Author Archives: conwayn

Draft Strategic Plan Available

City staff is looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the City-wide Strategic Vision for the City of Kalamazoo. Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 has been working hard for 16 months to gather information to define the future direction of the community. Please download the document, visit City Hall, or Community Planning & Development to read a copy. We are happy to have your comments by email, writing, or by phone. We will close comments on July 7, 2017. We will be presenting the final document to the City Commission on July 17, 2017 for final adoption.

Imagine Kalamazoo Strategic Vision (draft) Download

City Continues Replacement of Lead Water Services

On June 5, the Kalamazoo City Commission unanimously approved $1,656,509 to accelerate the replacement of lead water services within the City of Kalamazoo Public Water Supply System. Of the total funding, $500,000 was appropriated from Foundation for Excellence funds and will be used to accelerate replacement of services within the City.

The City of Kalamazoo and its contractors are currently in the process of replacing lead water services with plans to replace approximately 400 in 2017. This level of replacements represents a roughly four times more than previous years.

More than half of the lead services planned for replacement are located in Kalamazoo Township and will be removed by contractors in conjunction with Kalamazoo County Road Commission street construction projects.

Streets planned for lead service removals within Kalamazoo Township include Bronx Avenue, Dartmouth Avenue, Dayton Avenue, Sunnyside Drive, Texel Drive, Waverly Drive, Gertrude Street, Charles Avenue, Andora Avenue, Ann Street, Berkley Street, Carleton Avenue, Egleston Avenue, Grove Street, Lamont Avenue, Sonora Street, Stewart Drive, Westwood Drive, and Willis Avenue.

Contractors will also be performing replacements within the City of Kalamazoo on Locust Street, Bryant Street, Lane Street, Lane Alley, Cameron Street, Francis Court, Hazel Avenue, Midvale Terrace, Oakland Drive, Parkwood Avenue, Portage Street, and Vine Street.

City of Kalamazoo staff will also replace lead water services along West Main Street, Church Street, and others areas based on the results of water quality sampling.  As construction season progresses, additional streets may be added based on the availability of resources.

Customers that will see their services replaced this year will receive notification in advance of this work either in person or via a door hanger, and be provided the opportunity coordinate the timing of the work in accordance with their schedule. If no response is received from the customer, the replacement will still occur, which requires water service to be temporarily shut off. A typical replacement requires water service to be disconnected for approximately six hours. Customers are strongly encouraged to respond to these notices and coordinate replacements to avoid unnecessary disruption of water service.

The City of Kalamazoo’s public water supply system provides 17 million gallons of clean and safe water on an average day to approximately 123,000 customers within 10 jurisdictions. The City has had measures in place since 1956 to reduce water corrosiveness to components containing lead and copper, however staff continue to make progress towards the goal of replacing all lead services in the system. A proactive capital improvement program has been in place for over twenty years for this purpose.

The City of Kalamazoo greatly appreciates the patience and cooperation of affected customers throughout the process of replacing lead water services.

Drake Road Railroad Crossing Work

Drake Road near KL Avenue will be closed at the railroad crossing beginning at 7:00 am on Monday June19, 2017 and will remain closed until Friday June 30, 2017.

This closure is necessary for the reconstruction of the railroad crossing by Amtrak crews.

Contact:

Joe Stark
Right of Way Coordinator
269-337-8436

Sanitary Sewer Overflow at N Burdick and Clay St

The City of Kalamazoo Department of Public Services personnel were notified at 6:35 pm on June 11, 2017 of a storm sewer overflow from a manhole located in the 1300 block of North Burdick.

The Department of Public Services staff determined the source of the water was the unauthorized use of hydrants in the area which was under construction for sanitary sewer repairs. The storm sewer on North Burdick was plugged to prevent the accidental release of wastewater during construction. The total volume of the release was estimated to be 140,900 gallons with approximately 110 gallons of the discharge being sewage. Normal flow conditions in the sanitary and the storm sewers were restored at 8:15 pm on June 11, 2017 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.

Contact: James Baker, PE
City of Kalamazoo Director of Public Services
(269) 337-8768

Unauthorized Use of Fire Hydrants

City staff have observed a large increase in the unauthorized private use of City of Kalamazoo fire hydrants.

Some residents are taking it upon themselves to open fire hydrants.  Please note that opening and closing fire hydrants can cause serious injury to the individual performing the unauthorized act, as well as individuals and traffic in the immediate area of the hydrant.  Improper opening and closing of hydrants can also cause underground pipes to break, which disrupts water service to many customers.

Public Services staff are working closely with Department of Public Safety staff to help control the number of fire hydrants that are open.  Your cooperation is not only appreciated but necessary to help stop improper use of hydrants.  Please call (269) 337-8148 to report any open fire hydrants in your area.  We need your help in keeping safe and reliable water flowing throughout the City.

Please note that there is a water park located on Florence near Burrell for all citizens to use and the Kik Pool at Upjohn Park is expected to open later this month. The following fire hydrants will also be open during hot weather today from 1:00 p.m. to dusk by City staff:

  • Back end of Interfaith (building 1038) far NW corner
  • Burrell and Lawrence
  • Krom and Clay
  • Washington and March
  • Sherwood at Roosevelt Apartments
  • Clarence and Jackson
  • Hays Park and March

If you would like to request a fire hydrant be opened during warm weather, please contact the Public Services Department at (269) 337-8148. When possible staff will coordinate with residents so that this can be done safely without harm to people, property, or the water system.

City staff appreciate your help in safeguarding our infrastructure and avoiding unnecessary and costly repairs.

Contacts:
James J. Baker, PE
Public Services Director
269-337-8148

Season Opening of Kik Pool Delayed by Water Pump Repair

The opening of the Kik Pool in Upjohn Park, originally scheduled for Saturday, June 10, has been delayed due to a failed water circulation pump. Repairs are expected to be completed this month, and Parks & Recreation staff tentatively plan to open the pool in late June.

Individuals and families that have purchased season passes will receive a pro-rated refund once a definitive opening date has been established, and any rentals that cannot be honored as a result of this delay will be fully refunded. Swim lessons have also been rescheduled to begin later in June.

Parks & Recreation staff appreciate our community’s patience as they work to resolve this issue and open the Kik Pool as quickly as possible.

Contact:
Patrick McVerry, Deputy Director of Parks & Recreation
mcverryp@kalamazoocity.org
(269) 337-8147

Sanitary Sewer Overflow, 502 Riverview (M-43)

The City of Kalamazoo Department of Public Services personnel were notified at 1:45 pm on June 5, 2017 of a sanitary sewer overflow from a manhole located at 502 Riverview.

The Department of Public Services staff removed the blockage at 1:50 pm on June 5, 2017. The amount of material discharged from the sanitary sewer manhole is estimated to be about 5 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.

Site Map

Contact:

James J. Baker, PE
Public Services Director
269-337-8660

KDPS Job Application Period Opens June 7 through June 25

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety will be hiring additional Public Safety Officers beginning in January 2018. Applications may be submitted from June 7 through June 25, 2017 online ONLY at https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/kalamazoomi.

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 (January 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, Hostage Negotiator, and Command Officer.

Applicants do not need to have prior police or fire certifications to be considered; newly hired officers may be sponsored 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.

Information about KDPS is available at www.kalamazoopublicsafety.org and questions can be submitted through the “Contact” link at the top of the Home Page.

Celebrate Summer Downtown at June Jubilee June 2-4

June Jubilee, the official kick-off to summer in Kalamazoo is quickly approaching. Head downtown June 2-4 for a wide variety of events for everyone to enjoy including the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts  Fair in Bronson Park, Art on the Mall, Art Hop, Animotion Festival, the Do-Dah Parade, and much more!

In order to keep downtown as safe as possible for all participants attending the events, road closures are necessary. Please see the following list of closures, and contact the event organizer if you have any questions.

South Street- Closed from Park St. to Farmer’s Alley

  • Friday, June 2: South Street will be closed beginning at 7:00 a.m. to accommodate Art on the Mall, organized by the Kalamazoo Arts Council.
  • Saturday, June 3: South Street will remain closed through 5:00 p.m. to accommodate the KIArts Fair in Bronson Park, organized by the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.
    • South St. from Park St. to Rose St. will reopen to traffic at 5:00 p.m.
    • South St. from Rose St. to Farmer’s Alley will reopen to traffic at 7:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 4: South Street from Park St. to Rose St. will be closed between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to accommodate an event being held by the First Presbyterian Church.

PLEASE NOTE: Access to Peregrine Towers and the Miller Canfield parking structures will be maintained. Signs will indicate what portion of the road is open for parking structure access only- no street parking will be permitted. From South St, there will be a right (north) turn only onto Rose St.

Kalamazoo Mall – Closed from Kalamazoo Avenue to Lovell St

  • Friday, June 2: The Kalamazoo Mall will be closed beginning at 7:00 a.m. to accommodate Art on the Mall, organized by the Kalamazoo Arts Council.
  • Saturday, June 3: The Kalamazoo Mall will remain closed through 7:00 p.m. to accommodate Art on the Mall, organized by the Kalamazoo Arts Council.

Do Dah Parade

  • Saturday, June 3: The following road closures will be in effect between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. for staging the Do Dah Parade, organized by Kalamazoo Experiential Learning Center: Portage Road between Lovell and the Portage-Pitcher Connector, Jasper Street between Lovell and Walnut, Lovell Street between Portage and Pitcher.
  • The Do Dah Parade Route is the same as previous years and is as follows: starting at the intersection of Portage and Lovell, West on Lovell, North on Park, East on W. Michigan, South on Portage to Lovell.

If you have any questions about these events or the closure of streets, event organizers may be contacted using the information below. The City of Kalamazoo’s Special Event Coordinator, Katie Broekema can be reached at broekemak@kalamazoocity.org or (269) 337-8006.

Event Organizers

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts – Carianne Zomonski (269) 349-7775
Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo – Beth McCann (269) 342-5059
Kalamazoo Experiential Learning Center – Deb Droppers (269) 388-2830
First Presbyterian Church – Brian Nederveld (269) 344-0119

We appreciate your understanding and look forward to celebrating the arrival of summer in Downtown Kalamazoo!