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A2 City News, April 2021 (PDF), Volume 15, Number 4 (originally distributed April 1, 2021, via email to "resident newsletter: A2 City News" subscribers)
City of Ann Arbor Larcom City Hall will remain closed due to the pandemic, and nonessential operations will continue to take place remotely, through the end of April 2021. The purpose of the extended closure is to allow more time for vaccine distribution into the community and among city employee groups.
In the meantime, city staff is continuing to serve the public, conducting city business during normal business hours via phone, email and online. See the "services" webpage, https://www.a2gov.org/services/Pages/Home.aspx, for details and also the "contact" webpage, https://www.a2gov.org/contact/pages/contactus.aspx, for how to reach city departments.
Additional city information and a variety of resources are available on the city's website at https://www.a2gov.org/Pages/COVID-19-Information.aspx. For pandemic information from the Centers for Disease Control, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/. For the latest COVID-19 information from the Washtenaw County Health Department, please visit https://www.washtenaw.org/3095/COVID-19. In addition, the county health department features COVID-19 vaccine information at https://www.washtenaw.org/3269/COVID-19-Vaccination.
The State of Michigan offers a free COVID Alert tracking app for mobile devices, which can help to notify users and slow the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan. Find it where you access apps on your mobile device by searching "MI COVID alert." Or visit https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-99891_102592---,00.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=alert to learn more.
The city extends appreciation to the Ann Arbor community for their patience; cooperation with mask wearing and distancing both indoors and outside; increased handwashing; support of local businesses; and for getting/planning to get vaccinated all in a united effort to bring the pandemic to an end.
The return of curbside compost collection
The weekly curbside collection of compostable material in the city of Ann Arbor resumes Monday, April 5, 2021, on regular collection days. Compost collection routes run through Friday, Dec. 10, 2021. Residents can take advantage of this service by using optional compost carts and paper yard bags to dispose of materials appropriate for those containers and by bundling larger branches/brush and placing at the curb.
Paper yard bags may be used for yard trimmings such as leaves, weeds and other vegetation. Heavy bags can be difficult to service at times and also pose a greater injury and health risk to staff. If you must use paper yard bags, please don't overload them. If you can't lift it comfortably, neither can city staff.
Bundled brush or tree limbs, four feet or less, tied with natural twine in bundles up to 18 inches in diameter, can be left at the curb for pickup. Individual tree limbs must be less than 6 inches in diameter.
Residents who are able to are encouraged to take advantage of compost carts. See the list below for items that are PROHIBITED from compost carts and yard waste bags.
- Plastic bags or containers.
- Trash and recyclables.
- Dirt, rocks, stones and gravel.
- Branches 6 inches in diameter or over 4 feet in length.
- Painted or treated wood.
- Animal waste or cat litter.
- Tree stumps.
Participating residents must place their compostables at the curb before 7 a.m. on their weekly waste collection day — allowing at least 3 feet between each cart with clearance from any obstacles overhead. Carts should be placed on lawn extensions, whenever possible, and never left in bike lanes. For complete details on what is and is not compostable, please visit www.a2gov.org/compost (https://www.a2gov.org/departments/trash-recycling/Pages/Compost.aspx).
Yard material drop-off, sales and free compost
The Ann Arbor compost facility is located at 4170 Platt Road. The facility is operated by WeCare Denali, http://www.wecareorganics.com/wecare-products/products-by-region/mid-west-region/, and is open weekdays 8 a.m.–4 p.m., and Saturdays between April and June 8 a.m.–noon. Ann Arbor residents may deliver 1 cubic yard per household, per day of acceptable yard trimmings and food waste, at no charge, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. A driver's license with a valid city address is required for this free service.
To drop off, purchase or obtain free compost, visitors must use the new automated scale system, which includes weighing in and out. Before you go, please see the instructions online for using the new automated scale system: https://www.a2gov.org/departments/trash-recycling/Pages/Compost.aspx#Yard%20drop%20off
Acceptable drop-off materials include:
- Grass, leaves, other vegetation – must be clean and free of brush/wood.
- Mixed yard trimmings/brush/pallets (no plywood or OSB).
- Wood chips — must be clean.
- Food waste.
- Branches up to 6 inches in diameter.
Materials for sale include:
- Natural wood mulch
- Pallet mulch
Payments may be made by check or credit card only. Please visit WeCare Denali at http://www.wecareorganics.com/wecare-products/products-by-region/mid-west-region/, or call 734.794.6380, for current fees and pricing. No cash accepted.
Free compost, up to 1 cubic yard, is available, for a limited time, to Ann Arbor residents. This material is located within the compost facility and can be picked up on Saturdays only, 7 a.m.– 11 a.m., between April 17 and July 3, 2021, or while supplies last. In order to obtain free compost, a valid city of Ann Arbor driver's license is required. The limit is 1 cubic yard of compost per household. At the scale, enter material type: outbound compost resident free or outbound mulch resident free. Please note that this is a self-loading program, therefore each resident must bring their own shovel and containers they may need.
Our city at work: Ann Arbor Wastewater Treatment Plant
The Ann Arbor Wastewater Treatment Plant and staff have won the 2021 Premier Utility Management Performance (PUMP) Award. This honor, given to only a handful of water utilities in the state of Michigan each year, recognizes Ann Arbor's ability to hire, train and retain talented professionals, create and maintain outstanding infrastructure and budgeting plans as well as for earning high marks from the public measured by public surveys and engagement.
People continue to be the essential component to this award as well as Ann Arbor's long history of achievement when it comes to water resource recovery and sustainability. Ann Arbor's wastewater utility staff has a combined 273 years of experience, with the average employee having served for over eight years. Staff is required to undergo rigorous annual operations and safety training. Because of this and the support staff receives from the city, the wastewater utility has managed to retain 99% of its staff over the last 10+ years, losing people only to retirement.
Streetlight outage reporting
Did you know you can help the community be and feel safer by reporting streetlight outages? Simply visit www.a2gov.org/a2fixit (https://www.a2gov.org/services/pages/report-a-problem.aspx), or download the A2 Fix It app on your smartphone, to report streetlights that are no longer working. And remember, A2 Fix It isn't just for streetlights. You can use the tool to report potholes and missed cart pickups as well.
Ann Arbor, along with large parts of the Midwest and eastern United States, will experience a 17-year cicada emergence in May and June 2021. The cicadas, which do not bite and are harmless to humans, will present challenges to smaller saplings while benefiting larger and established trees. In response, the City of Ann Arbor is suspending its spring tree planting efforts and has established a website, www.a2gov.org/cicada (https://www.a2gov.org/departments/forestry/Pages/17-Year-Cicada-Emergence-.aspx), to help the community understand and prepare for the event.
Parks and recreation roundup
Huron Hills and Leslie Park golf courses are now open
Leslie Park Golf Course (LPGC) clubhouse and all 18 holes are open. Carts are also available. Due to an ongoing construction project, golfers can play 11 holes at Huron Hills Golf Course (HHGC).
Everyone is required to a wear a mask indoors and around the clubhouse and to remain 6 feet apart from others not in the same household. For course details, visit www.a2golf.org (https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/play/Pages/Golf.aspx).
For HHGC, please call 734.794.6246 to book a tee time. For LPGC, please call 734.794.6245 to book a tee time.
Outdoor park rental reservations
Ann Arbor Parks & Recreation is now accepting park rental requests for event dates starting Friday, April 9, 2021.
After evaluating the current Michigan Department of Health and Human Services restrictions, the city will consider requests for events with a maximum capacity of 100 attendees for open-air shelters and open park space. Unfortunately, rental requests for the indoor shelters at Burns Park and Allmendinger Park will not be accepted until further notice.
If you are interested in submitting a park rental request, please email [email protected] or call 734.794.6230, ext. 0. Email is the preferred request method. Requests will be accepted in the order in which they are received.
To learn about park rental opportunities, visit https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/park-rental/Pages/default.aspx.
Gallup Park Loop Trail construction to begin
A segment of the Gallup Park Loop Trail, between the boat launch and the canoe livery, is in need of repair as part of ongoing maintenance. Work is scheduled to start in early April and is expected to be complete in early June, weather permitting. Signs and barricades will safely direct users away from the construction zone. The city asks that trail users follow the posted detour as they ride, walk, bicycle and commute along this path. While the temporary closure is an inconvenience to users, the replacement of the pathway is intended to provide longer-term durability. The city thanks trail users in advance for their patience. Details, including a map, can be found at http://www.a2gov.org/parkplanning (https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/administrative/Pages/Park-Planning.aspx).
Openings for Buhr Park Pool Day Camp available for scholarship recipients
Some spots remain open for children to attend the Burh Pool Park Day Camp this summer if they meet the qualifications for the Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation Scholarship Program. The fund provides city residents access to Ann Arbor park facilities and programs regardless of economic situation. The scholarship program provides income-eligible families exposure to positive experiences, active lifestyles and mentors, as well as opportunities to gain and refine life skills and to develop positive personal and social assets.
To apply for a scholarship, contact 734.794.6230. A copy of the scholarship application can also be found at https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/administrative/Pages/Scholarships.aspx. Applications can be mailed to:
City of Ann Arbor Parks & Recreation Services | 2781 Packard Road | Ann Arbor, MI 48108. Due to COVID-19, documents may also be scanned and emailed to [email protected].
Energy efficiency kits delivered to homebound residents
The City of Ann Arbor is partnering with Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels at Michigan Medicine and DTE Energy to distribute home energy efficiency kits to approximately 260 homebound households served by Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels. The partnership, which stems from the city's A2ZERO Carbon Neutrality work, focuses on helping homebound residents lower energy costs, maintain indoor health and comfort and reduce energy and water waste. Included in each kit are LED lights and nightlights, a water-efficient showerhead and faucet aerator, weather stripping, water heater pipe wrapping and a door draft stopper. Each kit also contains information about additional services or techniques available to save money by reducing energy and water waste. Learn more at https://www.a2gov.org/news/pages/article.aspx?i=779.
A commitment to quality water
The 2020 annual City of Ann Arbor Water Quality Report is now available and explains where your drinking water comes from, what is in it and how the city keeps it safe. Find the report at https://www.a2gov.org/departments/water-treatment/Documents/water_quality_report_2020.pdf (PDF).
In addition, the April issue of Quality Water Matters includes an update on the status of the Gelman plume litigation and information that was shared by EGLE and the EPA during a community meeting. Read QWM at https://www.a2gov.org/departments/water-treatment/Documents/quality_water_matters_newsletter_april_2021.pdf (PDF).
Spring fire hydrant flushing to begin
The city conducts seasonal fire hydrant inspection and system maintenance each year. The 2021 hydrant flushing program is scheduled to resume Monday, April 12, and to continue through the coming months. If any changes to the starting date become necessary, updates will be shared on the city website at https://www.a2gov.org/departments/public-works/Pages/Hydrant-Flushing.aspx.
As the program nears, a map will be available online to show the current hydrant-flushing areas as well as where flushing will take place next. Find the map at https://gisappsecure.ewashtenaw.org/Html5Viewer_2_11/index.html?viewer=A2HydrantPM.HydrantFlushing.
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, visit https://www.a2gov.org/departments/public-works/Pages/Hydrant-Flushing.aspx or contact the City of Ann Arbor Customer Service Center at 734.794.6320.
Find out about emergencies and incidents as they happen. The City of Ann Arbor's emergency notification system will inform you immediately about issues that may affect your safety. Powered by Everbridge, and partnering with Washtenaw County, this system contacts community subscribers in seconds via phone, email or text. Please sign up for emergency notifications from the City of Ann Arbor at www.washtenaw.org/alerts (https://member.everbridge.net/454514914099298/login). It only takes minutes to enroll!
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. 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.
Do you know the tornado-hazard terms?
- A tornado watch means tornadoes are possible, be prepared to quickly take shelter if conditions are upgraded to a warning or if you see signs of a tornado approaching. During a watch, remain alert, 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 in the area by weather radar. When a warning is issued, take shelter immediately.
Find out more about tornadoes on the tornadoes page of the Department of Homeland Security official website, https://www.ready.gov/tornadoes; and review this information sheet to learn how to be prepared for a tornado https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/2020-03/tornado-information-sheet.pdf(PDF).
Also good to know … the City of Ann Arbor conducts routine warning siren testing March–October at 1 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. Learn more at https://www.a2gov.org/departments/fire/emergency-management/Pages/Alert-Systems.aspx.
2021 planned road, utility and resurfacing projects
The list of City of Ann Arbor road and sidewalk projects for construction in 2021 is now available. Projects include resurfacing/restoration of nearly 9 miles of roads, 6.2 miles of preventative maintenance and 5,700 feet of new sidewalk construction. Projects and schedules are subject to change. All projects are listed online, as well as a larger version of the pictured map, at https://www.a2gov.org/departments/engineering/Pages/Construction-Projects.aspx.
Work zone safety reminder
The City of Ann Arbor 2021 road, utility and resurfacing projects plan is in place, and an increase in orange construction barrels on local roadways and throughout the state will follow. To urge motorists nationwide to use extra caution and follow construction zone laws, the 2021 National Work Zone Awareness Week kicks off April 26. This year's theme is "Drive Safe. Work Safe. Save Lives."
Statistics from the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse show there were 762 fatal crashes in work zones resulting in 842 deaths in 2019. In addition, 135 roadway workers were killed in work zones. The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration provides the following tips for all motorists to take to heart.
Learn more about National Work Zone Awareness Week at http://www.nwzaw.org/.
Ann Arbor Police Department Chaplains Program seeks applicants
The Ann Arbor Police Department Chaplains Program is preparing to launch and is now accepting applications. This program will help the city provide a more comprehensive response to those in need, through support to both civilians and officers alike and during times of crisis and non-crisis incidents. Learn more at https://www.a2gov.org/news/pages/article.aspx?i=774.
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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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Tom Crawford, City Administrator,
John Fournier, Assistant City Administrator,
Michael Cox, Police Chief,
Matthew Horning[email protected] , Interim Financial and Administrative Services Area Administrator,
Derek Delacourt, Community Services Area Administrator,
Craig Hupy, Public Services Area Administrator,
Mike Kennedy, Fire Chief,