September 17 Grand Reopening Event Set for Davis Street Park

 

Join us to celebrate the newly renovated Davis Street Park in Kalamazoo's Vine Neighborhood!

Starting in 2017 the park has seen a number of improvements, including a new ga-ga pit, a new shelter, new pathways, and most recently the installation of a 4,000 square-foot skate plaza, designed in collaboration with neighborhood residents.

To celebrate the completion of the project, Kzoo Parks will host a neighborhood celebration on Monday, September 17! Area skateboarders will provide a demonstration of the new skate plaza starting at 4:30 p.m. and a casual reopening ceremony will follow at 5:15. The City Commission will then hold their Neighborhood and Business Meetings at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.

Light refreshments will be provided including hot dogs, chips, soft drinks, water, and cookies. RSVP is requested to assist with planning (but not necessary).

Join us to celebrate, enjoy the new park, and mingle with neighbors and city officials. You can RSVP on Facebook here.

 

Fall Hydrant Flushing begins September 16

The 2018 Fall Hydrant Flushing Program will begin on Sunday, September 16. Most of the flushing will be done at night between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. with some additional day flushing between the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

Public Services Department personnel will flush the hydrants and mains to remove accumulated sediments. While flushing doesn’t affect the safety of the water supply, tap water may appear cloudy or discolored immediately after flushing. The City is advising residents to run their cold water in their bathtub or utility sink until it runs clear again, and is discouraging them from using their washing machines the day of flushing and for 24 hours after, since clothing could become discolored.

Periodic flushing is necessary to get rid of deposits that form inside the water mains.  Over time, sediment builds up on the inside of water distribution pipes, narrowing the path that water can flow through to individual homes and businesses. Flushing stirs up water in the mains and forces water and sediments out. By widening the path that water can flow through the mains, the flushing program will improve water flow, helping the City to better meet the needs of Public Safety fire personnel. Another goal of the flushing program is to make sure that all water supply systems work, including pumps, storage tanks, mains, valves, and hydrants.

If you have scheduled construction or maintenance projects during this time, please contact Robert McClenney at 337-8148 so that necessary precautions can be taken to avoid conflicts or problems.

You can view the Hydrant Flushing schedule in the View from the Curb

 

City of Kalamazoo to Work with Homeless Residents to Better Assist the Homeless

The City of Kalamazoo will form a workgroup to explore long-term solutions to reduce homelessness and increase options available to assist homeless residents in securing housing and other social services. The workgroup will consist of representatives from existing service providers, city staff, and homeless residents, and focus on coordinating existing services, identifying how different organizations can work together to better serve our community, and exploring new ideas that can create additional housing opportunities. The first meeting of this group is tentatively scheduled for the week of Tuesday, September 4.

This partnership is the result of discussions that have occurred during a protest encampment located in Bronson Park. Public Safety Officers, City employees, and homeless residents met on several occasions to discuss how the situation could be resolved and the groups involved could work together to reach a sustainable, long-term solution. City employees also coordinated with Ministry with Community, the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission to allow previously banned individuals to return, and arranged for social service outreach to occur during the protest.

The protest was sparked by proposed changed to city park rules, but evolved into a larger discussion about conditions for homeless residents.

“Kalamazoo is a generous and compassionate community, with many people willing to donate time and money to help people in need,” said City Manager Jim Ritsema. “It is important that we listen to the voices of those that we are trying to help. If they are telling us that the help we are offering is not working, we need to listen and work together to figure out what must change.”

To provide a short-term solution, the City of Kalamazoo will consider the former fire station at 116 Cedar Street as a limited public forum for 30 days, permitting individuals to camp at this location. This will provide an immediate option for homeless residents and time for the workgroup to explore alternatives. Individuals that choose continue camping at other locations in violation of city ordinances will be subject to enforcement action.

“I’ve been fighting for homeless rights since I was 17 years old, and this is the first time I’ve seen something that’s working together as a unit,” said Arthur Morlock, a homeless resident and member of the group. “Not as one person being bigger or better or big brother just pushing it under the rug.”

“We addressed the problem to the City of Kalamazoo, and the city is willing to work with us to set a precedent nationwide, starting right here in Kalamazoo,” said Stuart Hamilton, another member of the group. “Just because you’re homeless doesn’t mean that you aren’t human. You have rights and you can stand up for them.”

“I am optimistic that this partnership will lead to the postive changes that we need to help homeless residents get back on their feet,” noted City Manager Ritsema. “Although protests and demonstrations can be uncomfortable, I am glad that these events have ultimately brought us together around an important issue in our community.”

City of Kalamazoo

Home to the Kalamazoo Promise, three institutions of higher education, two nationally recognized healthcare systems, cutting-edge medical research, world-class brewing and dining, outstanding parks, and an extensive variety of music, art, theatre, and cultural attractions.

Contact

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 (269) 337-8047
 (269) 337-8182
 241 West South Street
     Kalamazoo, MI 49007

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