A2 City News Resident Newsletter
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A2 City News is emailed to newsletter subscribers by the City of Ann Arbor. Please share comments via email or call 734.794.6110, extension 41105. The current A2 City News resident newsletter articles appear below in plain-text format. The newsletter, in its entirety, can be viewed in a printable format, similar to the original e-newsletter, by clicking the PDF below.
A2 City News, March 2014, Volume 8, Number 3 (PDF)
(Originally distributed Feb. 28, 2014, via email to "Resident Newsletter: A2 City News" subscribers)
In this issue: Snow notes * Day camp * Traffic safety * Log rolling * Siren testing * Urban and Community Forest Management Plan * Gallup Park UAP * Special golf offers * On Air with CTN * FY 2015 budget planning * Police, Fire and Courts Citizens Academy * Larcom City Hall Temporary service relocations * Expanded composting program * NAP controlled burns * Sustainable Ann Arbor * Dates to remember
It’s true, Ann Arbor is among the snowiest cities in the U.S. this winter. With all of the snow that has accumulated and is pushed to the curbs, there are some important ways residents can help manage the snow piles.
Fire hydrants: To ensure they are clear and visible in case of emergencies, please shovel snow away from fire hydrants. There are more than 3,000 hydrants in Ann Arbor, so if you’re able, please lend a hand with clearing a hydrant — not only in front of your house, business or on your street, but any others you notice peeking out from the snow. (See a map at www.a2gov.org/AnnArborHydrants
And while that shovel is handy … don’t forget the catch basins/drains: Eventually, there will be an end to winter, and all of the snow will melt. Help ensure that snowmelt has somewhere to go by clearing snow and ice off of the catch basins or drains in your neighborhood’s streets. (See a map at www.a2gov.org/AnnArborCatchbasins
Snow poses a challenge for trash and recycling collection, too. To assist with pickups, please keep carts and dumpsters clear from snow and ice, lids closed, out of snow banks and accessible to collection trucks. Carts should be brought out before 7 a.m. on your weekly collection day and placed against the curb in a clear street or, if you live on a major street with high traffic or one with a bike lane, in a clear spot on your extension.
Thank you to residents for helping out during one of our all-time snowiest winters.
Sign up for summer day camp!
Registration is underway for summer day camps in the Ann Arbor parks. The city’s five camps offer a variety of activities, which, depending on the site, can include swimming, canoeing, golfing, science, crafts and much more. Register online (www.a2gov.org/parks
) or pick up a brochure at any parks facility to register via walk in, mail or fax. Are you registering your child at Buhr Park or Fuller Park Pool day camps? If so, you can enjoy a $20 discount if you register by March 15!
After a very long and brutal winter, spring is near. When the weather does eventually break, more people will be sharing the roads — and more patience and attention will be required from each of us. Here are some tips for safe travels:
- Cross at the crosswalk, and use the signals where available.
- Follow the rules of the road.
- Ride with traffic, even in bike lanes, obey traffic signals and use hand signals.
- Yield to pedestrians. On the sidewalk, consider yourself an invited guest. Ride slowly, announce your presence, and walk your bike when sidewalks are crowded.
- Stop for pedestrians at or in crosswalks.
- Don't pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks.
- Watch for bikes, and give them space. Bicyclists may legally ride in roads both with and without bike lanes so give them — and yourself — room.
to learn how you can help to keep the roadways safe … whether on foot, on two wheels or four.
Ann Arbor parks and recreation services is pleased to debut a new program at Mack Indoor Pool: log rolling. Regarded as a historic American sport, this modern take on log rolling uses a high-density polyethylene, water-filled “log” in a swimming pool in place of the traditional cedar wood log.
If you’ve ever wanted to give log rolling a spin, now’s your chance — and no experience is necessary. Sign up for the following classes by calling 734.794.6237 …
Friends and Family Log Rolling Day for all ages is Saturday, March 15, with four sessions offered: 1–1:45 p.m.; 2–2:45 p.m.; 3–3:45 p.m.; and 4–4:45 p.m. The cost is $20 for a group of five ($5 extra for additional people up to 10).
Log rolling classes are also being offered for adults only: Wednesday, March 5, 6:30–7:15 p.m.; Thursday, March 13, 6:30–7:15 p.m.; or Saturday, March 15, 6–6:45 p.m. Preregistration is required, and the cost is $6.25 per person.
A week-long youth log rolling class is also available. Kids can spend two hours at the pool learning how to log roll, playing games, swimming and having a great time during the Ann Arbor Public Schools break April 7–11. Log rolling techniques will be taught, along with log rolling games. Space is limited. The class is Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to noon. The cost is $55 for residents and $70 for nonresidents. To register, call 734.794.6237 or sign up at the Mack Indoor Pool front desk, 715 Brooks St. inside Ann Arbor Open School.
Siren testing resumes
The City of Ann Arbor has 22 siren locations throughout city limits. Testing of these sirens takes place monthly, March through November, every second Tuesday of the month 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: www.a2gov.org/government/safetyservices/emergencymanagement/SirenWarningSystem/Pages/default.aspx
Urban and Community Forest Management Plan draft review
Ann Arbor’s urban and community forest is comprised of all the trees within the city, including those growing along city streets, in city parks and natural areas and on institutional and private property. The city is responsible for managing the public trees within the urban and community forest, which includes more than 43,000 street trees and 6,900 trees in mowed areas of city parks. These publicly managed trees provide more than $4.6 million in benefits to the community each year, including reducing stormwater runoff and improving the quality of water entering local rivers and streams, conserving energy use and improving air quality.
The Ann Arbor Urban and Community Forest Management Plan was developed to provide a framework to effectively manage the urban and community forest as a sustainable asset, consistent with the values and needs of the community, while maximizing its benefits. The development of the draft plan included numerous public meetings and public feedback opportunities. View the plan online at www.a2gov.org/urbanforestry
; or printed copies of the plan are available upon request by contacting Urban Forestry and Natural Resources Planning Coordinator Kerry Gray at 734.794.6430, extension 43703.
Public comment on the draft plan is being accepted through Friday, March 28, 2014, and may be submitted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
; fax: 734.794.1744 – attn: Kerry Gray; or mail: 301 E. Huron St., PO Box 8647, Ann Arbor, MI 48107– attn: Kerry Gray. The plan will be revised based on the public input received, and the final plan will be presented to the Park Advisory Commission, Environmental Commission and City Council for review and action this spring.
Gallup Park universal access playground project
Gallup Park will soon feature a new playground, more accessible than ever to park goers of all abilities. The Rotary Club of Ann Arbor is celebrating their 100-year anniversary in 2016 and has chosen to commemorate the milestone by helping to fund construction of a universal access playground at the city park. Rotary has committed to raising at least $250,000 toward the project.
While UAPs aim to exceed minimum standards to meet the needs of the greatest number of people, in contrast, an ADA playground is one that only complies with the minimum accessibility standards as established under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Go online to learn more about this exciting project: www.a2gov.org/parks
Go for the Green with special golf offers
Leslie Park and Huron Hills golf courses are offering three Go for the Green golf specials for a very limited time only: Monday, March 17 through Wednesday, March 19. Check out the specials — the 2x2; the 4x4; and the WEE 3 — each offering great savings on golf this season: www.a2gov.org/golf
These A2 golf certificates are perfect for the golfer in your life … or to keep for yourself. As an added bonus, when you purchase certificates in person at the Huron Hills pro shop (3465 E. Huron River Drive) during these three days, you can play 18 holes (walking) that same day for free! (Receive an alternate gift with purchase on site if we determine the weather isn’t conducive to golf.)
Visit the city website, www.a2gov.org/golf
, for details, or contact Director of Golf Doug Kelly at 734.794.6245 / email@example.com
if you have any questions.
On Air with CTN
Since 2001, the Ann Arbor Senior Center and Community Television Network have partnered to create a series, Senior Moments. In the beginning, the program focused only on the senior center, but since, has branched out to incorporate Pittsfield Township, Ypsilanti Senior Center, Ann Arbor Community Center and Turner Senior Resource Center, allowing the program to focus on events and information relevant to our local senior community. March’s exclusive On Air with CTN podcast guests include Senior Moments Host Dean Cole and Producer Tim Nagae to discuss the nationally award-winning program. Listen in: www.ctnannarborblog.org
Fiscal Year 2015 budget-planning process underway
On Feb. 10, 2014, City Council held a planning session, which included a financial overview presentation for fiscal year 2015. Watch the meeting via Community Television Network’s Video on Demand on CitiTV Channel 16: http://a2govtv.pegcentral.com/
Future budget-planning discussions for FY 2015 will continue, and City Council work sessions will be held, if necessary, in March.
FY 2015 begins on July 1, 2014, and ends June 30, 2015. City Council members can only adopt one fiscal year at a time, even though the city plans for multi-year budgets. Below is a budget timeline summary.
- March: Council work sessions will be held, if necessary, on March 10, 24 and 31.
- April 21: In accordance with City Charter, the City Administrator's Recommended FY 2015 Budget is submitted to City Council. City Council members can only adopt one fiscal year at a time even though the city plans for multi-year budgets.
- May 5: A public hearing on the FY 2015 Budget and Fee Schedule will be held at the regular session of City Council.
- May 19: In accordance with City Charter, City Council, with at least seven affirmative votes, must adopt the budget no later than its second meeting in May. If a budget is not adopted at this meeting, the City Administrator’s Recommended Budget is deemed adopted.
Sign up to receive budget email updates, www.a2gov.org/subscribe
, and stay informed about budget-related meetings and opportunities for feedback.
Police, Fire and Courts Citizens Academy application deadline is March 7
Learn about Ann Arbor’s public safety system directly from the source. Applications are now being accepted, through Friday, March 7, to attend the Ann Arbor Police, Fire and Courts Citizens Academy. First of its kind in the state of Michigan, this academy explores the public safety system, and focuses on ways to prevent fire and crime. It also provides a two-way communication between citizens, police officers, firefighters, attorneys and judges in the 15th District Court.
The academy is a 10-week program that will be held at the Ann Arbor Police and Fire departments, Washtenaw Community College and the 15th District Court. Classes take place once a week on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. beginning on March 18 and ending on May 20, 2014. Topics covered will include: police, fire and 15th District Court organizational structures; K-9 unit; detective investigations; firearms (F.A.T.S.); traffic stop scenarios; ride alongs; emergency management; national incident management systems; first aid/CPR/AED; fire behavior; personal protection equipment; fire safety and prevention; hazardous material; technical rescue; the criminal justice system; court processes; and court programs.
For more information about this program or to download an application, visit the City of Ann Arbor website, www.a2gov.org/police
, or call Program Coordinator Adele El-Ayoubi with the Ann Arbor Police Department at 734.794.6933 or Training Officer Craig Sidelinger at 734.794.6961, ext 49689. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Friday, March 7, 2014. A background review will be conducted on all applicants; applicants will be notified if accepted into the program.
Temporary service relocations at Larcom City Hall
On Dec. 2, City Council approved a contract with Emergency Restoration Company for the removal of asbestos and the restoration of the third, fourth and fifth floors of Larcom City Hall. The project is already underway, and, as a result, several city business units have been temporarily relocated. The floor-by-floor elevator signage and lobby signage displayed in the building will be updated throughout this project, as needed, to reflect the relocations.
The following includes a brief description of relocations:
- The city's treasury unit has relocated to the sixth floor.
- Parking referees are now located on the second floor.
- The city assessor's office has relocated to the first floor, in the customer service center.
- Fourth-floor business units (including engineering, project management, environment and energy offices) have relocated to the fifth floor until mid April.
- Third floor operations (including communications, and mayor's, city administrator's and city attorney's
offices) will be relocated to the fourth floor in mid April; third-floor abatement is scheduled for completion by early June.
In June, all units are scheduled to move back to their regularly assigned floors.
The second phase of the abatement project will include the removal of asbestos in Council chambers and other sections of the second floor in late fall 2014. This work will not impact or cause the city clerk's office to relocate. After phase-two work is completed, all floors of Larcom City Hall will have been abated.
Coming soon: Expanded composting programThe City of Ann Arbor is pleased to announce the compost program is expanding. Effective March 31, compost cart owners can begin placing all their "plate scrapings" into the compost cart – including meat, bones and other leftovers. If you already own a compost cart, you qualify for a free 1.9 gallon kitchen composter. If you don’t have a compost cart, you may buy a kitchen composter for $25. The kitchen composters will be available beginning April 1, 2014, at the customer service center on the first floor of Larcom City Hall, 301 E. Huron St.
Compost cart owners will soon receive a postcard in the mail with information on how to claim a new composter. This attractive unit — designed to fit on an average kitchen countertop — allows composters to conveniently collect their plate scrapings without having to take dishes outside to the cart. The unit is dishwasher safe, comes with an ergonomic handle, a vented top, and has a locking lid designed to stay closed even if it falls from the counter. You can also use BPI-certified compostable bags with your kitchen composter. These bags will soon be available for $2 per box at the customer service center. Go online for more information as compost season draws near: www.a2gov.org/compost
NAP spring controlled burn season
The City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation (NAP) controlled ecological burn season is officially underway — once the weather permits, that is — and lasts through Friday, May 30. During this timeframe, trained crews will conduct burns in local natural areas on scheduled weekdays between noon and 6 p.m.
On the day of a controlled burn, signs will be posted around the park, and staff will be available on site for questions. The fire will be under control at all times.
Conducting controlled burns allows diverse, native plant and animal communities to thrive in natural areas. Intact prairies, wetlands and woodlands are rich with a diversity of plant and animal life. However, many fire-intolerant, non-native plant species can overcome the native, fire-adapted plants. With heavy competition from non-native plants, natural areas have a tendency to become thickets of shrubs or weeds with very little diversity. Fire controls the invasion by killing the woody and non-native plants that would otherwise take over these sites. At the same time, native plants that are adapted to fire are stimulated, and with the enriched soil and lengthened growing season after a burn, native plants regain their competitive edge.
Visit NAP online for more information about the controlled ecological burn program: www.a2gov.org/NAP
Sustainable Ann ArborHave you checked out a Sustainable Ann Arbor forum yet? With only two sessions left in the 2014 series, the time to attend is now! Since 2012, the City of Ann Arbor and the Ann Arbor District Library have led discussions on different elements of sustainability from Ann Arbor’s sustainability framework.
The next forum is 7–8:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 12 at the AADL downtown branch and focuses on climate and adaptation. The discussion will explore current adaptation and resiliency strategies within the community, an introduction of the newly launched Community Climate Partnership, a coalition of community stakeholders working to further support the city’s Climate Action Plan, and how to take steps to both mitigate and adapt to climate change.
The series comes to a close with the April 9 forum, when the topic will center on local food. Visit the city’s sustainability website for details: www.a2gov.org/sustainability
Dates to remember
Among the many public events taking place in March, including those featured in articles this month, here are some of the highlights. Go online for a complete list: www.a2gov.org/calendar.
- There are two cultural arts events in March. An art show by local artist Susan Bloye explores the healing qualities of the natural world Saturday, March 1, 4–6 p.m. And on Sunday, March 16, 1 p.m., Skylark performs American roots music and Irish tunes just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Events are held at the Ann Arbor Senior Center, 1320 Baldwin Ave.
- The next Sustainable Ann Arbor Forum is Wednesday, March 12, 7 to 8:30 p.m.; topic: climate and adaptation.
- The Sanitary Sewer Wet Weather Evaluation Project citizens advisory committee meeting is Thursday, March 20 at 6:30 p.m.
- Saturday, March 22, 6:30 p.m. is the next Dive-in Movie event at Mack Indoor Pool (715 Brooks St.). Feature presentation: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.
- The deadline to submit comments on the Ann Arbor Urban and Community Forest Management Plan draft is Friday, March 28, 5 p.m.
City Contact Info
City Clerk’s Office
Second floor, Larcom City Hall
Larcom City Hall
301 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor
734.994.2700 / 734.794.6000
Customer Service Center
First floor, 301 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor
Parks and Recreation Customer Service
2781 Packard Road, Ann Arbor
Planning and Development
First floor, 301 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor
Police Services (now located in the Justice Center, adjacent to Larcom City Hall, 301 E. Huron St.)
Trash collection, recycling, etc.
Web address: www.a2gov.org/recycle
The following list highlights additional city resources located on the city publications/stay connected Web page or in hard-copy format in the lobby of City Hall. Copies of city’s major plans can also be viewed in the City Clerk’s office.
- Natural Area Preservation newsletter
- Parks and recreation program brochure
- Tree Town Log monthly calendar and online calendar
- WasteWatcher quarterly newsletter
- Water Matters quarterly newsletter
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.
Persons with disabilities 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 or by written request via email, or mailed or delivered to the City Clerk’s office, 301 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Requests need to be received at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting.
City Mission Statement
The City of Ann Arbor is committed to providing excellent municipal services that enhance the quality of life for all through the intelligent use of our resources while valuing an open environment that fosters fair, sensitive and respectful treatment of all employees and the community we serve.
Go to the city’s Web site 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.
*** Issues Archive:
March 2014, Volume 8, No. 3 (PDF)
February 2014, Volume 8, No. 2 (PDF)
January 2014, Volume 8, No. 1 (PDF)
December 2013, Volume 7, No. 12 (PDF)
November 2013, Volume 7, No. 11 (PDF)
October 2013. Volume 7, No. 10 (PDF)
September 2013, Volume 7, No. 9 (PDF)
August 2013, Volume 7, No. 8 (PDF)
July 2013, Volume 7, No. 7 (PDF)
June 2013, Volume 7, Number 6 (PDF)
May 2013, Volume 7, Number 5 (PDF)
April 2013 - Volume 7, Number 4 (PDF)
March 2012 - Volume 7, Number 3 (PDF)
February 2013 - Volume 7, Number 2 (PDF)
January 2013 - Volume 7, Number 1 (PDF)
December 2012 - Volume 6, Number 12 (PDF)
November 2012 - Volume 6, Number 11 (PDF)
October 2012 - Volume 6, Number 10 (PDF)
September 2012 - Volume 6, Number 9 (PDF)
August 2012 - Volume 6, Number 8 (PDF)
July 2012 - Volume 6, Number 7 (PDF)
June 2012 - Volume 6, Number 6 (PDF)
May 2012 - Volume 6, Number 5 (PDF)
April 2012 - Volume 6, Number 4 (PDF)
March 2012 - Volume 6, Number 3 (PDF)
February 2012 - Volume 6, Number 2 (PDF)
A2 City News - January 2012 - Volume 6, Number 1 (PDF)