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A2 City News resident newsletter articles appear below in plain-text format.
A2 City News, April 2019 (PDF), Volume 13, Number 4 (originally distributed April 1, 2019, via email to "resident newsletter: A2 City News" subscribers)
In this issue:
Water quality update |
Spring + summer fun in the parks
| Curbside compost collection
resumes | Water Treatment Plant Open House |
Water quality report | Power Hours
| Ready Ann Arbor |
Firehouse Fridays | April 13 U-M spring game parking restrictions
| Leadership in Community
Resilience program |
Earth Day Festival is April 28 | A2
crew provides support to Grand Rapids
| Spring fire hydrant flushing
resumes | Tornado safety | Work
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Quality water and transparency are top priorities for the city
The City of Ann Arbor first and foremost continues to assure the public that Ann Arbor's drinking water remains safe to drink, and no action from the public is necessary. In fulfilling its mission to provide quality drinking water, the city collects more than 58,000 water samples and conducts more than 177,000 tests each year. With advances in testing techniques, labs are able to detect very low levels of contaminants in water samples. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk.
In February 2019, monthly water-sample testing detected 1,4-dioxane in the city's surface water supply (Huron River) and in the finished drinking water. Even though the amount of 1,4-dioxane did not come close to any Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) risk levels, we believed it was important to let the public know of this first-time detection.
However, March test results found no detectable 1,4-dioxane using two independent water-quality labs. No 1,4-dioxane was detected in samples collected from the Huron River at Barton Pond nor in the city's drinking water. The city's water quality team will continue to send water samples to an independent lab each month. Please read the 1,4-dioxane fact sheet, frequently asked questions and view monthly water sample test data on the city's website at www.QualityWaterMatters.org.
The No. 1 focus of the city's drinking water staff is to protect public health. This responsibility is taken very seriously. Do you have questions about water quality or want to speak to someone directly? Contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 734.794.6426. However you choose to engage with us, your questions are always welcome, and any expressed concerns will be taken seriously.
Learn something + have fun in the parks
Registration for all City of Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation summer programming is underway. Programs include the popular summer day camps at Fuller and Buhr parks as well as Huron Hills golf camp, volunteer opportunities, canoe lessons, learn-to-swim and mermaid/merman classes and so much more. Visit parks online, and click the "view the activity guide" link to see the new guide. Paper copies can be found at city parks facilities including Mack Indoor Pool, Veterans Memorial Park Ice Arena and Huron Hills Golf Course.
Curbside compost collection season resumes
The weekly curbside collection of compostable material in the city of Ann Arbor resumes Monday, April 1, 2019, on regular collection days. Residents can discard acceptable debris using compost carts or yard waste bags — depending on what is being discarded — or by bundling branches/brush and placing at the curb.
Acceptable compost items include:
- Plate scrapings and food waste (including meat and bones)*.
- Grass clippings*.
- BPI certified compostable bags, containers, silverware, etc.
Leaves and brush.
- Branches less than 6 inches in diameter (must fit in cart with lid closed).
- Unpainted, untreated lumber (must fit in cart with lid closed).
- Undecorated and cut up Christmas trees.
- Garden pruning and surplus, crab apples, etc.
*These items may only be placed in compost carts, not yard waste bags. Compost carts are available for purchase from the customer service center, open weekdays from 7:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. at 301 E. Huron St., 734.994.7336. Visit a2gov.org/compost for sizes, pricing and delivery fees. Bundled brush or tree limbs, four feet or less, can be tied with natural twine in bundles up to 18 inches in diameter, and weighing no more than 50 pounds, can be left at the curb for pickup. Individual tree limbs must be no more than 6 inches in diameter.
Prohibited from compost carts and yard waste bags:
- Plastic bags.
- PLA biodegradable plastic.
- Trash and recyclables.
- Stones, dirt or sod.
- Animal waste or kitty litter.
- Logs (over 6 inches in diameter).
- Tree stumps.
- Painted or treated wood.
Residents discarding compostables must place them at the curb, as outlined above, before 7 a.m. on their weekly waste collection day. There should be at least 3 feet between each cart and clear of any obstacles overhead in order for the carts to be emptied completely, efficiently and safely. Carts should be placed on lawn extensions, whenever possible, and never left in bike lanes.
Compost season runs through Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. Please go online for more information.
Get an inside (/curbside) look with CTN
What's it like to be a solid waste collections truck driver? CTN has the answer! Check out “A Day in the Life – Solid Waste Drivers."
Learn more about composting and recycling in Ann Arbor.
The latest issue of WasteWatcher magazine is now available!
Save the date for May 11 Water Treatment Plant Open House
May is water awareness month! To celebrate, Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. is the annual Water Treatment Plant Open House, which will feature tours every 20 minutes, exhibits, giveaways, light refreshments and kids activities. Learn more about how Ann Arbor's award-winning water is made at this family-friendly event.
Also water-related in May … Mark your calendars for Huron River Day on Sunday, May 19, noon– 4 p.m., and enjoy the beautiful Huron River with free, family-friendly river activities at Gallup Park, 3000 Fuller Road.
Water quality report
Did you know the Ann Arbor Water Treatment Plant processes an estimated 5 billion gallons of water annually and serves clean drinking water to more than 125,000 people each day? Find more statistics and data in the 2018 City of Ann Arbor Water Quality Report (PDF), now available. The report provides an overview of the required and voluntary water testing programs that protect our drinking water system.
Get enlightened on energy efficiency with free Power Hours
Residents can learn about installing solar energy and improving the energy efficiency of their homes, reducing the cost of energy bills, helping to combat climate change and more at two free Power Hours events the city is hosting this month. Events are taking place:
- Thursday, April 11, 6 p.m. at Slauson Middle School, 1019 W. Washington St., Ann Arbor 48103.
- Monday, April 29, 6 p.m. at Cobblestone Farm, 2781 Packard St., Ann Arbor 48108.
Presenters at the events will include representatives from the following organizations:
- Michigan Saves: Discussing their contractor network and energy efficiency and solar financing options.
- DTE Energy: Discussing their home energy consultations and rebate programs.
- Ann Arbor Energy Commission members: Sharing details on how to go solar.
Attendees can also speak with solar installers and energy efficiency contractors to learn more about opportunities and to learn how to go about evaluating their homes as candidates for solar.
A children's area will be provided while parents attend the sessions.
To learn more about the city's energy office and initiatives, visit www.a2gov.org/energy.
Are you Ready Ann Arbor?
Crime prevention and personal safety, hands-only CPR, basic first aid, active shooter response, home fire safety and how to use a fire extinguisher are some of the skills the city's police and fire departments will focus on in the two-day Ready Ann Arbor training. The training is scheduled for Saturdays, May 11 and 18.
Ready Ann Arbor is modeled after the Department of Homeland Security's Ready campaign. The goal of the program is to educate and empower the public to prepare for, respond to and mitigate emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters, while promoting preparedness through public involvement.
Residents of Ann Arbor who are 18 years and older are welcome to apply to participate. Applications are due by Wednesday, May 1. Find a link to the application and details online.
Firehouse Friday in Ann Arbor May 10
W4 Country 102.9 FM is scheduled to host a Firehouse Friday event May 10, broadcasting live 6–9 a.m. from Ann Arbor Fire Station No. 6, 1881 Briarwood Circle, Ann Arbor. The public is invited to stop by to watch the live broadcast, to meet Ann Arbor firefighters, for a tour of the fire station and for coffee and doughnuts. More information will be shared on the city's Facebook and Twitter pages as the event nears.
April 13 U-M stadium-area parking restrictions
The University of Michigan Spring Football Scrimmage is scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday, April 13 at Michigan Stadium. Parking and vendor operations on this day will be the same as a regular U-M home football game-day Saturday in Ann Arbor, with special event no-parking restrictions in effect from 8 a.m. Saturday, April 13 until midnight Saturday/Sunday, April 13/14.
A map showing the streets with game-day parking restrictions (also pictured here) is available at www.a2gov.org/parking. In summary, streets with game-day parking restrictions include portions of:
- South Fourth Avenue.
- Edgewood Place.
- Brown Street.
- South Division Street.
- Franklin Boulevard.
- Edgewood Avenue.
- Belmar Place.
- South Main Street.
- West Keech Avenue.
- Potter Avenue.
- Berkley Avenue.
- Snyder Avenue.
- McKinley Avenue.
- Dewey Avenue.
- Scio Church Road.
The city's events-parking hotline number, 734.794.6444, will be activated with details closer to game day. Residents and visitors interested in information about the event itself can visit U-M's website.
Ann Arbor awarded support for pursuit of resiliency goals
The National League of Cities (NLC) has announced eight cities, including Ann Arbor, have been accepted into the Leadership in Community Resilience program. As a result, each city will receive $10,000 in direct financial support as well as technical assistance and professional development opportunities to help meet community-specific resiliency goals.
The goal of the Leadership in Community Resilience program is to generate new insights related to the challenges and opportunities associated with local resilience initiatives. The lessons these cities learn through this process will be used to help hundreds of other cities achieve greater resiliency for their residents and prepare the nation for the effects of climate change and other hazards.
To apply for the program, cities submitted proposals to explain a specific resiliency challenge in their community and a proposed event or project that could address it. Ann Arbor will use this awarded support to integrate climate considerations into its capital improvements plan process. This includes both physical changes in climate (temperature, precipitation) as well as sociodemographic shifts, i.e., migration from other parts of the country.
The seven other cities selected for the 2019 Leadership in Community Resilience Program are: Anchorage, Alaska; Denton, Texas; Durham, North Carolina; Evanston, Illinois; Jersey City, New Jersey; Park City, Utah; and Roeland Park, Kansas.
Now in its third year, the Leadership in Community Resilience program is supported by Wells Fargo and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation through their Resilient Communities Grant Program. Technical assistance partnerships with the Thriving Earth Exchange and ecoAmerica will also provide the cities with additional tools and resources.
48th annual Earth Day Festival is April 28
The Ann Arbor area annual Earth Day Festival takes place Sunday, April 28, noon–4 p.m. at Leslie Science & Nature Center, 1831 Traver Road. This free, family-friendly event will be bustling with hands-on activities, live entertainment, displays from 40 local environmental, non-profit and governmental organizations and much more.
Event guests can enjoy:
- Michigan Moon Storytime and a singalong with beloved local singer/songwriter Joe Reilly for the kids.
- Presentations on Invasive Agricultural Pests and The Science & Practice of Forest Bathing for the grownups.
- All-species costumed parade.
- Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum wind exhibits.
- LSNC-led nature walks.
- LSNC-led live animal presentations.
- Face painting.
- Lawn games.
- And much more!
On-site concessions and refreshments will be available for purchase from Cosa Sabrosa, Hero or Villain and Ray's Red Hots.
Additional details and information about the event are available online at www.a2earthday.org. For information about volunteer opportunities available at the event, please visit the GIVE 365 program online or send an email.
A2 crew helps Grand Rapids storm recovery
An ice storm wreaked havoc on Grand Rapids the weekend of Feb. 9, resulting in a call for aide by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. In response, Ann Arbor Public Works Manager Molly Maciejewski immediately organized Ann Arbor crews and equipment to assist.
On the morning of Monday, Feb. 11, public works staff worked through frigid temperatures for two days, alongside crews from Kalamazoo, Lansing and other cities, to help clear debris and chip fallen trees in Grand Rapids streets.
Spring fire hydrant flushing resumes
The city conducts seasonal fire hydrant inspection and system maintenance each year. The 2019 hydrant work will begin Tuesday, April 2 and will continue through the coming months.
How do you know when hydrant flushing is set to take place in your neighborhood? A map is available online now that shows the current hydrant-flushing areas as well as where flushing will take place next. Find the map at www.a2gov.org/annarborhydflush.
Why is it helpful to know when hydrant flushing is happening in your neighborhood? On occasion during the hydrant-flushing process, the water in area homes may have an orange or rusty appearance. The discolored water does not pose a health or safety risk, but the water can cause stains to laundry. If water appears discolored, please run the cold water for several minutes to clear your lines. Do not run the hot water, as rusty water may get into the hot water tank, requiring the tank to then be drained, per the manufacturer's instructions. You should also flush your toilets once or twice. The water should run clear within a few minutes. The iron sediment in the water main being disturbed by the hydrant flushing causes the discoloration. Temporary laundry coloration caused by this sediment can be removed by using a product called “Rover."
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the hydrant-flushing process, go online or contact the City of Ann Arbor Customer Service Center, 734.794.6320.
According to the Michigan Committee for Severe Weather Awareness, tornadoes can occur any time of year, but they are especially common in our state during the late spring and early summer months. One of nature's most violent storms, tornadoes can devastate homes and property in just seconds.
Don't wait to learn about tornadoes and how to stay safe in the event of severe weather. Michigan just observed Severe Weather Awareness Week in Michigan at the end of March, apt timing to remind all of the importance of being prepared.
Do you know the tornado-hazard terms? A tornado watch means tornadoes are possible. When a watch is issued, you should move near to a sturdy building allowing you to quickly take shelter there if conditions are upgraded to a warning or if you see signs of a tornado approaching. During a watch, remain alert and watch the sky for approaching storms, and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for updates. A tornado warning means a tornado has been sighted or detected by weather radar. When a warning is issued, take shelter immediately.
Find out more about tornadoes — including how to be prepared and react quickly — on the tornadoes page of the Department of Homeland Security official website, ready.gov/tornadoes.
The City of Ann Arbor conducts routine warning siren testing March–October at 1 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month.
Work zone safety gets national emphasis
2019 National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 8–12, when motorists nationwide will be urged to "Drive Like You Work Here," the campaign's 2019 theme. This annual spring campaign, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHA), is held at the start of construction season to encourage safe driving — always — through highway work zones.
In 2017, there were 132 worker fatalities in road construction sites. The FHA provides the following tips for all motorists to take to heart.
- Plan ahead. Build in extra time to reach your destination. Find a route that will avoid work zones altogether. Visit the city's “road and lane closures" web page to stay in the know about planned road work and traffic control plans. While there, you can even subscribe to receive email or mobile alerts.
- Obey road crews and signs.
- Slow down.
- Move over when passing work crews and official vehicles parked on the shoulder (it's the law in Michigan).
- Avoid distractions.
- Watch for sudden stoppages.
- Watch for large vehicles. In 2017, 50 percent of fatal work zone crashes involving large trucks or buses occurred on rural roadways.
Learn more statistics and safety tips on the FHA website and fact sheet (PDF).
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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,
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,
Bob Pfannes, Interim Chief of Police,