Public Safety Application Period to Open October 4

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety will be hiring additional Public Safety Officers beginning in May 2018. Applications may be submitted between October 4 through October 17, 2017 online ONLY at

To be considered, applicants must be a U.S. citizen and have a High School Diploma or GED equivalent, a valid driver’s license, and be 21 years old at time of appointment (May 1, 2018). Applicants will also be required to pass a written and physical test, and an extensive background investigation. Applicants are not required to be MCOLES (Police) certified to apply.

Kalamazoo Public Safety Officers are cross trained as police officers, firefighters, and medical first responders. They respond to calls for police, fire, and medical emergencies, along with other duties.

Advancement/additional opportunities include Detective, Canine Handler, Community Policing Officer, Narcotics Investigator, Crime Lab Technician, SWAT Team, Bomb Squad, Honor Guard, and Command Officer.

Applicants do not need to have prior police or fire certifications to be considered; KDPS will sponsor them through the police academy and provide fire training if needed. A training wage may apply to those who need to attend the Police Academy. Additional benefits include a Spanish language hiring bonus, veteran on-the-job training education benefits and the federal direct student loan forgiveness program.

For those interested, candidates are encouraged to fill out a “Job Interest Card” available at which will send notification when the application process begins.
Information about KDPS is available at and questions can be submitted through the “Contact” link at the top of the Home Page.

Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 Master Plan Available for Comment

City of Kalamazoo planning staff have released a draft of the Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 Master Plan for public review and comment.

The plan is the culmination of 16 months of extensive community engagement that included every neighborhood in the City. Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 hosted open houses and meetings, attended community picnics, conducted online surveys, and participated in Art Hops and other events to speak with community members about their vision for Kalamazoo’s future. Throughout the process more than 3,500 voices were heard.

The draft Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 Master Plan is also available at the following locations:

  • Kalamazoo City Hall, 241 W South Street
  • Kalamazoo Community Planning & Development, 415 E Stockbridge Ave
  • All branches of the Kalamazoo Public Library
  • Neighborhood Association offices
  • The Bernhard Center on the campus of Western Michigan University
  • The Kalamazoo College Library
  • Anna Whitten Hall on the Arcadia Commons Campus of Kalamazoo Valley Community College, 202 N Rose Street
  • Station 702, 702 Douglas Avenue
  • Walnut & Park, 322 W Walnut Street

Community members are invited to review the document and offer their comments and feedback to City Planning staff for review. Comments can be offered online via Open Town Hall or by emailing Kalamazoo City Planner Christina Anderson at Comment forms are also included with each copy of the master plan. The comment period is open through Friday, September 15.

City staff will be hosting an open house at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts on Tuesday, September 12 at 7 p.m. to review and discuss the draft Master Plan with community members. Additional details about this open house will be announced when they become available.

“We are excited to finally be able to share the results of Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 and look forward to hearing what people think,” said Rebekah Kik, Director of Community Planning & Development for the City of Kalamazoo. “But we’re even more excited to start working to achieve the goals laid out in the plan.”

After review and consideration of feedback received during the public comment period, the draft Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 Master Plan will be presented for approval. The plan will need approval first by the Planning Commission and if adopted, final approval by the City Commission. City staff anticipate the plan will be presented in October.

City staff would like to thank everyone who has participated in the Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 process. Without an engaged community that is committed to a brighter future in our city, this collaborative effort would not have been possible.

The Master Plan is divided into five sections:

  1. MP Introduction DRAFT
  2. Connected City DRAFT
  3. Great Neighborhoods DRAFT
  4. Downtown Life DRAFT
  5. Imagine Kalamazoo at Work

Full size land development map and legend:

Additional information:

Discussion of Foundation for Excellence Articles and Bylaws to Continue on August 7

The Kalamazoo City Commission will continue the discussion of proposed Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation for the Foundation for Excellence during its regularly scheduled August 7 meeting. The meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the City Commission Chambers at City Hall. City Commission meetings are also televised on PMN Channel 190 and on the City of Kalamazoo’s YouTube Channel.

Draft Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation were introduced to the City Commission during a Work Session on July 24. City staff have prepared additional information related to issues that were raised at the Work Session, which is available with the Meeting Agenda.

Following this additional discussion at the August 7 meeting, it is anticipated that the City Commission will consider the Articles and Bylaws for approval on August 21.

Draft Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation for the Foundation for Excellence, July 24, 2017

Revised Articles of Incorporation, August 3, 2017

Revised Bylaws, August 3, 2017



August 8 Meeting Will Explore Redevelopment Ideas for 116 W Cedar St

The City of Kalamazoo’s Economic Development Department will host a public meeting to discuss ideas for the redevelopment of the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority-owned property at 116 West Cedar Street in downtown Kalamazoo. The meeting will be held in the Van Deusen Room of the downtown branch of the Kalamazoo Public Library from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 8.

The structure at 116 West Cedar was built in 1957 as the City of Kalamazoo Fire Station No. 1.  It has also been used as the Fire Marshall’s Office and the Kalamazoo Public Safety Training Facility. After the building was decommissioned, ownership was transferred to the City of Kalamazoo Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and it has been used for storage since 2008.

The approximately 0.76-acre property contains the 14,803-square-foot building, parking and landscaped areas.  It is located in a commercial business district in downtown Kalamazoo.

“We want to hear what the community wants,” said Sara Jo Shipley, Redevelopment Project Manager for the City of Kalamazoo. “How can we be creative and take advantage of this building? What type of development would succeed here? What would add to the downtown experience for our city’s residents and visitors?”

The open house-style meeting will focus on building design, streetscape, potential uses, sustainable features, pedestrian facilities, and public art. Community members are encouraged to share ideas and are welcome to “drop-in” at any time during the open house.

The property was added to the City’s Brownfield Plan in 2004 to create development incentives once the property is made available for private acquisition. Economic Development staff will convey the types of uses and design features requested by our community to potential developers in a request for proposals for the property.

North Street to Close between Gull Road and Harrison Street

North Street will be closed between Gull Road and Harrison Street beginning Monday, July 31 as construction continues on the Harrison Street/Gull Road Roundabout Project. This closure will be in addition to current closures which include:

  • Ransom Street from Walbridge Street to Harrison Street
  • Harrison Street from Willard Street to North Street
  • Gull Street from Harrison Street to North Street

These road closures will be in effect through the completion of the project, which remains on schedule to be finished in mid-November. Access to businesses will be maintained via Harrison Street from the south and by temporary access to Harrison Street via Willard Street. Signage has been installed to help direct customers during construction.

A posted detour will direct traffic around construction along M-43/Riverview Avenue and north on Pitcher Street to North Street. Motorists are advised to plan accordingly when traveling in this area as they may experience delays during peak traffic times.

2017-07-27-North Street Detour Map

National Night Out Against Crime to be held Tuesday, August 1

On Tuesday, August 1st, citizens throughout Kalamazoo are invited to join forces with thousands of communities nationwide for National Night Out 2017: America’s Night Out Against Crime.

This year celebrates the 34th Annual National Night Out event. On this occasion, residents in neighborhoods throughout Kalamazoo and across the nation are asked to promote police-community partnerships; crime, drug, and violence prevention; safety; and neighborhood unity.  Many neighborhoods will be hosting a variety of special events such as block parties, cookouts, and youth activities.

Events in the City of Kalamazoo will be hosted by the following neighborhoods:

EASTSIDE - Neighborhood Association, Rockwell Park 1106 Trimble St from 5-7 PM.

EDISON - Neighborhood Association, 816 Washington from 5:30-6:30 PM.

NORTHSIDE - Neighborhood Association 612 N. Park from 6-8 PM.

VINE – Neighborhood Association, Vine St. at Locust from 5:30-7:30 PM.

MILWOOD - Neighborhood Association Greenwood Reformed Church, 1815 Winton from 6-8 PM.

PARKVIEW HILLS – Parkview Hills Club House; 3307 Green Leaf Blvd from 7-9 PM.

STUART- Neighborhood Association Elm St. Park (Westmain/Elm) St from 6-8 PM.

ARCADIA -Neighborhood Association @ Arcadia Elementary 932 Boswell Ln 6-8 PM

Americana Estates -  1802 Tray Lane (near playground) 6:00PM- 8:00PM

National Night Out is an enjoyable way to promote neighborhood spirit. On August 1st, 2017, we invite citizens to celebrate with us and their fellow neighbors.

Imagine Kalamazoo Strategic Vision

Kalamazoo has a vision for its future: action

Over 16 months from 2015 to 2017 a diverse group of more than 3,500 community voices joined together to explore opportunities, break down barriers, and chart new directions for themselves, their families, neighborhoods, and city over the coming decade. At open houses, community picnics, art hops, and through online surveys, people from every neighborhood contributed ideas about places, programs, policies, investments, and communal goals and values that were most important to them. Together, a vision was created to enhance quality of life for all, to embrace how diversity strengthens Kalamazoo, and to seek continuous community engagement. As one community, oriented like never before around action, Kalamazooans imagine having more jobs and less poverty, and providing all young people with the jump-start they need in life; they imagine making a more prosperous and equitable city, where anyone would want to live and raise a family; and they imagine creating a more beautiful and livable city that is more innovative and connected. Kalamazoo imagines: Kalamazoo acts.

The Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 Strategic_Vision was approved by the City Commission on July 17, 2017.

More information on Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 is available at

Sanitary Sewer Overflow 2600 Mount Olivet – Spring Valley Park

July 24, 2017, Kalamazoo, Michigan,  – The City of Kalamazoo Department of Public Services personnel were notified at 10:45 am on July 24, 2017 of a sanitary sewer overflow from a manhole located at 2600 Mount Olivet – Spring Valley Park.

The Department of Public Services staff removed the blockage at 11:45 am on July 24, 2017. The amount of material discharged from the sanitary sewer manhole is estimated to be about 300 gallons.  Normal flow conditions in the sanitary sewer have been restored and the impacted area has been remediated.

As required by law, Water Reclamation Plant personnel notified the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality at the Kalamazoo District Office and the Kalamazoo County Environmental Health and Community Services of the spill.


James Baker, PE
Public Services Director
(269) 337-8768


Sanitary Sewer Overflow 442 North Westnedge Avenue

July 24, 2017, Kalamazoo, Michigan,  – The City of Kalamazoo Department of Public Services personnel were notified at 11:45 am on July 24, 2017 of a spill of treated wastewater sludge from a transport vehicle at 442 North Westnedge Avenue.

The Department of Public Services staff finished remediating the impacted area at 3:00 pm on July 24, 2017. The amount of material spilled from the vehicle is estimated to be about 9 cubic feet.  The road surface has been cleaned and normal traffic flow restored.

As required by law, Water Reclamation Plant personnel notified the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality at the Kalamazoo District Office and the Kalamazoo County Environmental Health and Community Services of the spill.


James Baker, PE
Public Services Director
(269) 337-8768

City Commission to Discuss Foundation for Excellence at July 24 Work Session

On Monday, July 24 at 6:00 p.m. the Kalamazoo City Commission will convene for a work session focused on the Foundation for Excellence. The work session will be held in the City Commission Chambers at City Hall and will be televised live on Public Media Network Channel 187 and streamed on the City of Kalamazoo’s YouTube Channel.

The specific focus of the meeting will be the proposed bylaws and articles of incorporation for the new Foundation for Excellence. Since the FFE was approved in October 2016, City staff have explored best practices and worked with community partners and donors to draft the legal structure and rules of the Foundation. They will be presented to the City Commission for review and discussion and could be presented for approval as early as the August 7 meeting.

The documents spell out the details of how the FFE will operate, such as how the Board of Directors and Officers are selected, how meetings are scheduled and conducted, how projects are ultimately chosen for funding and the relationship between the FFE and the City Commission.

“We did our homework before preparing these documents and have consulted with our community partners, the Michigan Council of Foundations and reviewed other foundations across the country with similar missions,” explained City Manager Jim Ritsema. “The structure and bylaws we will present will set the FFE up for long-term success and provide funding to make our aspirations a reality.”

The proposed bylaws and articles of incorporation are available here.

In addition to $70.3 million to fund a three-year transition period through 2019, the Memorandum of Understanding between the City and the lead donors included a commitment to assist in a fundraising effort to raise the approximately $500 million needed to fully endow the Foundation and sustain its work in perpetuity. After the documents are approved, this fundraising effort will begin and the Foundation’s Board of Directors will be selected.

Several Kalamazoo residents have already shown their support for the Foundation’s work by electing to donate a portion of their 2017 property tax savings back to the FFE.

“We are continuing to see strong support for the Foundation for Excellence and for the important investments that it will enable in our city,” said Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby J. Hopewell. “With each step in the progress we are getting closer and closer to ensuring this will continue for generations to come, making our city a better place and helping all in our community to realize their potential.”