helping July 6th storm victim recover through clean up over the weekend.  A very special thanks to these dedicated folks for what they do!

  ---  Mayor Kepley

World Renew Conducting Unmet Needs Assessments for Storm Victims | 8/14/2014
World Renew, a locally based international disaster response team, will be out in the affected portions of our community this weekend assessing residents unmet needs related to the storm.  These folks will be out in force!  They will be in green shirts with ample identification as to who they are.  They are here to help!  Also, storm affected residents have been sent a mailer indicating where natural and man-made materials may be brought for disposal.  Please keep an eye out. If you did not receive a mailer, you are not in the storm impact zone area.

  ---  Mayor Kepley

Emotional Week in Kentwood | 8/8/2014
As I reflect on the events of this week, I can certainly say it was an emotional week for the City.  Firstly, the tragic loss of a young man and pain of that loss to all those who loved him and responded to the call.  We all feel deeply saddened when children are taken from us too soon.  National Night Out coincidentally occurred the next day and it gave neighborhoods a chance to interact and talk about this incident and how we can do our very best to say something when we see something.  Yet, random acts such as this are hard to prepare for and they happen in all types of communities.  My deepest condolences to all who were affected by this young man’s passing.

  ---  Mayor Kepley

Touch-a-Truck Event | 7/30/2014
We wanted to acknowledge the excellent turnout we had for the Touch-a-Truck event we co-hosted recently with the Kent District Library.  Many a youngster was able to interact with police, fire, airport, and public works heavy equipment.  Face painting, hard hat decoration, and coloring books were available.  Thanks to the Kentwood Police, Fire, and Public Works Departments, Kent District Library, and the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

  ---  The Mayor's Office

Meeting at Paladin Industries | 7/26/2014
I like to get out to our local businesses often and I had the great pleasure of meeting Larry Bell (pictured with me) of Paladin Industries. These folks do a wonderful job of supplying companies such as Herman Miller products which service the medical furniture industry and the ornate wood in luxury shifting knobs for autos. We also had a chance to discuss Proposal 1 with our state officials Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker and Rep. Ken Yonker.

  ---  Mayor Kepley

Proposal 1 Webinar on YouTube | 7/17/2014

Resident Voters,
We have posted a recorded webinar that presents a neutral perspective on Proposal 1 which will be on the August 5th ballot.  A vote is required to amend the Michigan Constitution as this issue would convert a portion of the existing state use tax to a local tax which would be used to reimburse local units like Kentwood for lost personal property tax revenues if approved.  Kentwood receives approximately $3 million in personal property tax revenues per year.

  --- Mayor Kepley

Thank you Kelloggsville Community Church! | 7/15/2014
Thanks to all the volunteer organizations and residents that came out to the Resource Information last evening at Kelloggsville Community Church last evening.  Thanks to Pastor Ron Bouwkamp and his staff for their assistance! Please remember the meeting at the Recreation Activities Center at 355 48th Street from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. today.

  ---  Mayor Kepley

Storm Event - Remarks | 7/9/2014
Dear Kentwood Citizens,
I trust all of you are well.  We are truly grateful and thankful that no one lost their life in our recent tornado storm event.  I have met many of you who are being challenged right now to push through the repairs and bring some order once again to your lives.  Having seen the damage and heard the stories, the reality is that we can always repair and rebuild structures and plant trees, we cannot replace life that has been lost.  For that we rejoice!

I am also truly grateful for all who have worked so hard to repair and return our neighborhoods to a place of normalcy.  I am thankful for the insurance agents and their crews who were on site at first light to begin the cleanup while giving comfort to our residents.  Their level of service to our citizens is so greatly appreciated.  I am further thankful for Consumers Energy, who “kicked it” restoring power to the main lines within 48 hours of the event.  Most Kentwood residents should now have power.  To see what was done in 24 hours in areas like Lyles Street is nothing less than a miracle made with sweat, determination, and prayer.  So that you know, any home that does not have power, most likely has an issue between the street lines and their circuit breaker.  Residents are encouraged to call Consumers Energy for assistance.  A private electrical contractor may be required to repair their private lines.  Our Electrical Inspector is working diligently to inspect repairs completed by private companies on these individual homes so that Consumers can flip the switch to restore power.

Of course I am proud and thankful to all our Kentwood employees.  Hats off to our first responders including all three fire stations, police officers on duty, to our Public Works crews, and Recreation Department that opened up the Activities Center for shelter to those in need.  Many of our employees worked throughout the night and following day checking on our residents and clearing the streets so that access and cleanup could begin.  All streets, except for three, were open by Tuesday morning with those three streets then open by Tuesday evening.  Great job!

Lastly, I want to thank the incredible people of Kentwood!  I just love the stories I have heard and seen of neighbors helping neighbors, of grills being fired up to serve lunch and dinners for work crews, and of those that went out immediately after the “freight train winds” to check on their neighbors.  You have provided an example for us all of what it means to be a friend and a neighbor!  We want to continue to encourage people not to drive and “sightsee” in damaged areas due to the number of contractors and work crews.  Space is limited and we want no one to get hurt in the cleanup process!  Speaking of cleanup, Kentwood residents can drop off their fallen trees and limbs to the Kelloggwoods Park between 52nd & 54th Street near Division Avenue between 8am and 10pm.  Please have ID available.

Blessings to you all.  Kentwood will once again be free of fallen wires and trees with homes restored or rebuilt.  It will just take some time.

  ---  Mayor Kepley
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