Winter 2015
Spotlight on...Kentwood


Table of Contents

From the Office of the Mayor

Dear Kentwood Citizens,

As I write this spotlight article, I am reflecting on both the recent stories from afar, which weigh heavily on our minds, and the approaching holiday season. As Americans, we embrace the words that were formed from the quill of one of our Country’s founders. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” What is unalienable cannot be taken away or denied. As Americans, no person shall be allowed to take away another’s freedom to peacefully pursue goals and dreams for themselves or their family.

Having such a diverse residential community, how can Kentwood experience unity and support the words of our founders? I think it is simple. I think it is based on another set of words that are much older, instructing us to love our neighbor as ourselves. No matter what our neighbor looks like, talks like, or worships like, we need to love.

I encourage all to act and not react as we live our day-to-day lives. To pursue resolution in love versus allowing anger, fear, or false perceptions to take a foothold. To pursue peace without sacrificing our freedoms. We, who call Kentwood home, should be proud of our peaceful neighborhoods and schools. We are doing a great work here as we live our lives in peace and unity. Let us encourage one another to love, to act, and to live in harmony.

Peace be upon you all as we celebrate our many blessings this holiday season.
Mayor Kepley


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Your City Elected Officials


Stephen Kepley
Steve Redmond
Robert Coughlin
1st Ward Commissioner
Betsy Artz
Michael Brown
2nd Ward Commissioner
Erwin Haas
2nd Ward Commissioner
Gerald (Jerry) DeMaagd
1st Ward Commissioner
Dan Kasunic
City Clerk
Laurie Sheldon
City Treasurer

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Kellogwoods Dog Park Now Open!

Kentwood residents now have an area to exercise and socialize their four-legged friends at our brand new dog park. The fenced in off-leash dog park has separated areas for large and small dogs. Also available are benches, dog waste receptacles and water spigots to rehydrate your pup. Dog parks add value and diversity to our park system and provide a great opportunity for pets and people to socialize. Kelloggwoods Park is located at 275 Kellogg Woods Park Dr.

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Happenings At The Richard L. Root Kentwood Branch Library

Winter is the perfect time to visit the library! In addition to books, magazines, DVDs, beautiful  views and quiet  places to read, we offer free computer classes, weekly chess games, storytimes for young children and programs for all ages.
“Ugly” Sweater Cupcake Wars
Teens! Wear your most unique  holiday  sweater and participate in a holiday  themed cupcake decorating showdown. Judges will give awards for the “ugliest” sweater and for cupcake decorating skills.
For grades 6 – 12. Tuesday, December 29 at 2:00 PM. Pre-registration  is required.
Mario Kart Wii Tournament
Join us for our first Mario Kart tournament series on the Wii U featuring  prizes and snacks!

Wednesday, December 30 beginning at 10:00 AM. Pre-registration  is required.
Countdown to Happy “Noon” Year!
Families can ring in 2016 with a countdown, noisemakers, goodies and fun at an hour that won’t keep your  kids up past their  bedtime! 
Thursday,  December  31 at 11:30 AM
Retro Arcade
For one weekend only we will set up our community room as a retro 1980’s video game arcade! Remember Pac-Man, Frogger and Donkey Kong? These and other favorites will be available for play (high  school age and up) as well as refreshments and music.

Saturday, January 23 from 3:00 PM till 8:00 PM
Sunday, January 24 from 1:30 PM till 3:30 PM
Home Brewing Basics
Jump into home brewing with expert advice from Chrissy Walker of Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery. Learn everything you need to know to get started including ingredients and equipment.
Wednesday, February 10 at 6:30 PM.
To register or find more program information,  please visit us online  at or call (616) 784-2007.

Richard L. Root Kentwood Branch
4950 Breton, SE
Monday –Thursday 9:30-8:00 pm
Friday, Saturday 9:30 -5:00 pm
Sunday, 1:00 – 5:00 PM

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Kentwood Parks & Recreation Department


Through December 16      Be A Santa To A Senior Program (KAC) Holiday Food Drive &
                                         ‚Äč Mitten Tree (KAC)                            

December 2                      Annual Tree Lighting 6-8:00pm FREE! (KDL-New Location!)

                                         4-8:00pm Elves Express Gift Shop / $2 gifts

                                         6:00pm Carriage Rides, Candy Cane Hunt

                                         6-6:45pm Refreshments

                                         6:45-7:15pm Caroling, Tree Lighting

                                         7:15-8:00pm Pictures with Santa

                                                  (*Please bring your own camera)

December 11                   Drive Thru Santa 6-8pm (KAC)

January 30                      Freeze Fest Disc Golf Event & Food Drive 10:00am (OFP)

February  20                    Daddy/Daughter Dance 6-8:00pm (KAC)

March 3                           Taste Of Kentwood / Silent Auction 4:30-6pm & 6:30-8pm (KAC)


March 26                         Breakfast With The Bunny 9-11:00am (KAC)


KAC      Kentwood Activities Center (355 48th St)

KDL      Kentwood Library (4950 Breton Rd SE)

OFP      Old Farm Park (2350 Embro)

For further information call (616) 656-5270

Check out our Winter Brochure at

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Committee Openings

The Mayor’s Office is currently accepting applications to fill vacancies on the Economic Development Corporation, the Parks and Recreation Commission, and the Historic Preservation Commission. Please join us in serving our community! For more info, please call 616-698-9610.

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Treasurer's Office



Winter property tax bills will be issued December 1st and are due February 14, 2016. This bill represents the 2015 winter tax. Levied taxes for the taxing authorities are referenced on the bill. The tax bills do not cover specific months, but rather, levy different taxes due for the entire year.

• Payment must be received at the Treasurer’s Office no later than February 14th to avoid 3% penalty.

• Postmarks are not accepted as a date of payment.

• Tax payments made voluntarily on the incorrect parcel cannot be refunded or adjusted.

• The last day real estate tax payments can be accepted by the City of Kentwood is February 29, 2016. All real estate tax unpaid by February 29, 2016 will be turned over as delinquent to the Kent County Treasurer for collection as mandated by Michigan Property Tax Law.

Payment Options:

• The non-cash Teller Tube and 24 hour payment drop box located off Breton entrance between City Hall and the Library

• Cash, Check or Credit Cards are accepted at City Hall Monday- Friday 8am -5pm

• Online at

• By phone 1-844-400-3552 (Fee to use Credit or Debit Cards is 3% of the payment or a minimum of $2)

Feel free to contact the Treasurer’s Office at (616)554-0761 with any additional questions.


The City of Kentwood offers Dog License purchases and renewals. A current rabies vaccination and certificate are required by law in order to purchase a dog license. You may obtain your license at the Treasurer’s Office Monday – Friday from 8am – 5pm.


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Non-Motorized Trail Planning


The trail system plays a key role in keeping Kentwood healthy, connected and fun. Many residents have indicated they are a valued asset within the community and have shown a desire to expand the network.

To that end, we have created a draft Non-Motorized Trail Plan and are seeking feedback from Kentwood residents. The plan was developed through the collective efforts of the police, engineering, parks and recreation and planning departments to expand upon the current sidewalks and trails.

We invite you to review the plan online at:


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Winter Tidbits



The City of Kentwood’s Department of Public Works prioritizes winter operations from highest volume street to lowest volume street in the following order:

1. Major Streets within the City of Kentwood with the most traffic are the first priority when it comes to snow removal. A few examples of major streets are 44th, 52nd, Kalamazoo and Eastern. We plow and salt the major routes first during a snow event.

2. Collector Streets are the mainstreets throughout many of the subdivisions where you live. They act as the most effective way to enter or exit an area adjacent to the major streets. These routes are plowed and salted after the major streets have been cleared and are as safe as possible to travel on. Some examples of collector streets are: Baileys Grove Dr., Stauffer Ave and Gentian Ave.

3. Local Streets are the streets with in the subdivisions themselves. We plow these once the collectors are cleared and safe for travel. We typically do not spread salt on the local streets.

4. Cul-De-Sacs/stub streets are the last to get attention. We will plow these with smaller pick-up trucks and direct the snow to areas in the cul-de-sac that are suitable for snow storage. Please make sure all items are removed from the cul-de-sacs such as: soccer goals, portable basketball hoops and any other miscellaneous items.

There are many times when we have finished one classification of street and moved into another and Mother Nature decides to disrupt our plan. In these cases, as the major roads deteriorate, we will shift our attention back to them and then the cycle starts over.

We make every attempt to have all the roads cleared within 24 hours after the snow event has ended. During most snow events our crews are working around the clock with trucks on the road 24 hours a day, sometimes for several days in a row. Thank you for your patience this winter.


Please shovel your sidewalks and clear away the snow around fire hydrants. Keeping them accessible is a great help to our Fire Department and pedestrians.

Please do not park on any public street between 1:00 am and 8:00 am between November 15 and March 15. This effort greatly improves our ability to clear the streets of snow and ice.



The City of Kentwood offers a Christmas tree recycle site open December 26 through January 31 between 7:30 am and 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. The site is located at the City of Kentwood DPW at 5068 Breton Avenue. Please remove all lights and decorations before dropping off your tree.

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Did You Know?

Kent County’s first airport broke ground in November of 1919, in what is now known as the City of Kentwood. This was eight years after the area witnessed its first airplane landing which was a Wright biplane at Comstock Park State Fairgrounds on September 10, 1911. The airport was operated by the Kent County Board of Supervisors.

At its peak, the Kent County Airport encompassed an area bounded by 32nd Street to the north, 44th Street to the south, Jefferson and Madison Avenues to the west, and Eastern Avenue to the east. On Saturday, November 23, 1963, all Kent County air services were transferred to the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Cascade Township.

For more local history, please visit the Kentwood Heritage Room located on the second floor of the Kentwood Branch Library.


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Kentwood Newsletter Archive

4/1/2014 - City of Kentwood Newsletter - Spring 2014
7/15/2014 - City of Kentwood Newsletter - Summer 2014
11/25/2014 - City of Kentwood Newsletter - Winter 2014
5/12/2015 - City of Kentwood Newsletter - Spring 2015
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