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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 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.

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A2 City News, August​​ 2019​​​​​​​​​ (PDF), Volume 13, Number 8 (originally distributed Aug. 1, 2019, via email to "re​​​​sident newsletter: A2 City News" subscribers)​​

August electi​​​on notes

Polls will be open in all wards in Ann Arbor 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 6 for the Special Election. The Washtenaw County Intermediate School District (WISD) bonding proposal is on the ballot.For those planning to vote absentee, the Ann Arbor city clerk's office will be open special hours on Saturday, Aug. 3, 8 a.m.–4 p.m., for voters to pick up or turn in Special Election absentee ballots. The city clerk's office is located on the second floor of Larcom City Hall, 301 E. Huron St. On-street or lot parking is located off of Ann Street, east of Fifth Avenue.

For ballot information, to check the status of your voter registration in the city or to locate your polling place, contact the city clerk's office at 734.794.6140 or go online.

Quality ​​​Water Matters August issue

The August issue of A2H2O: Quality Water Matters (PDF) provides: up-to-date water quality data; an update on how the city's new granular activated carbon are performing to address PFAS; and microplastics in our aquatic system.

Celebrating ​a century!

The Ann Arbor Farmers Market turns 100 years old this month and will celebrate with a birthday bash! Join the fun on Saturday, Aug. 17 during market hours 7 a.m.-3 p.m., with a performance by the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, an instrument "petting zoo" for kids, free ice cream and more!

  • 10 a.m.-2 p.m.: Kids instrument petting zoo.
  • Noon and 1 p.m.: Performance by Reed Trio from A2SO.
  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Cooking demo with The Standard.
  • 10 a.m.-1 p.m.: Free ice cream from Washtenaw Dairy.

Wear your favorite AAFM t-shirt when you come, and show off the designs from over the years.

Discover A2 parks and rec​​​reation: Registration opens Aug. 26

Name the season, and City of Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation will have the features and amenities to ensure visitors can make the most of it — sun, rain and snow, alike. Ann Arbor boasts 159 parks and 15 parks facilities spanning more than 2,100 acres, which include three outdoor pools and one indoor pool; outdoor and indoor ice rinks; a world-class skatepark; three dog parks; tennis and pickleball courts; two golf courses; a 100-year-old farmers market; disc golf; two canoe liveries; more than 90 playgrounds; more than 50 soccer, baseball and softball fields; lush trails; and so much more.

Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation also offers a wide variety of programming for all ages including (for this fall and winter) ice skating lessons and hockey, swimming lessons and log rolling at Mack Indoor Pool and a wide variety of activities at the senior center. Volunteer opportunities are also available for groups or individuals; and many special events are also planned. And that's just for starters.

See exactly what's in store for the seasons ahead in the new Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation activity guide. The guide will be available online Friday, Aug. 23, and beginning Aug. 26 at all parks facilities and Larcom City Hall. Registration for fall and winter classes and activities begins Monday, Aug. 26, when you can sign up online or in person at any parks facility.

If you have any questions, please visit parks and recreation online or call parks customer service at 734.794.6230. ​

2019 Dog Swim

Once Buhr Park Pool closes to the public for the season, it's time for our four-legged friends to make a splash. Celebrate the dog days of summer at the annual Dog Swim Wednesday, Sept. 4 and Thursday, Sept. 5, 3–8 p.m. Swim times are in half-hour increments. Walk-ins are welcome. Buhr Park is located at 2751 Packard Road. 

The cost for the first dog is $6 for residents/$7.50 for nonresidents, and for the second dog, $3 residents/$3.75 nonresidents

City to​​ launch expedited building permit process

Planning home renovations or remodeling? The city has good news. Starting Aug. 6, the city's construction and building department will offer expedited permitting twice weekly, on Tuesdays (11 a.m.-1 p.m.) and Thursdays (2-4 p.m.), for *residential home projects.

*Residential remodel projects acceptable for expedited review include:

  • Bathrooms | Kitchens | Basements.
  • Decks for egress out of the home.
  • Home remodels with limited structural changes.
  • Remodels/repairs for flooding.

Residents can bring in their complete plans and sign up to meet one-on-one with a plan reviewer at Larcom City Hall. This process is only for the review of an existing, complete plan; it is not a meeting to plan a design. This process also does not include additions, accessory structures, new homes, residential projects with a considerable amount of structural changes and commercial projects.

The applicant, contractor or owner will have the ability to correct the plans onsite as needed, and a permit will be issued while they wait. However, there may be instances where information cannot be provided/corrected, and the permit will be issued at a later date after the plans have been amended.

Find out the steps to take and learn more on the city's website.

Guest​​ services desk to greet City Hall visitors

A welcoming new addition to Ann Arbor Larcom City Hall will be in place beginning Monday, Aug. 5. That's when the guest services desk will open in the first floor lobby, staffed and ready to greet and direct visitors. 

Visitors to Larcom City Hall who need to access floors three through six will be required to check in at the guest services desk for an elevator access card and visitor badge. Access to the basement, first floor and second floor will remain readily accessible anytime the building is open and will not require check in.

The city is working to help ensure the check-in process at the guest services desk runs smoothly from the start, and is asking for patience from the public who visit Larcom City Hall during the initial days of the opening.

Parkin​g restrictions, road closures planned for Aug. 10 soccer at the Big House

The LaLiga-Serie A Cup soccer event will take place at University of Michigan Stadium 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. Parking restrictions (and vendor operations) on this day will follow the same protocols as U-M home football game-day Saturdays in Ann Arbor. This means there will be no on-street parking on select stadium-area streets for a 16-hour span: 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 10–midnight Sunday, Aug. 11. A map showing the streets with game-day parking restrictions is available at www.a2gov.org/parking.

In addition, several streets adjacent to the stadium will be closed from 2 p.m. until the end of the match, with the exception of southbound South Main Street, which will be closed beginning at 4 p.m. until the match ends.

Find details about road closures related to this event — as well as other road and lane closures in Ann Arbor — at www.a2gov.org/roads. Please note, construction on South State Street will be temporarily suspended and the street opened in both directions starting on Friday, Aug. 9 at 5 p.m. Work and road and lane closures will resume Monday, Aug. 12 at 9 a.m.

Information about the LaLiga-Serie A Cup soccer event can be found on the event host's site (U-M Athletics). 

Tour Ann​​ Arbor's public art

Many will agree, there is much to do and see in Ann Arbor. And now you can take a tour of public art throughout the city even without leaving the comforts of home. Go to www.a2gov.org/publicart to take advantage of the virtual public art story map, which allows users to “visit" artwork in various locations across the city. Each piece is accompanied by information about the work and artist. Those wanting to see the art in person can also use the story map as an accompaniment for a real life tour!

Get involve​d with the Ann Arbor Greenbelt

Greenbelt Advi​​sory Commission begins strategic review process

As the Ann Arbor Greenbelt celebrates 15 years, and the halfway mark of the 30-year Open Space and Parkland Preservation Program millage, the Greenbelt Advisory Commission (GAC) lead a review of its strategic plan.

Originally drafted in 2006, and reviewed in 2013, the strategic plan guides the commission's overall priorities. Central to the strategic plan is a commitment to building vibrant blocks of farmland within priority areas, preserving land along the Huron River, and leveraging funds from partner organizations.

To encourage public participation in the review process, the GAC is holding public meetings. These meetings will allow stakeholders and the public to meet and review the strategic plan. Upcoming meetings:

  • Thursday, Aug. 15, 5:30–7:30 p.m. — Ann Arbor District Library, Traverwood Branch, 3333 Traverwood Drive, Ann Arbor.
  • Thursday, Sept. 5, 4:30–7 p.m. — Larcom City Hall, second floor City Council chambers, 301 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor.
  • *Tuesday, Sept. 245:30–7:30 p.m. — Ann Arbor District Library, Westgate Branch, 2503 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor.
  • Monday, Sept. 30, 5:30–7:30 p.m. — Ann Arbor District Library, Westgate Branch, 2503 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor.
  • Thursday, Oct. 3, 4:30–7 p.m. — Larcom City Hall, second floor City Council chambers, 301 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor.

For those unable to attend a public meeting, the current Greenbelt strategic plan can be found on the program's website. Comments or suggestions can be submitted to greenbelt@a2gov.org before the final meeting on Sept. 5. 
*Updated meeting date and location.

Save the​​ date for the Greenbelt Bus Tour Oct. 12

Want to learn even more about the Ann Arbor Greenbelt? The perfect opportunity is coming up this October, when the popular Greenbelt Bus Tour returns. Registration will begin in early August; and updates will be posted on the Greenbelt Program's Facebook page and website at www.a2gov.org/greenbelt. Get ready to reserve your ticket; then board the bus Saturday, Oct. 12 to tour farm and open space properties that include working farms, farmland and open space surrounding the city of Ann Arbor. You can also sign up to receive email notifications to find out when registration opens.

Serve your​​​ city

Are you interested in volunteering your time to serve on an Ann Arbor board or commission? View the board and commission web page for more information about vacancies. Discover all of the opportunities, and, if you find a fit, please submit an online application for appointment consideration.​

What to ​​watch on CTN

CTN has produced several public service announcements to help share important city messages and reminders. Check out the following City Round Ups online with CTN! 

  • A2Fix It.
  • Bike safety.
  • Dog license.
  • Fireworks safety.
  • Park accessibility.
  • Pedestrian safety.
  • School safety with motorists.
  • Snow removal guidelines.
  • Work zone safety.
  • Distracted driving.
  • Fire pits and grill safety.

Also, hear from a city leader what's happening around Ann Arbor. Catch Conversations with host Jim Blow and guest Ann Arbor City Administrator Howard Lazarus.

Good​ news!

  • Two City of Ann Arbor projects have been recognized by the Michigan Chapter of the American Planning Association for planning excellence. The Treeline-Allen Creek Urban Trail Master Plan has been selected as the winner of the 2019 Transportation Planning award and the city's “Impacting Your City" project as the winner of its 2019 Public Outreach award. Selected by a jury of planning professionals, the awards will be presented at a ceremony on Sept. 25, 2019. Learn more online.  
  • The Michigan Department of Treasury has recognized the City of Ann Arbor assessing department with a perfect score for the Audit of Minimum Assessing Requirements. 
  • For the second consecutive year, Ann Arbor has been named the No. 1 Most Educated City in America, according to personal finance outlet WalletHub.com. To determine where the most educated people in the U.S. reside, WalletHub compared the 150 largest metropolitan statistical areas across 11 key metrics. The data set ranges from share of adults ages 25 and older with a bachelor's degree or higher, to racial education gap, to quality of the public school system.

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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.

City Ad​​​mi​​​nistration​