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.
A2 City News, January 2020 (PDF), Volume 14, Number 1 (originally distributed Dec. 30, 2019, via email to "resident newsletter: A2 City News" subscribers)
City holiday schedule
City municipal offices are closed New Year's Eve, Tuesday, Dec. 31, and will reopen at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 2. While trash and recycling collections will take place as usual on Tuesday, Dec. 31, there will be no trash or recycling collection on New Year's Day, Wednesday, Jan. 1. Instead, collections will resume with a one-day delay Thursday through Saturday.
Please note, due to the holiday closures, property tax payments over the counter will be accepted without penalty on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020.
The City of Ann Arbor wishes you a happy, safe and healthy new year!
The holidays are winding down, but the debris that results is likely piling up. Be sure to dispose of all of that holiday wrapping paper, packaging, etc. in a safe and “green" way.
For safety's sake
- Wait a couple of weeks before putting packaging at the curb, especially for big-ticket items, like TVs, game systems, etc.
- Cut up boxes/packaging to help conceal what they once contained.
- Add any new items of value to your complete inventory of household goods and valuables, ideally with a photo or videotape of the items. If you don't have an inventory list, make a New Year's resolution to create one.
CTN and Recycle Ann Arbor provide the Holiday Recycle Guide video, packed with holiday environmentally friendly tips, for this year's celebrations and holidays to come.
Christmas tree free drop-off sites
As a reminder, the City of Ann Arbor provides four free drop-off locations at city parks for undecorated Christmas trees, open through Thursday, Jan. 31, 2020. The city does not provide curbside collection of trees.
Drop offs can be made during normal park hours, 6 a.m.–10 p.m., at:
1. Southeast Area Park located on Ellsworth at Platt. Trees may be left at the dirt lot north of the basketball courts.
2. West Park parking lot off Chapin near West Huron Street.
3. Gallup boat launch parking lot, entrance on the southeast side of Geddes Road, East of Huron Parkway.
4. Olson Park parking lot, 1515 Dhu Varren Road, near Pontiac Trail.
All tree stands, nails, ornaments, tinsel and plastic bags must be removed from the trees and properly discarded. Because the collected evergreens are chipped into mulch or composted, any metal, glass or plastic ornaments left on the tree can ruin the processing equipment, harm the operators, and spoil the landscaping mulch. Since wreaths and evergreen roping are generally made with wire or plastic backing, these items should be placed inside trash carts.
After the drop-off sites close Jan. 31, Christmas trees must be cut, bundled and saved until the city's compost collection service resumes in April.
2020 deer management program
City of Ann Arbor 2020 deer management activities will begin for the fifth year Jan. 2, as approved by City Council on Nov. 18, 2019. The city has a contract with White Buffalo Inc. for sharpshooting management services to address the impact of deer browsing in select areas.
White Buffalo Inc. will work under a Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) amended special research permit, which allows the contracted sharpshooters to lethally remove up to 150 deer in designated City of Ann Arbor parks and nature areas, as well as city-selected private parcels. The permit allows sharpshooting efforts Jan. 2–Jan. 26 on private property and public land. The following parks will be closed every day (including weekends) for all purposes Jan. 2–Jan. 26, 3 p.m.–midnight:
1. Barton Nature Area (only the Foster area north of Warrington Drive).
2. Bird Hills Nature Area.
3. Cedar Bend/Island Park.
4. Foxfire West Nature Area.
5. Huron Parkway/Braun nature areas.
6. Leslie Park Golf Course.
7. Leslie Woods Nature Area.
8. Oakwoods Nature Area.
9. Ruthven Nature Area.
10. South Pond Nature Area (only the area in the vicinity of the NAP office at 3875 E. Huron River Drive).
11. Buttonbush (a new park north of Dhu Varren Road and west of Nixon Road).
12. Nichols Arboretum will be closed on the following dates only: Jan. 6, 13 and 20, 3 p.m.–midnight.
Find more information, read answers to frequently asked questions and sign up for deer management email notifications at www.a2gov.org/deermanagement. Specific questions can be emailed or call to leave a message on the deer hotline, 734.794.6295, and a staff member will return the call.
Quality Water Matters
The January issue of A2H2O: Quality Water Matters (PDF) provides a year-end overview of projects completed in 2019 regarding the protection and maintenance of the city's drinking water system.
Budget planning discussions for fiscal years 2021 and 2022 will begin with City Council work sessions in 2020. Fiscal year 2021 begins on July 1, 2020, and ends June 30, 2021. City Council members can only adopt one fiscal year at a time even though the city plans for multi-year budgets.
City Council work sessions:
The below work sessions are tentatively planned.
Feb. 24 and March 23, 2020 — Council Work Session discussions with staff for budget purposes will be held at Larcom City Hall, Council chambers second floor, 301 E. Huron St. 7 p.m. Meetings will be available to view live in a variety of formats including: Comcast Cable Channel 16, AT&T UVerse Channel 99 or live web stream. The public can also view the meeting later at their convenience via CTN's YouTube channel.
- January–March: Council work sessions tentatively planned.
- April: In accordance with City Charter, the City Administrator's recommended fiscal year 2021 budget is submitted to City Council on April 20, 2020. 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 18).
Budget-related feedback or comments are encouraged and may be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winter with the Ann Arbor parks
There's so much to do in the Ann Arbor parks this winter including shopping local at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market every Saturday or taking a swimming or ice skating lesson at Buhr Park and Veterans Memorial Park ice arenas. Buhr Park's open-air ice arena also offers drop-in hockey and sticks and pucks for players of all ages. Find an activity that suits you at www.a2gov.org/parks.
Snow and ice management reminders
- Residents and/or property owners are responsible for removing snow/ice from adjacent sidewalks, crosswalk ramps and bus stops. Residents/property owners will receive only one warning, per season, before incurring fines.
- Residential property: Within 24-hours, any accumulation of snow greater than 1 inch must be cleared from adjacent sidewalks, concrete bus stops 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.
- Non-residential property: Any snow/ice that has accumulated by 6 a.m. must be removed from adjacent sidewalks, bus stop walks and crosswalk ramps before noon on the same day.
Find more information about snow and ice management on the city website.
Free sand/salt for residents
The city provides up to five gallons of a sand/salt mixture, per visit, at various locations around Ann Arbor. Residents must bring their own shovel and bucket as well as load material themselves from the marked piles. Sand/salt mixture is not for contractors or landscapers. Material is available now. Locations for pick up include: 721 North Main Street | Almendinger Park | Buhr Park | Burns Park | Huron Hills Golf Course | Leslie Park | Veterans Memorial Park.
Water meter upgrade reminder
The installation of upgraded water meters will begin in Ann Arbor homes and businesses in 2020. This two-year project will replace approximately 26,500 aging meters with newer equipment that uses the latest metering technology and longer battery life. Once installed, these upgraded meters will provide more accurate readings.
What to expect:
- The city will be sectioned into several upgrade regions.
- A survey will gather information on potential cross connections prior to installation.
- An examination of drinking water service line material will occur at the time of upgrade.
- The installation and inspection process will be completed in approximately 30–60 minutes, with interruptions to water service lasting no more than 15–20 minutes.
More information, and a video explaining the work, can be found on the project website, www.a2gov.org/meterupgrade, or call 734.794.6320.
Hazard Mitigation Plan Feedback Sought
The 2017 Ann Arbor Hazard Mitigation Plan (PDF) was approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in November 2017. Hazard mitigation means reducing the impact of hazards on people and property. A hazard mitigation plan identifies current and projected natural, man-made and technological hazard risks that may impact Ann Arbor and works to develop a strategy to reduce these risks. The city's technical advisory committee (TAC) meets twice annually to update the mitigation strategy action items within the plan. Since the plan approval, 37 action items have shown progress or revision, and two items have been completed.
In addition to regular TAC review, the city also seeks public feedback regarding specific mitigation strategy actions (beginning on page 246) in the 2017 Ann Arbor Hazard Mitigation Plan. Any feedback or comments help to inform the city's 2022 plan update, which will begin in 2021. FEMA requires plan updates every five years.
Please contact Director of Emergency Management Rick Norman with comments or questions via email or call 734.794.6980.
Shape your future with the 2020 Census
Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau undertakes a mammoth task: counting all the people residing in the United States. An accurate count means that communities across the nation receive the funding, services and business support they deserve and need for roads, hospitals, schools and more and also informs how communities plan for the future and their voice in government.
For the first time, in 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau will accept responses online. The process will be quick and secure. Responses by mail will also still be an option. Regardless of how you respond to the 2020 Census, all responses are confidential.
Learn more about the importance of the 2020 Census, how your information is protected and how to participate at www.2020census.gov.
Serve your city
Members of the city's boards and commissions are a valuable link between residents and city government. Their work helps to shape important policy for the community as a whole.
Are you interested in volunteering your time to serve on a City of Ann Arbor board or commission? View the board and commission web page for more information. And if you find a fit, please submit an online application for appointment consideration.
Have you heard? The City of Ann Arbor and more than 50 partner organizations have just launched a new initiative called A2Zero to help the entire Ann Arbor community achieve a just transition to carbon neutrality by the year 2030. To be successful, however, community input is needed.
Check out www.a2zero.org to learn more about this initiative, find out ways to engage and to complete the online survey by Monday, Jan. 6. This is the first of three surveys that will be used to gather input.
All are invited to the upcoming City of Ann Arbor sustainability forum, which takes place Thursday, Jan. 30, 7 p.m. at the Ann Arbor District Library Downtown Branch, 343 S. Fifth Ave. Join the discussion on how to achieve carbon neutrality in the energy sector; learn about emerging ideas; share ideas; and find out how to help the city achieve its carbon neutrality goals.
Be sure to save the date for these sustainability forums as well:
- Thursday, Feb. 13, 7 p.m., will include a discussion about carbon neutrality in the transportation sector.
- Thursday, March 19, 7 p.m., will include a discussion about carbon neutrality in the resource sector.
- Thursday, April 9, 7 p.m., will include a discussion about carbon neutrality in the adaptation and resilience sector.
Learn more about Ann Arbor's public safety system
If you are interested in an inside look at Ann Arbor's local public safety and justice systems, now is your chance! Applications to participate in the 2020 Jack Dentler Ann Arbor Citizens Police, Fire and Courts Academy (CPFCA) are being accepted until Friday, Jan. 24. Those who live or work in the city and are 18 years old and older are eligible to apply.
This dynamic program provides an inside look at AAPD and AAFD history, emergency management, fire responder's role, use of force, hazardous materials, K-9 unit, investigative unit, court duties/processes and much more. Through this program, participants will gain a better understanding of the challenges facing police officers, firefighters, prosecuting attorneys, defense attorneys and judges. Participants will take part in various mock trial roles such as judge, jury member, prosecutor and defense lawyer; learn about operations of AAPD's patrol and support services division including procedures and equipment, community outreach programs and participating in a mock traffic stop; role play in scenarios, such as selecting the appropriate fire extinguisher and demonstrating the use of that fire extinguisher to put out a small, controlled training fire; and much more. CPFCA is free and will take place weekly on Tuesday evenings, Feb. 11–April 7. Visit the city website for details and the application.
- SmartAsset has assembled a list of the most affordable fitness-friendly places for the 2020, placing Ann Arbor at No. 4. Five metrics were considered to select the most fitness-friendly places: percentage of residents who walk or bike to work; fitness professionals per 10,000 workers; fitness establishments per 10,000 establishments; percentage of restaurants that are fast food; and average hourly wage of personal trainers. Learn more.
- Ann Arbor is 2020's Best Small College City (and fifth best overall) in a recent study from the personal finance outlet WalletHub.com. WalletHub compared, and grouped by city size, more than 400 U.S. cities based on 31 key indicators of academic, social and economic growth potential. The data set ranges from cost of living to quality of higher education to crime rate.
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The city's mission 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
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Howard Lazarus, City Administrator,
John Fournier, Assistant City Administrator,
Michael Cox, Police Chief,
Tom Crawfordtcrawford@a2gov.org , Financial and Administrative Services Area Administrator,
Derek Delacourt, Community Services Area Administrator,
Craig Hupy, Public Services Area Administrator,
Mike Kennedy, Fire Chief,