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A2 City News, March 2017 (PDF), Volume 11, Number 3 (originally distributed March 1, 2017, via email to "resident newsletter: A2 City News" subscribers)
In this issue: FY 2018-2019 budget process | Parks hiring event | Neighborhood watch meetings | WALLY | Deer management plan | Waze | Siren testing | Assessment letters | Ann Arbor Marathon | Compost collection | Tree tapping | Good news | WALLY | Sustainable kids | Safe passage for birds
Fiscal year 2018/19 budget process underway
Budget planning discussions for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 are well underway. City managers were asked to cut 2 percent from operating budgets due to lower projected revenues than previous years. Impact sheets were prepared to demonstrate expense reductions as well as note requests for additional funds. The General Fund impact sheets and all presentation materials will be posted to the city's budget public process web page.
The first City Council Work Session was held 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. The second work session was held Feb. 27 and included staff presentations from the city attorney's office and public services. The meetings are available via CTN's Video on Demand.
The last City Council Work Session will be held March 13 and will include presentations from the Downtown Development Authority, Housing Commission, LDFA and pension.
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.
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).
Help wanted in the parks
We're hiring! City of Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation is hosting a hiring event Sunday, March 12, 11 a.m.– 3 p.m. at Cobblestone Farm (2781 Packard Road). Approximately 250 temporary and seasonal staff positions are available. The wide variety of positions to fill include day camp directors and counselors, golf course instructors and rangers, golf equipment operators, swim coaches, assistant recreation supervisors, canoe livery attendants and more.
Walk-ins are welcome on March 12, or apply online now to avoid the wait. On-the-spot interviews will be offered. Applicants must be at least 16 years of age or older and able to pass a background check and drug screening.
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.
- Downtown and Southeast Area Meeting — Scarlett Middle School Media Center, Thursday, March 16, 2017, at 6:30 p.m.
- 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.
Learn about the North-South Commuter Rail Feasibility Study
The North-South Commuter Rail Line (also referred to as WALLY, for the counties, Washtenaw and Livingston, it would pass through) is a proposed 27-mile, north-south commuter rail service that would connect Ann Arbor and Howell, with several intermediate stops. N-S Rail is being investigated as a transit option to ease traffic congestion in the corridor along US-23, and to promote sound economic development and job creation in the region. This effort is being undertaken as part of the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority's research and development program, in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Transportation, and with the support from several government and business leaders, including the City of Ann Arbor, area residents and other community groups.
Several public meetings are being held to provide an update on the status of the N-S Rail project, including a summary of service options evaluated; cost and ridership projections; and information on governance and funding strategies. A meeting will take place in Ann Arbor Wednesday, March 22, 6:30–8:30 p.m. at Eberwhite Elementary School Auditorium, 800 Soule Blvd. Ann Arbor 48104.
The meeting will begin with a presentation, followed by discussion to answer questions and gather input on the proposed service and the process. (The presentation and format will be the same as for the meetings taking place in other communities.)
For additional information, please visit the project website.
2017 deer management plan complete
The City of Ann Arbor announced on Feb. 7 the early completion of 2017 cull activities and the reopening of all designated parks and nature areas to normal operating hours.
From Jan. 30 to Feb. 6, sharpshooters from White Buffalo Inc. lethally removed 96 deer from designated parks and nature areas and University of Michigan properties. From Jan. 22 through Jan. 29, White Buffalo personnel
surgically sterilized 54 does in designated neighborhoods in Wards 1 and 2. Although the MDNR permit allowed for up to 80 deer to be sterilized, White Buffalo staff believed the 90 percent population target was achieved at 54. All sterilized deer were fitted with numbered ear tags, and one mature doe in each group was radio collared to facilitate future program efforts.
For more information, visit the city's deer management web page.
Find your Waze
The City of Ann Arbor now uses the technology of Waze as an additional means to provide residents, visitors and commuters with road construction and traffic controls within the city. By using waze.com or the Waze app (available in your smartphone's app store), motorists can view real-time traffic information (just not while driving, of course) and get directions to avoid traffic tie ups.
While the city will use Waze to map out scheduled road and lane closures, the community can also contribute information such as current accident locations and traffic congestion.
News of planned closures will continue to be shared with subscribers as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Visit the road and lane closures web page to learn more.
Seasonal siren testing resumes
The first test of the city's warning siren system for 2017 will take place Tuesday, March 14. The City of Ann Arbor has 22 siren locations throughout city limits. Testing of these sirens takes place every second Tuesday of the month, March through November, at 1 p.m. The tests consist of one minute of steady wailing. For more information, visit the siren testing page of the city website.
Assessment letters mailed in March
Ann Arbor property owners will be receiving property assessment and taxable value notification letters in March. An explanation of the factors involved in determining property assessments and the terminology used in this process are available on the city website.
Ann Arbor Marathon Sunday, March 26
The Ann Arbor Marathon will return for its sixth year Sunday, March 26. As a result, numerous streets throughout the city will be temporarily closed between 3 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Streets will be reopened as soon as safely possible, after participants have cleared the areas. Go online to view the race course map to see which streets will be closed for the marathon.
Please plan your travels in and around the city accordingly, avoiding the race areas if possible, and be prepared for high traffic volumes and delays. Thank you in advance for your patience.
As with any public event — and even in your day-to-day routine — always be aware of your surroundings. If you see something that seems out of place or suspicious, report it to local law enforcement. The Ann Arbor police desk phone number is 734.994.2911. Or, in the case of emergency, call 9-1-1.
Curbside compost collection season nears
Weekly curbside compost collection this year will resume the week of Monday, April 3. Compost carts are optional containers that allow residents to dispose of food waste, plate scrapings (including meat and bones), leaves, grass and other vegetation. Please keep in mind that the following items are not allowed in the compost cart:
- Rocks, stones or gravel.
- Branches over 6 inches in diameter or over 4 feet in length.
- Painted wood.
- Treated lumber.
- Plastic bags or containers.
- Kitty litter or dog droppings.
Residents may also dispose of grass, leaves and other yard waste in 30-gallon paper bags, which can be purchased from stores throughout the city. Learn more at www.a2gov.org/compost.
Don't tap street trees
Tapping public trees in Ann Arbor has, unfortunately, become somewhat commonplace. Not only is tapping street and park trees illegal, but doing so causes damage, leaving trees susceptible to insects and diseases.
Visitors and residents alike should be aware that if city crews find a tap, it will be removed. In addition, if identified, tappers face possible fines. Residents are free to tap their own trees and, with permission, other trees on private property.
City of Ann Arbor Water Treatment Services Manager Brian Steglitz has been appointed to the Water Research Foundation Board of Directors. The foundation's dedication to advancing the science of water is internationally recognized, especially for their sponsorship of cutting-edge research and collaboration. Steglitz's appointment further demonstrates his exemplary leadership in the water industry. Go online to learn more about Ann Arbor's water treatment services.
Ann Arbor has been named by SmartAsset as one of America's Best Hockey Towns of 2016. Our city skates in at No. 9.
The Michigan Chapter of the American Public Works Association is recognizing the City of Ann Arbor with the Project of the Year Award (environment category) for the Geddes Avenue improvements. In addition, this project will be in consideration for the APWA's national award.
Kids join the sustainability conversation in March
The next installment in the popular Sustainable Ann Arbor series has sights set on the future, with "Sustainable Kids" as the focus. For the first time, the forum will invite young people of all ages for a make- and take-home craft, interactive environmental education presentations and storytelling from a professional story teller. "Sustainable Kids" takes place Thursday, March 9, 6:30–7:30 p.m. at the Ann Arbor District Library Downtown Branch, 343 S. Fifth Ave.
Moderated by Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor, March 9 panelists will include:
- Jeannine Palms (Teacher/Director of Blossom Home Preschool & Adventures).
- MacKenzie Maxwell (School and Scout Program Manager for the Leslie Science & Nature Center).
- Laura Raynor (Youth Librarian for AADL).
- Katy Adams (Education Director for the Ecology Center).
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!
Provide a safe passage for birds
From the middle of March through the end of May, migrating birds will be flying over Ann Arbor on their way north to their breeding grounds. On clear nights, birds navigate by the stars, but at dawn or on cloudy and foggy nights, they attempt to navigate using the lights of tall buildings, putting them at risk of dying when they hit these lit windows. They either crash into lit windows going full speed, or they endlessly circle the building until they drop to the ground, exhausted and vulnerable to predators and other dangers.
Ann Arbor joins other cities in helping migrating birds have a safe passage. Please ask the occupants of your building on floors five and above to help prevent these needless deaths by pulling the drapes or closing the shades on windows in lit rooms between 11 p.m. and dawn.
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