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A2 City News, December 2017​ (PDF), Volume 11, Number 12 (originally distributed Dec. 1, 2017, via email to "resident newsletter: A2 City News" subscribers)​

In this issue: 

2018 deer management plan  |  Curbside compost collection season ends  |  Apply for CERT participation  |  New assistant fire chiefs  |  Canned food drive  |  Snow preparation  |  Winter taxes  |  Neighborhood ice rinks  |  Warming centers  |  Citizens academies  |  December schedule  |  Santa Live  |  Ice skating  |  Christmas tree drop off  |  Good news 

2018 deer management planning efforts 

On Oct. 16, 2017, City Council approved a resolution to contract with White Buffalo Inc. for combined surgical sterilization and sharpshooting management services for the city's 2018 deer management program, which will begin in January. 

Final plan implementation details, including timeline and parks and natural area closure locations, will be shared with the community in the coming weeks. The approved lethal cull for the winter of 2018 aims to address the impact of deer browsing in select areas. The city continues to work under a Michigan Department of Natural Resources issued "research" permit that allows the city to incorporate sterilization of does into the overall program. 

The city also has increased education and signage with the below deer management efforts.  

Data tool 

An online data tool was created to help consolidate deer-related data and information in an interactive deer data tool. Layers include deer crash data dating back to 2011, helicopter counts, parks closed for culling operations, sterilization zones, deer signage and other information regarding program activities. Users are able to overlay information geographically to create a better understanding of how information relates. 

Data dashboard

In an effort to provide data related to the goals and metrics of the program, a deer data dashboard was created to provide feedback regarding the progress of the program and survey results regarding the success metrics. 

Crossing signage

Fourteen new deer-crossing signs have been installed in priority locations recommended by the deer education stakeholder group. Locations include: Washtenaw west of Huron Parkway and east of Stadium; Huron Parkway between Hubbard and Washtenaw; and Plymouth Road between Green and Swift. The installation locations were based on analysis of deer-vehicle crash locations that have occurred during the last five years. Additional signage will be installed to include changeable message signs that can warn motorists of frequent deer crossing locations.

Feeding ban

It is against the law to feed deer on private property. The city's ordinance is not intended to ban the use of bird feeders, but rather to ban the feeding or baiting of deer on private property, unless performed by a city contractor. This ordinance was implemented in 2016 as a means to diminish the number of deer gathering and remaining in neighborhoods where homeowners are routinely feeding deer.  

Gardening tips

Although winter is upon us, it's not too early to start thinking about plans for your spring garden. Check out Michigan State University's smart gardening tips to deter deer. 

Stay up to date on deer management activities by signing up for deer management email notifications or send an email with specific deer management questions. 

Final week for curbside compost collection

It's last call for clearing your property of leaves, if you also want to dispose of them right away. Seasonal curbside compost /yard waste collections end the week of Dec. 4–8, 2017. Ann Arbor residents, commercial properties and/or their contracted landscapers and haulers may drop off leaves (only) to the Compost Center at no charge also through Dec. 8, 2017. Proof of residency is required. The Compost Center is located at 4150 Platt Road and is open weekdays 8 a.m.–4 p.m. 

Year-round, limited leaf disposal is available at the Drop-off Station , 2950 E. Ellsworth, open Tuesday and Thursday 8:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m.– 6 p.m. Proof of residency is required. Visit the Drop-off Station online for details.  

Please note, Michigan law prohibits leaf burning in cities with populations over 7,500, which includes Ann Arbor. Go online to learn more about leaf-management options.

Apply to participate in emergency response training

The City of Ann Arbor Office of Emergency Management is accepting applications for the Ann Arbor Community Emergency Response Team training program (CERT). The application deadline is Monday, Dec. 18 at noon.

CERT training courses are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, Jan. 20, 27 and Feb. 3, 2018. Training will be at Washtenaw Community College in the Morris Lawrence building. Attendance at all three sessions is required for a certificate of completion.

The CERT program educates residents about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact Washtenaw County and trains participants in basic disaster response skills. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist neighbors or fellow employees following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community. Learn more online.

City to welcome new assistant fire chiefs

The Ann Arbor Fire Department has hired two new assistant chiefs, Mike Kennedy and Marc Tyler. The assistant fire chiefs will officially join the department Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. 

Kennedy comes to the City of Ann Arbor from the South Lyon Fire Department, where he most recently served as fire chief since December 2010. He has also been with the University of Michigan Division of Public Safety and Security as the senior emergency management specialist since May 2010. Totaling more than 22 years of fire service experience at various ranks and within several departments, Kennedy has also earned both a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Michigan and a master's degree in public administration from Eastern Michigan University. He will manage the AAFD's strategic programs division. 

Before coming to Ann Arbor, Tyler served with the City of Lansing Fire Department since 1989. His past assignments include firefighter-EMT, engineer, lieutenant, captain, battalion chief, assistant chief of operations and assistant chief of administration. He holds a bachelor's degree in business management and will manage the AAFD's emergency services (operations) division.

Please join the city in welcoming the new assistant fire chiefs.

Help for the holidays

Holiday feasts are commonplace on many community dinner tables at this time of year. For families not as fortunate, three City of Ann Arbor parks facilities are collecting nonperishable food to donate to our neighbors in need.

Mack Indoor Pool (715 Brooks St.) - Help provide food for the Emergency Food Pantry at Bryant Community Center. Come swimming at Mack Indoor Pool with the donation of a nonperishable food item through Thursday, Jan. 7, and receive $1 off admission for public swimming (one discount per person).

Ice Arenas at Buhr Park (2751 Packard Road) and Veterans Memorial Park (2150 Jackson Ave.) - Buhr and Veterans Memorial parks are also holding canned-food drives. Come skating at either rink with a donation of a non-perishable food item Dec. 22–Jan. 7, and receive $1 off admission for public ice skating (one discount per person).

Get ready for winter in A2

While the ground is still free from snow for now, here is some information, with more online at www.a2gov.org/snow, to help get you as ready as you can be for winter in Ann Arbor.  

Snow/ice removal by residents and property owners

Residents and property owners are responsible for removing snow and ice from adjacent sidewalks, crosswalk ramps and bus stops. Only one warning per season will be issued before fines are incurred for those in violation. 

Here's what you need to know, at a glance:  

  • Residential properties — Within 24-hours, any accumulation of snow greater than 1 inch must be cleared from adjacent sidewalks, concrete bus stop walks 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. 
  • Nonresidential properties — Any snow and/or ice that has accumulated by 6 a.m. must be removed from adjacent sidewalks, bus stop walks and crosswalk ramps before noon.

To help deice

Beginning Dec. 1, 2017, the city will once again provide residents with up to 5 gallons of a sand/salt mixture per visit at various locations around Ann Arbor to help treat sidewalks. Residents must bring their own shovel and bucket, as well as load material themselves from the piles. Mixture is not for contractors or landscapers. Please remember, moving snow and ice from private property onto a public street, sidewalk or bridge can pose a significant safety hazard and is also against the law.

Locations to pick up sand/salt mixture are:

Street snow and ice control

When the snow begins to stick on the roadways, go online to track snow maintenance trucks. The City of Ann Arbor snowplow automatic vehicle location tracking system provides a real-time status during winter storms.

Winter taxes due

Winter property taxes are due in December. Taxes may be paid online, by mail, at the City of Ann Arbor Customer Service Center (located on the first floor of Larcom City Hall at 301 E. Huron St.) or at several local banks. Ann Arbor State Bank, Bank of Ann Arbor and TCF Bank will accept full tax payments in December only. 

Please note, the customer service center at Larcom City Hall will close at noon on Fridays, Dec. 22 and Dec. 29, and will be closed for the full day Monday, Dec. 25. Otherwise, regular business hours at the customer service center are 7:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. weekdays.

Online payments may also be made. Go to the city's treasury web page for more information, including how property taxes are calculated. 

Returning soon: Neighborhood ice rinks

Once again, the City of Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation Services will be looking to create natural outdoor ice rinks at Burns, Allmendinger and Northside parks for the 2017–2018 winter season. Crews have begun to set up the framework for the rinks and will be icing them when the weather permits. Stay tuned to the parks and recreation website and social media for updates on the official opening date.

The unsupervised rinks are free to use, but bring your own skates, as rental equipment is not offered. Staff will perform maintenance on the rinks once daily to keep the ice in good condition, weather permitting. In general the following weather conditions are desirable to establish and sustain a natural ice rink: an initial spell of cold weather, followed by weather where daytime high temperatures do not exceed 32 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period of time. 

Once weather conditions support starting the icing of the natural rinks, it will take 10-14 days to establish a quality 4-inch deep rink. When ice conditions allow, the rinks will be open during regular park hours: 6 a.m.–10 p.m. Please look for signage to indicate when the rinks must close due to poor ice conditions. 

Hockey play and sticks and pucks will not be permitted during the following times: 9–11 a.m., 1–2 p.m. and 4–5 p.m. This schedule will be in place to ensure all have the opportunity to enjoy the rinks.

Shelter from the cold

The Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development and the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County recently announced the opening of winter warming centers for those experiencing homelessness during severe cold weather. Jointly funded for the fourth year by the City of Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County, the 2017/2018 winter weather response provides expanded winter shelter services for those who are homeless. 

Expanded services include an: overnight warming center at the Delonis Center from 7 p.m.–7 a.m. accommodating up to 50 people in the shelter's dining room and common areas; and daytime warming centers at area churches that will be available to the homeless people to take refuge throughout the winter. View daytime shelter locations.

Learn more about your city … and get involved!

Applications are now being accepted for two different Ann Arbor citizens academies that will be offered this spring.

Interested in a general overview of our local government? Apply to attend the Ann Arbor Citizens Academy. A new program, the A2CA will provide an overview of city operations including: budget | elections | parks & recreation | planning | public works | water quality | CTN | safety services and much more. A2CA applications will be accepted until Friday, March 2. 

The Ann Arbor Citizens Police, Fire and Courts Academy will provide an inside look at our local public safety and justice systems including: emergency management | fire responder's role | HAZMAT | K-9 | investigative unit | court duties/processes | more. CPFCA applications are being accepted until Sunday, Feb. 18. 

City schedule notes

  • Fridays, Dec. 22 and Dec. 29: City municipal offices close at noon. Trash/recycling will be collected as usual on these Fridays.
  • Mondays, Dec. 25, and Jan. 1, 2018 — Christmas and New Year's Day holidays: City municipal offices are closed. There is no trash or recycling collection on these holiday Mondays. Instead, collections will resume with a one-day delay. Regularly scheduled Monday pickups will take place on Tuesday.

Santa Live on CTN 

He's making a list, he's checking it twice … and just in time, kids (naughty or nice) can share their holiday wishes and questions directly with Santa himself. CTN Public Access Channel 17 (on Comcast Cable), will telecast the Santa Satellite Network LIVE from Santa's home in the North Pole Thursday, Dec. 7, 6–8 p.m. An annual tradition, boys and girls are invited to watch and call in, with permission from their parents, to talk with Santa: 734.794.6155.

Away from a TV? No problem! Watch the live stream online (click the "public access" link). 

A2 skates

Funky Frosty Fridays are back at Buhr Park Outdoor Ice Arena (2751 Packard Road). Join the fun with themed ice skating events on the first Friday of each month, 7:15–8:45 p.m. through March. The Dec. 1 theme is Punk Music Night, which dares you to leave the "squares" at home and come skate like a rebel. 

Veterans Memorial Park Indoor Ice Arena (2150 Jackson Ave.) is holding Marathon Skates on Fridays, Dec. 24 and 31, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Come and go as you wish for just one price - Resident adults $5, resident youth and seniors $4; nonresident adults $6, nonresident youth and seniors $5. All ages are welcomed. Skate rentals are available for just $3.

Christmas tree free drop-off sites 

This holiday season, it is important to remember that Christmas trees cannot be discarded in front of the house or on the street. Instead, the City of Ann Arbor provides four free drop-off locations for undecorated Christmas trees Friday, Dec. 15, 2017–Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018 (the pre-holiday dates are for those who may be leaving town). 

Drop off will be permitted at these park parking lots during the hours of 6 a.m.–10 p.m. only: 

  • West Park parking lot, off Chapin near West Huron Street.
  • Gallup boat launch parking lot, use entrance on the southeast side of Geddes Road, east of Huron Parkway.
  • Olson Park parking lot, 1515 Dhu Varren Road, near Pontiac Trail. 
  • Southeast Area Park parking lot on the east side of the park.

Please note, the city's Drop-off Station on East Ellsworth near Platt Road will not be a site for discarded Christmas trees as it had been in previous years. 

Another disposal option: cut and tie the tree into bundles and reserve for the return of the weekly curbside compost-collection season in April.

Good news

  • The Asphalt Pavement Association of Michigan will honor the City of Ann Arbor with an Award of Merit at the APAM/Michigan Department of Transportation Asphalt Paving Awards program in December. The city is being recognized in the "urban street projects" category for its work on the Stadium Boulevard project
  • Ann Arbor has been named 2017's eighth Best Midsize Sports City in a recent study from personal finance outlet WalletHub.com. Go online for the full study

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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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​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.

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