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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 com​ments via email o​​r call 734.794.6110, extension 41105. The current A2 City News community newslette​r articles appear below in plain-text format.

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A2 City ​New​s​, Ju​l​​​y 2​021​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ (PDF), Volume 15, Number 7 (ori​ginally distributed June 30, 2021, via email to "re​​​sident new​sletter: A2 City News" subscribers​​)

Important notes for Independence D​ay/week

City of Ann Arbor municipal offices will be closed Monday, July 5, to observe Independence Day. Safety services and water utility operations will maintain 24-hour schedules. Trash, recycling and compost collection will continue as regularly scheduled, without interruption.

Larcom City Hall will also reopen Tuesday, July 6, following the pandemic-related closure last fall. This includes the Ann Arbor Customer Service Center and the city clerk's office, though city services​ will also remain conveniently available online. 

Time for f​ireworks?

If you're planning to celebrate Independence Day with fireworks, please remember to do so safely and responsibly. For starters, per Michigan Fireworks Safety Act 256 of 2011 (PDF), fireworks usage is permitted only during certain timeframes and only around national holidays. For the Independence Day holiday this year, fireworks may ONLY be discharged in the city:

  • Tuesday, June 29–Friday, July 2 — 11 a.m.–11:45 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 3–Sunday, 4 — 8 a.m.–11:59 p.m.

Use without permission is ALWAYS prohibited at city parks, schools and all public and private property that isn't your own.

Using fireworks without forethought can be dangerous. Please note these reminders:

  • Keep a water source ready to spray embers from fireworks. Drench the entire area where you've been using fireworks when done.
  • Toss sparklers into a bucket of water when finished using.
  • Don't try to reignite fireworks that won't go off.
  • Don't launch fireworks into forests or fields. Dry grass or leaves could ignite.
  • Keep fireworks away from your face and eyes.

For more information, visit the National Fire Protection Association website.

Fireworks also pose a risk to pets. Visit the American Veterinary Medical Association for tips on how to keep pets safe for ​the holiday and all summer long.

If you plan to use fireworks, please follow the laws, do so safely and be courteous by letting neighbors know in advance. This includes being mindful of any military veterans or others who may be sensitive to the noise associated with fireworks.

Keep busy in the Ann Arbor p​arks

Plan ahead for something fun to do on Independence Day/weekend!

Hit the greens at Huron Hills or Leslie Park golf courses. Both courses will be open 6:30 a.m.–9 p.m., and normal weekend rates will apply for Sunday, July 4. Huron Hills continues to offer only 11 holes of play during its ongoing construction project. Find details about golf at https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/play/Pages/Golf.aspx.

Boat at Argo Canoe and Kayak and Gallup Canoe and Kayak. Both locations are open every day including July 3, 4 and 5, 9 a.m.–8 p.m. Last stillwater boat rental is at 6 p.m. and closing time is 8 p.m. The last river trip will depart the Argo livery at 4 p.m. Reservations are required for river trips, https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/play/Pages/Canoeing.aspx, but not required for stillwater (no current).

Also open on Saturday, July 3, is the Ann Arbor Farmers Market (https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/parks-places/farmers-market/Pages/default.aspx). Place your order ahead of time to pick up during market hours Saturday, 7 a.m.–3 p.m.: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1gmPMf78_G-JkNHIUBw1n04N1iitmtUlqhO6OgH3oyjk/edit#gid=0. Or shop onsite! Fresh, local ingredients and treats for your holiday picnic await, including herbs, tomatoes, beans, cheese, bread, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, apples, blueberries and so much more.

Go for a swim at Buhr, Fuller and Veterans Memorial park pools. Pool admissions will be available in two-hour blocks and can be purchased online (https://secure.rec1.com/MI/city-of-ann-arbor/catalog) or at the pool the day of, if spaces are available. Fuller Pool (1519 Fuller Road) will have up to 150 spots available per two-hour block while Buhr Park Pool (2751 Packard Road) and Veterans Memorial Park Pool (2150 Jackson Ave.) will have up to 90 spots available per two-hour block. Typically, up to three swimmers per lap lane will be allowed. Total spots available include individuals that previously made reservations in the Omnify system. For details, visit https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/play/Pages/Swimming.aspx.

Goats on B​​​​roadway!

They're back! A small group of goats is heading to Broadway Park, 800 Broadway St., to address a poison ivy patch. As a result, July 1–6, the large-dog fenced area of the dog park will be closed while the goats get to work and eat up the poison ivy, which they aren't allergic to as some humans are. Please note that the small-dog area will be open for dogs of all sizes during this closure.

Visit Ann Arbor dog parks for updates at https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/play/Pages/Dog-Parks.aspx for information on the other dog parks, or visit “goats at work" at https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/GIVE365/Pages/Goats-at-Gallup.aspx to learn more about goatscaping and other park projects the goats will take on this summer.

Quality ​​Water Matters

The July/August issue of Quality Water Matters underscores the importance of maintaining water infrastructure. Because the city's water treatment plant was built in 1938 and some portions of the original plant are still in service, city staff has been working to identify a replacement roadmap to address aging components. Read the issue online at https://www.a2gov.org/departments/water-treatment/Documents/quality_water_matters_newsletter_july_August.pdf (PDF). In addition, check out the city's YouTube video on the importance of water infrastructure reinvestment: https://youtu.be/hq80Cnpifa4.

City Hall reope​​ning July 6

Larcom City Hall will reopen Tuesday, July 6, following the pandemic-related closure last fall. This includes the Ann Arbor Customer Service Center and the city clerk's office, though city services will also remain conveniently available online

Summer tax​​​es due

Summer property taxes are due in July. For eligible, low-income homeowners, Michigan law provides for a reduction in property taxes, commonly known as a poverty exemption. Qualifications and application information can be found at https://www.washtena​w.org/DocumentCenter/View/9529/2020-Ann-Arbor-City-Poverty-Exemption-Guidelines--Application?fbclid=IwAR3pl9Qbzi6-riqtldWPNcjAIcbFCIPFSF3qFbIkBtYoLHGGAi5idZDtbHI.

The city is encouraging taxes to be paid online or by mail, but, if necessary, payments will also be accepted 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. Level One Bank (formerly Ann Arbor State Bank) and Bank of Ann Arbor will accept full tax payments in July only.

Please note, the customer service center at Larcom City Hall will reopen to the public Tuesday, July 6, following the pandemic-related closure last fall. Regular business hours at the customer service center will then resume, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. weekdays.

Visit the city's treasury web page for more information, including how property taxes are calculated.

Good n​ews!

Ann Arbor appears on the top-five list of connected college towns, according to Allconnect.com. Factors considered included download speeds, variety of internet types and speed coverage within the city. Read more at https://www.allconnect.com/blog/top-connected-college-towns-in-2021.

Now showing o​​n CTN

Check out CTN's wide range of programs available to watch online now! 

Are you re​ady?

While risks posed by the pandemic were of most concern over the past year, it's time to also be aware of and to be prepared for other threats. This time of year, especially, severe thunderstorms, extreme heat and other hazardous weather conditions can strike with little or no warning. Ready.govhttps://www.ready.gov/, reminds us that now is the ideal time to ensure your emergency plan and supplies are up to date.

Before an emergency, start your planning process with these thought prompts from ready.gov:

  • How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  • What is my shelter plan?
  • What is my evacuation route?
  • What is my family/household communication plan?
  • Ready.gov provides valuable resources to help you answer these questions and assemble a comprehensive plan.

Your planning should include steps to ensure your pets' wellbeing, too. If you need to evacuate your home for any reason, remember your furry, scaly or feathered friends. The Ready Campaign offers guidance and tips for: 

  • Making a pet emergency plan.
  • Preparing shelter for your pet.
  • Protecting your pet during a disaster and caring for them afterwards.
  • Tips for large animals.

Learn ​more about how to ensure your entire family is prepared for emergency situations. 

REAL ID get your​​s soon!

When the federal REAL ID law goes into effect, you'll need a REAL ID document to board domestic flights.
Make an appointment now at​ a Se​cretary of State office to turn your standard driver's license or ID into a REAL ID. Learn more at ht​tps://Michigan.gov/REALID​.

Fare proposal pro​​​cess continues for TheRide

TheRide recently hosted a series of public meetings in June to present and receive feedback on the agency's fare proposal. TheRide also shared their final updated service recovery plan, which outlines service that begins Aug. 29. TheRide thanks all who have provided their feedback on the fare proposal; they are reviewing the feedback and will make any necessary adjustments before the proposed fare change in Jan. 2022.

TheRide's service plan that begins in August reflects the community's feedback that was gathered in March 2021. The final August service plan restores service levels provided prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and includes adjustments to many routes and services.

To stay up to date on the fare proposal, service plan and route information, visit https://TheR​ide.org or call 734.996.0400.​

Sustainability u​​pdate

Catch up on the latest from the city's office of sustainability and innovations (OSI). For more information, including registration links, visit OSI online.

Climate, Coffee and Conversation — Taking place the second Thursday of every month, this is an opportunity to learn about some of the sustainability activities happening in the community. Register at https://www.a2gov.org/departments/sustainability/Newsletter-Events/Pages/default.aspx.

A2ZERO Scavenger Hunt — Spend an afternoon strolling around town learning about some of the sustainability features within our community by taking the A2ZERO Scavenger Hunt. Learn more at https://www.a2gov.org/departments/sustainability/Newsletter-Events/a2zero-week/Pages/A2ZERO-Scavenger-Hunt.aspx.

A2ZERO Week — Thank you to all who participated in the inaugural A2ZERO Week, June 1–6. Appreciation goes to all who partnered, attended an event or shared ideas with the city and OSI during the weeklong commemoration of the one-year anniversary of the adoption of A2ZERO.

Michigan Public Service Commission ruling on DTE's “Voluntary Green Pricing Program" helps to advance A2 Clean Energy — On June 9, 2021, the Michigan Public Service Commission formally ruled on DTE's Voluntary Green Pricing program (VGP), which the City of Ann Arbor legally intervened in to press for more equitable, accessible, affordable, and diverse renewable energy offerings provided through the VGP program. The ruling will enable the City of Ann Arbor to advance a number of A2ZERO clean energy priorities, including community solar, carbon reduction offerings, and reduced costs for residents in DTE's service territory to participate in the MIGreenPower program. More information is available via https://www.a2gov.org/news/pages/article.aspx?i=799.

Saving Energy Badge Design — Consider using your creativity to design a badge on saving energy that OSI and Ann Arbor District Library will use in the 2022 summer games. The submission deadline is July 13, 2021. Details at https://www.a2gov.org/departments/sustainability/Newsletter-Events/a2zero-week/Pages/Sticker%20Design%20Contest.aspx.​​

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Special ​​​Accommodati​​​​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: [email protected]; 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.

City Ad​​​mi​​​nistration​