Mayor's News (Archive)

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

Celebrate Independence Day with Us! | 7/3/2014
I am so very excited to be a part of the Fourth of July Celebration here in Kentwood!  Looking forward to a beautiful holiday weekend to honor our independence.  I, and my fellow Commissioners will be in the parade beginning at 9:30 a.m.  Please check out our list of activities in the newsfeed to the right of this blog.  I also wanted to alert you to construction taking place.  Daytime lane closures on M-37/M-44 (E. Beltline Avenue) will occur from 9AM to 3PM starting July 8th until Friday July 11th.  A minimum of one lane of traffic will be maintained at all times in each direction on the Beltline.  There will also be lane closures daily on M-11 (28th Street) and 29th Street at their intersections with M-37/M-44. This work is dependent on weather so please be aware of any updates that may come out later next week.

  ---  Mayor Kepley

New Covenant Community Church of God | 6/30/2014
I was able to spend some time and celebrate with the New Covenant Church of God as they observed their 74th Anniversary and 11th year with Pastor Terry Dudley and First Lady Sabrina Dudley in a special service held on June 29th.   This service was conducted in the Kentwood Library Community Room and I was glad to participate in this celebration.  Blessings to them in their years of worship and service to come!

  ---  Mayor Kepley

Kentwood Businesses Doing Well! | 6/27/2014
I wanted to take time to let you know that I have been a part of a few businesses celebrating a grand opening and an extensive remodeling.  First, HD Supply Waterworks is a new Kentwood business on 36th Street that specializes in many of those critical components of fire suppression and drinking  water systems that we never see because they are underground.  The second business I had the pleasure of visiting was the newly remodeled Ramada Inn on 28th Street.  They have invested $1.5 million to keep their hotel fresh and relevant to this market.  We appreciate their investment!  You can see me helping cut the ribbon on this remodel in the picture.  They had a Hawaiian theme celebration and it was very fun!

  ---  Mayor Kepley

Former City Commissioner Judie Wylie Passes | 6/10/2014
With sadness, we have learned that former City Commissioner Judie Wylie has passed away. Commissioner Wylie served our city with passion from 1981-2001.  She served as the City’s Finance Committee Chair for much of that time.  Ms. Wylie further was a community leader with service to the Kentwood Women’s Club and other efforts.   Blessings to her family in their time of mourning.  Thoughts to her husband Bob whom the City got to know so well during Judie’s service to the City.

  ---  Mayor Kepley

Great Community Weekend! | 6/9/2014
I had the esteemed honor of participating in two special events this past weekend. On Friday night, I was honored to assist in Kentwood’s Relay for Life kick-off.  It was a heartfelt time for me due to family members and current employees enduring or having endured cancer as well as losing a former Mayor to the disease.  May we continue to encourage the fight until this non discriminating disease is defeated.

My wife, Susan, and I were also in attendance for the St. Mary Magdalen’s dedication service on Sunday.  As you may recall, the former structure caught fire leaving little remains.  Not quite two years later, the congregation has worked extremely hard and diligent to re-establish a facility that will bring blessing to our community. Congratulations and blessings to Bishop Walkowiak and the church congregation! 

  ---  Mayor Kepley

Peoples Health Center of Michigan | 5/29/2014
I had the pleasure of attending an Open House last week for the Peoples’ Health Center at 775 36th Street at Hope Network’s Campus. This Center is a partnership of Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, Hope Network, and Metro Health.  This clinic will feature Metro Health providing primary care, Mercy Health offering dental, and Hope Network providing behavioral health. These integrated health services will target under-privileged populations. Added bonus to spend time with Gerald DeRuiter of Hope Network whom is a former Kentwood Mayor!

  ---  Mayor Kepley
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