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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​A2 City News is emailed to newsletter subscribers by the City of Ann Arbor. Please share comments via email o​​r call 734.794.6110, extension 41105. The current A2 City News resident newslette​r articles appear below in plain-text format.

A2 City News Masthead Image

A2 City News, April 2017​ (PDF), Volume 11, Number 4 (originally distributed March 31, 2017, via email to "resident newsletter: A2 City News" subscribers)​

In this issue:  FY 2018-2019 budget |  Curbside compost collection resumes |  AAPD on Twitter  |  Connect with the city  |  May 2 special election  |  April 15 parking restrictions  |  Earth Day Festival  |  Grow your own food  |  Routine hydrant flushing |  M-DOT construction map|  Parks and recreation is hiring  |  Power Together contest  |  Neighborhood watch meetings  |  Tornado safety |  Good Friday Golf Scramble

Fiscal year 2018/19 budget presented to Council April 17

Budget planning discussions for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 are wrapping up with the city administrator presenting his recommended fiscal years 2018 and 2019 budgets to City Council on April 17. Budget documents are available on the city's budget public process web page. 

City Council Budget Work Sessions were held on Feb. 13 and included staff presentations from the city administrator's office, community services, finance and administrative services, fire, police and the 15th District Court; Feb. 27 included staff presentations from the city attorney's office and public services, and March 13 included presentations from the Downtown Development Authority, Housing Commission, LDFA and pension. 

The meetings are available via CTN's Video on Demand

Fiscal year 2018 begins on July 1, 2017, and ends June 30, 2018. City Council members can only adopt one fiscal year at a time, even though the city plans for multi-year budgets.  

Budget timeline:  

  • February–March: Council work sessions.   
  • April: In accordance with City Charter, the City Administrator's Recommended Fiscal Year 2018 Budget is submitted to City Council on April 17, 2017. City Council members can only adopt one fiscal year at a time, even though the city plans for multi-year budgets.
  • May: City Council, with at least seven affirmative votes, must adopt the budget no later than its second meeting in May (May 15).

Curbside compost collection season resumes 

Now is your chance to dispose of the last remnants from the wind storm last month when weekly curbside compost collection resumes Monday, April 3. Residents may dispose of leaves and other yard waste in 30-gallon paper bags, which can be purchased from stores throughout the city. In addition, compost carts are optional containers that allow residents to dispose of food waste, plate scrapings, leaves, grass and other vegetation. 

Here are examples of what you can take to the curb for compost collection:

  • Plate scrapings (including meat and bones), fruits, vegetables and other food waste*.
  • Bamboo dinnerware*.
  • Grass clippings*.
  • Properly-contained leaves.
  • Garden prunings, crab apples, garden surplus, etc. 
  • Unpainted, untreated lumber (cart lid must close).
  • Brush.
  • Weeds.
  • Undecorated and cut up Christmas trees. 
  • Jack-o-lanterns and pumpkins.
  • Tree branches up to 6 inches in diameter.
  • BPI certified compostable bags.

*These items are only accepted in compost carts in order to avoid attracting wildlife, or creating odors and unsafe conditions of wet, overweight, broken bags at the curb. Items placed in compost carts do not need to be bagged or bundled.

Learn more at www.a2gov.org/compost.

AAPD launches Twitter account

There now is an additional way to stay up to date with the latest public safety news, tips, community engagement opportunities, crime alerts, event announcements and emergency information. The City of Ann Arbor Police Department has launched a Twitter account to expand its social media reach within the community. AAPD, which made its social media debut in March 2016 via Facebook and Nextdoor, uses other online platforms and feedback tools as well: 

Connect with the city 

The city and its citizens have opportunities to connect with one another now like never before. Gone are the days when asking a question about city services or utilities meant making a phone call and possibly waiting on hold or coming to City Hall in person every time.

With access to technology so readily available, today the city relies on a variety of ways to keep the lines of communication open. Public meetings are still a key way to keep in touch. But now CTN's live streaming and Video on Demand let anyone watch City Council, board or commission meetings — any time, anywhere. Internet access, after all, is only ever a coffee shop or library away. 

While the city uses technology to share news and information, social media followers and fans are also encouraged to share their feedback, questions and concerns via city Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation Facebook and Twitter pages, when applicable. (Check out the parks on Instagram and Pinterest, too!)    

Perturbed by potholes? Traffic lights unlit? There's also an app for that — citizens can submit service requests to the city on the spot with A2 Fix It

When it comes to asking residents for their opinions and input on key topics, online options, like A2 Open City Hall, have proved to be an effective way to get all voices heard. 

And, of course, email remains a key communication resource for the city as well. Sign up for City of Ann Arbor e-bulletin updates to stay on top of street or lane closures, emergency notifications, city news and much more.

So be sure to reach out to the city at your convenience! And, in turn, the city will strive to respond promptly and accurately.

May 2 special election

The May 2 Special Election for Ann Arbor Public Schools voters is the next election in the city of Ann Arbor. The special election will be held citywide; and city polling places will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

The last day to register to vote in the May 2 Special Election is Monday, April 3, 2017. Please email the city clerk or call 734.794.6140 for more information or to check the status of your voter registration in the city. Additional details can also be found at www.a2gov.org/elections.

Parking restrictions in effect for April 15 U-M football spring scrimmage 

The University of Michigan Spring Football Scrimmage is scheduled for Saturday, April 15, 2017, at Michigan Stadium. Parking and vendor operations on this day will be the same as a regular U-M home football game-day Saturday in Ann Arbor, with special event no-parking restrictions in effect from 8 a.m. Saturday, April 15 until midnight Saturday/Sunday, April 15/16. 

A map showing the streets with game-day parking restrictions (also pictured here) is available at www.a2gov.org/parking. In summary, streets with these game-day parking restrictions include portions of:

  • South Fourth Avenue.
  • Edgewood Place. 
  • Brown Street. 
  • South Division Street. 
  • Franklin Boulevard. 
  • Edgewood Avenue. 
  • Belmar Place. 
  • South Main Street. 
  • West Keech Avenue. 
  • Potter Avenue. 
  • Berkley Avenue. 
  • Snyder Avenue. 
  • McKinley Avenue.
  • Dewey Avenue. 
  • Scio Church Road.

The city's events-parking hotline number, 734.794.6444, will be activated with details closer to game day. 

Residents and visitors interested in information about the event itself can visit www.mgoblue.com.

Earth Day Festival

The Ann Arbor area annual Earth Day Festival takes place Sunday, April 23, noon–4 p.m. at Leslie Science & Nature Center, 1831 Traver Road. This free event features family-friendly fun for all. Visit A2 Earth Day online for details!

  • Entertainment by local artist Joe Reilly.
  • All-Species Parade, come dressed as your favorite plant or animal.
  • Hands-on activities.
  • Presentations.
  • Live presentations with amphibians, reptiles and birds of prey.
  • Guided nature hikes.
  • Wind-energy activities.
  • Learning presentations. 
  • Face painting.
  • Food trucks and more.

Grow Your Own Food with Tips and Tricks from the Experts 

With spring already underway, the fourth and final Sustainable Ann Arbor forum of 2017 will focus on the timely topic of growing and preserving your own food. All are invited to join the conversation Thursday, April 13, 7–8:30 p.m. at the Ann Arbor District Library Downtown Branch, 343 S. Fifth Ave. The forum will include a series of brief presentations followed by a question-and-answer session.

Time: Thursday, April 13, 2017, 7–8:30 p.m.

Location: Ann Arbor District Library Downtown Branch, 343 S. Fifth Ave.

Topic: Grow and Preserve Your Own Fruit, Vegetables and Flowers.

Moderator: Councilmember Jason Frenzel.

Panelists:

  • Monica Milla, Master Gardener.
  • Drew Lathin, General Manager of Creating Sustainable Landscapes, LLC.
  • Mike Appel, MLA of Appel Environmental Design.
  • Caitlin Dickinson, Biodynamic Beekeeper.
  • Emily Springfield, Founder of Preserving Traditions.

This April 13 forum is the last installment of this year's four-part Sustainable Ann Arbor series.

For the past six years, Sustainable Ann Arbor forums have been bringing the public together with local stakeholders — from community organizations, government and businesses — to discuss local sustainability efforts and challenges in the Ann Arbor community. Free to attend, the forums are held January through April and offer an opportunity to learn more about sustainability in the community and tips for actions residents can take to live more sustainably. Go online for details!

Spring fire hydrant flushing resumes 

The city conducts seasonal fire hydrant inspection and system maintenance each year. The 2017 hydrant work will begin April 3 and will continue through the coming months.

How do you know when hydrant flushing is set to take place in your neighborhood? A map is available online that shows the current hydrant-flushing areas as well as where flushing will take place next.  

Why is it helpful to know when hydrant flushing is happening in your neighborhood? On occasion during the hydrant-flushing process, the water in area homes may have an orange or rusty appearance. The discolored water does not pose a health or safety risk, but the water can cause stains to laundry. If water appears discolored, please run the cold water for several minutes to clear your lines. You should also flush your toilets once or twice. The water should run clear within a few minutes. The iron sediment in the water main being disturbed by the hydrant flushing causes the discoloration. 

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the hydrant-flushing process, go online or contact the City of Ann Arbor Customer Service Center, 734.794.6320.

MDOT construction map 

Planning to travel in state this spring/summer? Check out the Michigan Department of Transportation 2017 Paving the Way state construction map. In addition, MDOT construction information is always available on the Mi Drive traffic website.

If you're out and about locally, the city's road and lane closures web page is the source to consult (and subscribe to!) before you head out on your way.

Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation is hiring

The city is looking to hire more than 250 people for jobs in the Ann Arbor parks. Candidates must be at least 16 years of age or older and be able to pass a background check and drug screen. There is a wide variety of positions to fill, including: summer day camp directors and counselors, golf pro shop staff, golf course equipment operators and mowers, lifeguards, swim instructors, assistant recreation supervisors, canoe livery attendants and more. Apply now!

Help win funding for an Ann Arbor parks project

Have you voted yet? Three community initiatives are in the running to win $15,000 in the DET Energy Power Together Ann Arbor contest, including two from Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation. Learn more - and cast your vote - online!

AAPD hosts neighborhood watch meetings

Ann Arbor residents and businesses are invited to join the Ann Arbor Police Department for a Neighborhood Watch community meeting. Learn about police department programs and changes, crime statistics, prevention tips and how to stay informed and get involved. These meetings also provide a great opportunity to ask questions or voice concerns to the AAPD.

Meetings are being held throughout the city, and residents are encouraged to attend the meeting closest to them for area-specific information. A meeting for downtown and southeast-area residents was held in March. There are two remaining meetings:

  • Westside Area Meeting — Forsythe Middle School Media Center, Thursday, April 20, 2017, at 6:30 p.m.
  • Northeast Area Meeting — Clague Middle School Media Center, Thursday, May 18, 2017, at 6:30 p.m.

If you have any questions about these meetings, please contact the neighborhood watch coordinator, Police Service Specialist Jamie Giordano, at 734.794.6900, ext. 49528.

Tornado safety

Severe Weather Awareness Week in Michigan is April 16–22. The sponsoring agencies, Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division and Michigan Committee for Severe Weather Awareness (MCSWA), remind all Michiganders that this awareness week is a good opportunity to dedicate time to learn how to stay safe in the event of severe weather.

Tornadoes can occur any time of the year, but they are especially common during the late spring and early summer months. The average lead time for tornadoes to develop is just 10 to 15 minutes. 

Find out more about tornadoes — including how to be prepared and react quickly — with resources on the State of Michigan Emergency Management and Homeland Security website

The City of Ann Arbor conducts routine warning siren testing March–November at 1 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month.

Sign up today for the Good Friday Golf Scramble

Calling all golfers! The Good Friday Golf Scramble takes place at Leslie Park Golf Course Friday, April 14 with a 12:45 p.m. shotgun start — rain, snow or shine. This four-person scramble includes 18 holes of golf, cart, continental breakfast, lunch, many opportunities to win prizes and a coupon for one free 18-hole round at Huron Hills Golf Course. The cost is $180 per team ($45/person); $80 of each team entry will go toward the Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation Scholarship Fund.

Registration deadline is noon Wednesday, April 12. To register, call 734.794.6245 with group information, or email Director of Golf Doug Kelly (payment must be made to sign up).

Save the date! May 6 is water treatment plant open house 

What makes the city's water flow? Find out — and have some fun in the process — Saturday, May 6 at the City of Ann Arbor Water Open House 11 a.m.–3 p.m. at the water treatment plant, 919 Sunset Road. 

All are invited to this free event, which will kick off National Drinking Water Week. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the water system with tours starting every 20 minutes and equipment demonstrations. The Huron River Watershed Council and the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum will also be in attendance with information and activities. Refreshments will be provided. 

You can learn more about Ann Arbor's water system even before the May 6 event by checking out the 2016 Water Quality Report.  Discover how Ann Arbor drinking water continues to be safe, reliable and affordable for its customers.

The Arbor Water Treatment Plant serves the city of Ann Arbor and Scio and Ann Arbor townships.

Good news

  • Ann Arbor was ranked in the top 10 percent of Cities with the Highest Credit Scores in a study from the personal finance outlet WalletHub.com. Go online to read the full study.
  • A healthy job market for environmental-focused careers, favorable salaries, affordable cost of living and plentiful amenities has earned Ann Arbor the No. 22 spot on the 2017 Best Cities for a Green Career report by personal finance website, GoodCall.com. GoodCall reviewed data from 192 cities nationwide. Go online for the full report.
  • Ann Arbor has been named third on the list of the Top 100 Best Places to Live 2017 by Livability.com, outpacing more than 2,100 cities with populations between 20,000 and 350,000. Reputable hospitals, amenities like art galleries, performance venues and restaurants and the city's ability to attract high tech companies are among the reasons Ann Arbor is being recognized.

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Special ​​​Accomodati​​​​ons

If you know a city resident who requires this newsletter in an alternative format, please email the city communications office or call 734.794.6110, extension 41105.

All persons are encouraged to participate in public meetings. Accommodations, including sign language interpreters, may be arranged by contacting the City Clerk's office at 734.794.6140; via email to: cityclerk@a2gov.org; or by written request addressed and mailed or delivered to: City Clerk's Office  |  301 E. Huron St.  |  Ann Arbor, MI 48104 

Requests made with less than two business days notice may not be able to be accommodated.

City ​​​Missi​​on ​​

The city's ​mi​​ssion is to deliver exceptional services that sustain and enhance a vibrant, safe and diverse community.​​ 

​Ann Arbor has 114,000 residents, spans 28.82 square miles and is frequently recognized as a foremost place to live, learn, work, thrive and visit. To keep up with City of Ann Arbor information, subscribe for email updates, follow us on Twitter or become a city fan on Facebook

​City Co​​un​cil

​Go to the city’s website for contact information for council members or to determine your ward; or contact the City Clerk’s office, second floor of Larcom City Hall, at 734.794.6140.

City Ad​​​mi​​​nistration