City of Kentwood Operational Changes in Response to COVID-19
March 24 Update: For as long as the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order is in place, we will no longer be offering frozen senior meals for pick-up at the Kentwood Activites Center. Seniors may contact Meals on Wheels Western Michigan at 616.459.3111 or go online at www.MealsOnWheelsWesternMichigan.org to request home delivery service during this time.
March 23 Update: Per the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order, all City of Kentwood buildings will be closed to the public. Most non-essential employees will be working remotely starting March 24 for at least the next three weeks. Essential services will continue uninterrupted.
Residents are encouraged to continue to access City services through the following methods:
- Utilizing services available online at www.kentwood.us.
- Calling or emailing City departments or officials.
- Paying bills through U.S. mail, the drop box or electronically using ACH. A reminder that no fees apply to ACH, but a 3% fee applies to online and automated phone transactions.
March 20 Update: Following is an update on food assistance, business resources and our operations.
- Kentwood’s Little Free Pantry is still open at the Kentwood Activities Center, 355 48th St. offering canned goods and other supplies. Those who would like to utilize the pantry are asked to call ahead to 616.656.5270 to coordinate a pick-up time as items will be packed in advance and handed at the KAC doors.
- How can you help? We are in continued need of resources to stock Kentwood’s Little Free Pantry. Those who wish to drop off donations are asked to call 616.656.5270 to make arrangements for donation drop-offs or pick-ups.
- The Parks and Recreation Department continues to partner with Senior Meals. If you are a senior or know of a senior who could benefit from this program, please call the office at 616.656.5270 to reserve a frozen meal and plan for pickup. Notice of at least two business days is needed to ensure enough meals are on hand for the next pickup day. Participants are asked not to get out of their cars upon arrival as a staff member will bring the meals out to them. If seniors would like items from the pantry while picking up a reserved meal, the Parks and Recreation Department asks that they call in advance so staff can confirm whether requested items are available and pre-pack them.
- Lunches for students are available throughout the community thanks to Kent County School Sites, Kids’ Food Basket and Hand 2 Hand. Kentwood Community Church, 1200 60th St. SE, also offers drive-by pickup at “Door A” every Tuesday and Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. Additionally, the Michigan Department of Education has developed an online map for families to find locations where meals are being provided during this period of school closure.
- A list of resources and information for Michigan businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak can be found at www.michiganbusiness.org/covid19. The Michigan Small Business Relief Program and SBA Economic Injury Disaster Relief Loan program are two examples of newly announced resources.
The 62-B District Court is now closed to walk-in traffic per the state, joining all other City facilities, which have been closed to walk-in traffic since March 18. More information regarding the change in court operations can be found here. As a reminder, while employees are continuing to work, access inside City facilities for non-employees is by appointment only. Essential services continue uninterrupted. These include: police, fire, emergency medical, water, sewer and public works.
The City of Kentwood continues to remain in contact with state and local health officials to ensure City operations align with their guidance. For more information regarding COVID-19, visit accesskent.com/coronavirus, CDC.gov/Coronavirus and Michigan.gov/Coronavirus. You can also utilize this statewide hotline: 1-888-535-6136.
March 19 Update: 62-B District Court operations have been further amended per this memo through April 28.
March 17 Update: In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, the cities of East Grand Rapids, Grandville, Kentwood and Wyoming today joined Grand Rapids and Walker in taking steps to limit in-person contact at all municipal facilities. Starting at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, March 18, all municipal facilities except courts in these four cities will be closed to walk-in traffic. Grand Rapids and Walker announced the closure of their facilities to walk-in traffic earlier today.
Essential services in each city continues uninterrupted. These include: police, fire, emergency medical, water, sewer and public works. 62-B District Court operations have been amended per an administrative order that can be found here. Most public meetings and work sessions have been postponed; please check city websites for updates.
The closures will be in effect until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, April 5. At that time, city officials in each municipality will make a decision on either extending these steps or reopening. While employees are continuing to work in each city, access inside city hall facilities for non-employees will be by appointment only.
Residents are encouraged to continue to access city services through the following methods:
- Checking the city’s website and social media platforms. A complete list of websites is included at the end of this release.
- Calling or emailing city departments or officials.
- Paying bills through U.S. mail, at city drop boxes or electronically using ACH, or drive-up window. A reminder that no fees apply to ACH, but a 3% fee applies to online and automated phone transactions.
- Requesting an in-person meeting. While not all employees may be available, each city will continue to meet with the public on an appointment-only basis.
- Subscribing to electronic newsletters for municipalities that offer them.
The cities remain open for business and have taken these steps to safeguard residents and employees. They are following the lead of public health officials, who are encouraging all Michiganders to practice social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and ‘flatten the curve’ of new infections.
Each city has invested in online tools that will allow community members to access information 24/7. More information on individual municipalities can be found at:
- East Grand Rapids: http://eastgr.org/covid
- Grand Rapids: https://www.grandrapidsmi.gov/
- Kentwood: https://www.kentwood.us/covid
- Grandville: https://www.cityofgrandville.com/
- Walker: http://www.walker.city/newsdetail_T2_R440.php
- Wyoming: https://www.wyomingmi.gov/covid
March 16 Update: In cooperation with the Governor’s emergency declaration and at the recommendation of the Kent County Health Department and local public safety officials, the City of Kentwood is limiting certain operations to help mitigate the transmission of COVID-19, a novel coronavirus.
Our primary goal continues to be the safety of those living, working in and visiting our community. We will continue to remain in contact with state and local health officials to ensure City operations align with their guidance on this issue.
Accordingly, the Mayor has implemented the following operational changes (effective immediately):
- City residents are advised there are alternative ways to conduct City business, including via U.S. Postal Service, drive-up teller or online at www.kentwood.us. The City’s drop box will be processed frequently during normal business hours.
- Police and Fire operations will continue to coordinate response efforts for potential COVID-19 transmission with emergency response and healthcare agencies.
- The public will be allowed to enter common areas of City Hall but not departmental areas.
- All board and committee meetings are canceled until further notice.
- Kentwood Activities Center will remain closed per Executive Order 2020-9. Kentwood’s Little Free Pantry will be accessible as a drive-up or walk-up service. Please call ahead, if possible.
- All indoor and outdoor recreational programming has been suspended through April 5.
- Events in City-owned rental space have been suspended through April 5.
- City Clerk will suspend the issuance of passports until further notice.
- Rental inspections will be suspended until further notice.
- Public access to the Department of Public Works will be suspended until further notice.
- Court operations have been amended per an administrative order that can be found here.
- Remote working arrangements will be reviewed on an individual basis and must be approved by the HR Director and Mayor.
- All staff are advised to not participate in non-essential in-person meetings. The City will establish teleconferencing capabilities as needed.
- The City is banning non-essential work-related staff travel and conferences.
- Staff are recommended to cancel all personal travel as it may complicate their ability to return to work.