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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, December 2018​​​​​ (PDF), Volume 12, Number 12 (originally distributed Nov. 30, 2018, via email to "re​​​​sident newsletter: A2 City News" subscribers)​

In this issue: ​​

​​Deer managementCommunity climate event Dec. 7  |  Scooters resolution  |  A2 skates!  |  Close of compost collection season  |  Ice/snow management  |  Christmas tree disposal  |  Winter taxes  |  Warming centers  |  Police, Fire Courts Academy  |  City schedule notes  |  Holiday safety tips  |  Santa Live!

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2019 deer m​anagement plan

The 2019 deer management program is in the fourth year of a four-year City Council-approved deer management plan. The program will operate under a special research permit (PDF) issued by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and will include lethal removal (culling) and non-lethal sterilization of female deer.

From Nov. 28–30, 2018, White Buffalo Inc. sterilized female deer from two zones in wards 1 and 2. All sterilized female deer were fitted with numbered ear tags, and one mature doe in each group was radio collared to facilitate future program efforts.

City staff is currently developing the 2019 lethal-removal program details, which are expected to be promoted in early January. Stay up to date on deer management information by signing up for email notifications or visiting the deer management 2019 web page.

City staff has created a comprehensive list of non-lethal deer management techniques that allow citizens to reduce deer impacts on their property. The city has listed a variety of exclusionary methods, repellents and deterrents that are allowed within the city of Ann Arbor and have scientifically shown some efficacy. Residents who want to reduce deer impacts on their property should review and consider implementing these various strategies listed on the non-lethal deer-deterrent web page.

Community climate conver​​​sation 

What is the latest science surrounding climate change? What are the current impacts? How can Ann Arbor take action? Join a discussion about climate change Friday, Dec. 7, 6–8 p.m. at the Ann Arbor District Library Downtown Branch, fourth floor, 343 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor.

Free and open to the public, this event is sponsored by the City of Ann Arbor; the Sierra Club Huron Valley Group; Citizens Climate Lobby; the National Wildlife Federation; the University of Michigan Climate Action Movement; The Ecology Center; the Washtenaw County Chapter of the Climate Reality Project; the School of Environment and Sustainability; and the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice.

​​Council passes resolution for Bird scooters

Since Bird scooters landed in Ann Arbor without notice over the summer, the city has been working with the company to swiftly put a framework in place to help ensure public safety. Ann Arbor City Council passed a resolution in November resulting in a three-month agreement with Bird and a clause to continue for one year.

The resolution allows Bird a temporary, non-exclusive license to leave their scooters in city rights of way, but only when parked upright, in an orderly manner, on a hard surface, and parked in accordance with all applicable laws. This includes in sidewalk extension areas, as long as no portions of the sidewalk are blocked, nor ADA ramps or access points, fire hydrants, call boxes or other emergency facilities, or utility poles or boxes are obstructed.

The resolution also requires Bird to develop city-approved materials to educate users of these scooter operation and parking laws and provisions. Read the resol​ution in its entirety to learn more.

A2 skate​​s

Funky Frosty Fridays are back at Buhr Park Outdoor Ice Arena (2751 Packard Road | 734.794.6235). Join the fun with themed ice skating events on the first Friday of each month, 7:15–8:45 p.m. through March. The Dec. 7 theme is Reverend Horton Heat (RHH) Music Night. Come skate to the bass-thumping sounds of Jimbo Wallace and the RHH.

Veterans Memorial Park Indoor Ice Arena (2150 Jackson Ave.) offers additional public skating opportunities during the Ann Arbor Public Schools holiday closures. Dec. 22, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.; Dec. 23, 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m.; Dec. 26, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.; Dec. 27, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.; Dec. 28, 11 a.m.–1 p.m.; Dec. 29, 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m.; Dec. 30, 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and Dec. 31, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. All ages are welcomed. Skate rentals are available for just $3. 

Neighborho​​od ice rinks

Once again, the City of Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation Services will be looking to create natural outdoor ice rinks at AllmendingerBurns and Northside parks for the 2018–2019 winter season. Crews have begun to set up the framework for the rinks and will be icing them when the weather permits. Stay tuned to the parks and recreation websiteFacebook and Twitter for updates on the official opening date.

The unsupervised rinks are free to use, but bring your own skates, as rental equipment is not offered. Staff will perform maintenance on the rinks once daily to keep the ice in good condition, weather permitting. In general the following weather conditions are desirable to establish and sustain a natural ice rink: an initial spell of cold weather, followed by weather where daytime high temperatures do not exceed 32 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period of time.

Once weather conditions support starting the icing of the natural rinks, it will take 10–14 days to establish a quality 4-inch deep rink. When ice conditions allow, the rinks will be open during regular park hours: 6 a.m.–10 p.m. Please look for signage to indicate when the rinks must close due to poor ice conditions.

Hockey play and sticks and pucks will not be permitted during the following times: 9–11 a.m., 1–2 p.m. and 4–5 p.m. This schedule will be in place to ensure all have the opportunity to enjoy the rinks.

Final week for​​​ curbside compost collection

It's last call for clearing your property of leaves, if you also want to also dispose of them right away. Seasonal curbside compost/yard waste collections end Friday, Dec. 7. Ann Arbor residents, commercial properties and/or their contracted landscapers and haulers may drop off leaves (only) to the Compost Center at no charge also through Dec. 7. Proof of residency is required. The Compost Center is located at 4150 Platt Road and is open weekdays 8 a.m.–4 p.m.

Year-round, limited leaf disposal is available at the Drop-off Station, 2950 E. Ellsworth, open Tuesday and Thursday 8:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m.– 6 p.m. Proof of residency is required. Visit the Drop-off Station online for details.

Please note, Michigan law prohibits leaf burning in cities with populations over 7,500, which includes Ann Arbor. Go online to learn more about leaf-management options.

Get ready for​​ winter in A2

Winter means snow and ice, which can make roadways and sidewalks treacherous. Learn more about how the City treats roads and the responsibility of property owners to care for their sidewalks at a2gov.org/snow.

Snow/ice removal by ​​residents and property owners

Residents and property owners are responsible for removing snow and ice from adjacent sidewalks, crosswalk ramps and bus stops. Only one warning per season will be issued before fines are incurred for those in violation.

Here's what you need t​o kn​ow, at a glance:

Residential properties — Within 24-hours, any accumulation of snow greater than 1 inch must be cleared from adjacent sidewalks, concrete bus stop walks and crosswalk ramps. Any ice accumulations must be treated within 18-hours of forming with sand, salt or other substance, to prevent it from becoming slippery. The city is not responsible for clearing mailboxes of snow and/or ice. 
Nonresidential properties — Any snow and/or ice that has accumulated by 6 a.m. must be removed from adjacent sidewalks, bus stop walks and crosswalk ramps before noon.

Free sand/salt mixture for city residents

Beginning Dec. 5, residents will have access up to 5 gallons of a sand/salt mixture per visit at various locations around Ann Arbor to help treat sidewalks. Residents must bring their own shovel and bucket, as well as load material themselves from the piles. Mixture is not for contractors or landscapers. Please remember, moving snow and ice from private property onto a public street, sidewalk or bridge can pose a significant safety hazard and is also against the law.

Locations to pick up sand/salt mixture are:​

721 N. Main St. (PDF).
Allmendinger Park (PDF). 
Buhr Park (PDF). 
Burns Park (PDF). 
Huron Hills Golf Course (PDF).
Leslie Park (PDF). 
Veterans Memorial Park (PDF).

Street snow and ice c​​​ontrol

When the snow begins to stick on the roadways, go online to track snow maintenance trucks. The City of Ann Arbor snowplow automatic vehicle location tracking system provides a real-time status during winter storms.

Christmas tree free drop-off sites

This holiday season, it is important to remember that Christmas trees cannot be discarded in front of the house or on the street. Instead, the City of Ann Arbor provides four free drop-off locations for undecorated Christmas trees Friday, Dec. 14–Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019 (the pre-holiday dates are for those who may be leaving town).

Drop off will be permitted at these park parking lots during the hours of 6 a.m.–10 p.m. only:

  • West Park parking lot, off Chapin near West Huron Street.
  • Gallup boat launch parking lot, use entrance on the southeast side of Geddes Road, east of Huron Parkway.
  • Olson Park parking lot, 1515 Dhu Varren Road, near Pontiac Trail.
  • Southeast Area Park parking lot on the east side of the park.

Please note, the city's Drop-off Station on East Ellsworth near Platt Road will not be a site for discarded Christmas trees as it had been in previous years.

Another disposal option: cut and tie the tree into bundles and reserve for the return of the weekly curbside compost-collection season in April.

Winter ta​xes due

Winter property taxes are due in December. Taxes may be paid online, by mail, at the City of Ann Arbor Customer Service Center (located on the first floor of Larcom City Hall at 301 E. Huron St.) or at several local banks. Ann Arbor State Bank, Bank of Ann Arbor and TCF Bank will accept full tax payments in December only. 

Please note, the customer service center at Larcom City Hall will close at noon on Mondays, Dec. 24 and Dec. 31, and will be closed for the full day Tuesday, Dec. 25. Otherwise, regular business hours at the customer service center are 7:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. weekdays.

Online payments may also be made. Go to the city's treasury web page for more information, including how property taxes are calculated.

Shelter fr​​om the cold

The Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development and the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County are again providing emergency winter warming centers for those experiencing homelessness during severe, cold temperatures.

For access to the daytime or overnight warming centers, each client must call Housing Access of Washtenaw County (HAWC) and obtain a referral to the Delonis Center (312 W. Huron St., Ann Arbor). More information is available by calling HAWC at 734.961.1999 or visiting www.housingaccess.net. Onsite assistance for those seeking shelter after 5 p.m. will be provided at the Delonis Center.

For details, any updates and a list of daytime and overnight warming shelter locations available between Nov. 12, 2018, and April 1, 2019, visit the Washtenaw County website.

Learn more abo​​ut Ann Arbor's public safety system

The City of Ann Arbor is offering those who live or work in the city an opportunity for an inside look at our local public safety and justice systems. Adults 18 years old and older are invited to submit an application to attend the 2019 Jack Dentler Ann Arbor Citizens Police, Fire and Courts Academy. The program has been renamed this year to honor the memory of long-time, beloved volunteer with the Ann Arbor Police Department, Jack Dentler, who passed away earlier this year.

The academy provides an inside look at Ann Arbor's local public safety and justice systems including: emergency management | fire responder's role | HAZMAT | K-9 | investigative unit | court duties/processes | more. CPFCA applications are being accepted until Friday, Jan. 25. The program will take place weekly on Tuesday evenings, Feb. 12–April 9, 2019.

Visit the city website for details and the application.

City sch​​edule notes

  • Mondays, Dec. 24 and Dec. 31: City municipal offices close at noon. Trash/recycling will be collected as usual on these Mondays.
  • Tuesdays, Dec. 25, and Jan. 1, 2019 — Christmas and New Year's Day holidays: City municipal offices are closed. There is no trash or recycling collection on these holiday Tuesdays. Instead, collections will resume with a one-day delay, Tuesday–Saturday.

Holiday safe​​ty tips

The holidays are a time for friends, family — and extra awareness for your safety and security. City of Ann Arbor safety services, as well as the National Fire Protection Association, share these tips and reminders to help keep the season merry.

Stacks of wrapped presents, dry Christmas tree needles and festive lights and candles each pose an elevated risk for fires. Those expensive gifts, believe it or not, can pose security risks.

At home, be sure​​ to:

  • Choose a safe and healthy tree, and keep it watered so it doesn't dry out and become more of a fire hazard. Or if decorating with an artificial tree, choose one that is labeled as fire resistant.
  • Closely inspect holiday lights to ensure wiring is not frayed or damaged; and never overload electrical outlets.
  • Never leave lit candles and fireplaces unattended; and keep Christmas trees and other flammables a safe distance away.
  • Turn off tree lights and decorations when you are not going to be home and when you are sleeping.
  • Keep expensive and easily accessible items out of plain site.
  • If you receive big-ticket items as gifts, such as televisions or other electronics, don't set the boxes and packaging at the curb right away. Instead, cut up the boxes/packaging, and also wait a few weeks to discard.

The holidays also provide opportunities for crime, unfortunately. Don't make it easy for someone to target you.

When holiday s​​​hopping:

  • Avoid wearing expensive and attention-grabbing jewelry.
  • Don't carry a purse or a wallet, if possible. Stash cash and credit cards in your front pocket.
  • Pay for purchases with a check or credit card whenever possible.
  • Always stay alert of your surroundings.                                                                           (continued on page 6)
  • If you can't avoid shopping at night, park only in an area that is well-lighted.
  • Avoid parking next to vehicles with tinted windows, as well as vans.
  • Be sure to have your keys in hand prior to going to your car.
  • Trust your instincts; and don't hesitate to ask mall or store security for an escort to your vehicle.

The City of Ann Arbor wishes you a safe and happy holiday season.

Santa Live o​​n CTN

He's making a list, he's checking it twice … and just in time, kids (naughty or nice) can share their holiday wishes and questions directly with Santa himself. CTN Public Access Channel 17 (on Comcast Cable), will telecast the Santa Satellite Network LIVE from Santa's home in the North Pole Thursday, Dec. 13, 6–8 p.m.  An annual tradition, boys and girls are invited to watch and call in, with permission from their parents, to talk with Santa: 734.794.6155.

Away from a TV? No problem! Watch the live stream online (click the "public access" link).​


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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 119,000 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.

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