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A2 City News, June 2018​ (PDF), Volume 12, Number 6 (originally distributed June 1, 2018, via email to "resident newsletter: A2 City News" subscribers)​

In this issue: 

​​​FY2019 budgetMayor’s Green Fair | Police and Fire Departments Open House | Vehicle and equipment auction | Changing Driver Behavior Study | Permane​nt absent voter list | Fireworks | Fire department response mapping | Summer day camp

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City ​Council approves FY2019 b​​​udget 

On May 21, City Council approved the $396 million expenditure budget for fiscal year 2019, which begins July 1, 2018. This is the second of a two-year budget plan for the latest anticipated revenue and includes expenditure strategies to establish an operating plan that is balanced. "Balanced" is defined as a plan that supports a sustainable delivery of services within projected revenues. 

The approved 2019 budget includes funding for pedestrian safety, an evaluation of police community engagement practices, affordable housing and climate action.

General fund recurring expenses are projected to increase by approximately $1.5 million or 1.5 percent, while recurring revenues are expected to increase by approximately $811,000 or .79 percent in the next fiscal year. With $3.1 million in nonrecurring expenses and $3.1 million in nonrecurring revenue next fiscal year, the approved FY19 budget includes using $3.1 million in general fund cash reserves to balance the budget.

Other highlights of the budget include:

  • $1.2 million for pedestrian safety including $200,000 for electronic speed limit signs.
  • $243,000 for lethal, nonlethal and education activities related to deer management. 
  • $150,000 for special event security funding.
  • $130,000 additional funding for new streetlights. The budget also included $710,000 for streetlight replacement.  

The budget also includes funding to increase full-time city employees by one FTE, which includes an increase of two police officers and a decrease of one firefighter.   

Watch the May 21 City Council meeting​ online via CTN Video on Demand or visit the Citizen Guide to Budget and Finance resource website to view budget-related documents and information about the budget process.

18th Annual Mayor's Green Fair

Downtown Ann Arbor will again be bustling in celebration of the environment and sustainability at the 18th annual Mayor's Green Fair Friday, June 8, 6–9 p.m. Stretching along Main Street between Huron and William streets, this free event showcases the community's environmental leadership and innovation. The 2018 event will feature:

Environmental nonprofit organizations, government agencies and participating businesses that have earned the "Environmental Excellence" partners and/or "Community Partners for Clean Streams" designation from Washtenaw County will provide information and host hands-on activities for all ages. There will be live birds of prey demonstrations and live music performed by Paul's Big Radio. 

Exhibitors will highlight innovative energy-saving designs and actions, including displays of alternative fuel vehicles, demonstrations of green building materials, solar energy installations, renewable energy installations and more.

Green transportation exhibits sponsored by the getDowntown Program will highlight the opportunities available for cleaner trips — ranging from VanRide vanpools for long-distance commuting to cargo bikes for local shopping trips. Bike parking is available throughout downtown for this event, or plan to take a bus using TheRide.org. 

Green Fair, a zero-waste event, is coordinated by the office of Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor, in cooperation with Washtenaw County Environmental Excellence Partners, getDowntown, Recycle Ann Arbor, and the University of Michigan's Michigan Sustainability Cases Initiative. For more information on Green Fair, visit www.a2gov.org/greenfair.​

Police and Fire Departments Ope​n House is June 9

Explore fire and police vehicles, meet the Police K–9 unit, watch vehicle extrication and smoke house demonstrations and more at the annual Ann Arbor Police and Fire Departments Family Open House Saturday, June 9, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. The event is free and takes place along Fifth Avenue, between Huron and Ann streets. Free hot dogs and popcorn will be provided. 

This annual event is just one way the Ann Arbor Police and Fire departments stay connected with residents. The AAPD's community engagement unit maintains a year-round focus on improving police and community relations. A range of services and activities through this unit help inform and educate about community policing, crime prevention and outreach programs. Community outreach is an important part of the AAFD as well. This includes not only fire station tours and ride-alongs, but Safety Town, Fire Prevention Week activities, parades, ice cream socials with the schools and neighborhood block parties — which also promote fire education and prevention.

Vehicle and equipment aucti​​​on

The City of Ann Arbor sells used city vehicles and equipment through an annual auction with auction house Braun & Helmer. The sale is held each year on the first Wednesday of June. The 2018 auction is scheduled for Wednesday, June 6 at 4 p.m. Go online for details.

Chan​​​ging Driver Behavior Study

Be ready to stop at crosswalks to let pedestrians safely pass. Always. It's that simple. And it's the law

The City of Ann Arbor launched a media campaign and crosswalk enforcement initiative to promote crosswalk safety as part of the Changing Driver Behavior Study. The campaign continues in June with enforcement by the Ann Arbor Police Department and ads running on local television.

The overall goal of the study is to use enforcement, street messaging and communications to improve drivers' yielding and stopping rates at crosswalks in Ann Arbor. A dozen commute route locations throughout the city are to be included in the study. Changeable message signs along roadways will update drivers on yielding rates, allowing the public to see progress in real time.

Last year's efforts resulted in significant improvements. At the targeted enforcement sites across the city, yielding rates went from a mean of 27 percent to 58 percent. At observations sites, where only data was collected, yielding rates jumped from 37 percent to 49 percent.

Go online to watch the crosswalk safety ad, or keep your eyes peeled to catch it on network and cable TV stations.

Permanent absen​​t vote​r list

Registered voters who qualify and regularly vote by absentee ballot, including residents over age 60, can sign up to automatically receive absentee ballot applications by mail for each election. Applications will be sent to those on this permanent list six to eight weeks prior to each election. 

In order to receive a ballot, voters on the permanent list must still complete and sign the application each election. The next Election Day in the city is Tuesday, Aug. 7. Call 734.794.6140 or email the Ann Arbor City Clerk's Office for more information or to sign up.

Firewor​​ks 4-1-1

Warm summer nights and fireworks seem to go hand in hand. But did you know there are laws dictating when, where and what kind of fireworks are legal to use? Just for starters, it is illegal to use fireworks at city parks! This is not only to keep our parks safe for all to enjoy, but also to help keep them free from the debris that is often carelessly left behind. While the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act broadens the selection of fireworks available for home/amateur use statewide, it is important to know there are still usage parameters per City of Ann Arbor ordinance (Section 9:266 of Chapter 115 Weapons and Explosives of Title IX).

Fireworks usage is permitted only during certain timeframes and only around national holidays. The timeframe guidelines for the Independence Day holiday are:

- Use is prohibited prior to July 3 and after July 5. 

- Use is only permitted from 8 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. on July 3, 4 and 5 with the following restrictions:

  • Use is always prohibited on public property, including not only parks, but school property, church property and the property of another person unless the person using the fireworks has the expressed permission of the property owner.  
  • Use is always prohibited for persons under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.
  • Prohibitions apply to “consumer fireworks," which are “fireworks devices that are designed to produce visible effects by combustion," such as roman candles, bottle rockets, firecrackers and missile-type rockets. 
  • Prohibitions do not apply to ground and handheld sparkling devices.
  • Keep a ready source of water available. A connected hose is best, but a fire extinguisher or bucket of water will work, too.
  • Wet down an ignition area at least 30 feet in diameter for ground fireworks. That way if sparks do hit the ground, the chance of a spark igniting a fire will be minimal.
  • Light fireworks on a paved surface such as concrete or asphalt. If a hard surface is not available, select a dirt area without grass or vegetation. Keep fireworks away from any wooded or grassy areas.
  • Keep an eye out for smoldering fires in the grass or shrubs for 30 minutes after the display is completed.  If in doubt, call 911.

Please be mindful of sensitivities of other residents, pets and neighbors as well. Veterans and military-support organizations emphasize that fireworks can be particularly troublesome for military and veterans suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder. If you choose to use fireworks, please adhere to the ordinance, but please also use common courtesies, such as:

  • Informing neighbors in advance of your fireworks plans.
  • Limiting the frequency of your use during those acceptable usage hours.
  • Cleaning up all debris resulting from your fireworks use (see disposal tip below).

Please note the following safety guidelines, as well, from Ann Arbor police and fire departments:

  • The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.
  • After a fireworks display, never pick up fireworks right away that may be left over, as they may still be active. Fully soak used/dud fireworks in water, and dispose of in the trash, not in recycling.
  • The risk of fireworks injury is more than twice as high for children ages 10–14 as for the general population. Children should never participate in setting off fireworks, and they should remain a safe distance way from where fireworks are being set off.
  • Sparklers may seem harmless, but the tip of a sparkler burns at a temperature of more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. That is hot enough to cause third-degree burns.

Additional safety guidelines (PDF) are available on the Ann Arbor Fire Department web page, or visit the Nation​al Fire Protection Agency website.

For more information about the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act, which took effect statewide in 2012, see the frequently asked questions (PDF) on the State of Michigan website.

Ann Arbor Fire Depart​​ment launches online map with incidents, response times and more

The next time you see an emergency vehicle en-route to an emergency or service incident, you can now get details about those calls online. The Ann Arbor Fire Department has launched ResponseMapping.com, a new online, dynamic mapping tool that shows up-to-date data about incident locations, nature of the incidents, response times and more.  

All incidents that are logged in the fire department's records management system are mapped and displayed through this tool as far back as the past six months. Incident addresses are rounded to a block number for mapping purposes and for resident confidentiality. Ten different incident category types are displayed on the map, ranging from fires, EMS requests, rescues and more.

The public can also subscribe to ResponseMapping alerts to receive updates via email when new incidents occur in their area of the city.

ResponseMapping isn't the first online incident-mapping access provided by the city. The Ann Arbor Police Department launched CrimeMapping.com in 2011.   Like the fire-incidents mapping process, CrimeMapping pulls incident data from the Ann Arbor police records management system, and displays the incident locations and details. CrimeMapping.com and ResponseMapping.com are both powered by TriTech Software Systems.

School's al​most out ... now what​? 

With the school year coming to a close, families across the community are searching for fun, safe and meaningful ways for kids to spend their days. How about summer day camp with Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation? City of Ann Arbor day camps offer a positive environment where campers of all ages and interests can gain confidence and learn new skills while enjoying fun-filled days outside exploring the city's beautiful parks.

These day camps still have limited spots available, and take place at the following park sites:

Buhr Park Pool, for children ages 5–12. 

Fuller Park Pool, for children ages 5–12.  

Huron Hills Golf Course, for children ages 8–15.

Register online for a day camp, pick up a brochure at any parks facility or stop by the Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation Customer Service Office at 2781 Packard Road inside the barn at Cobblestone Farm.​

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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

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