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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, July​ 2020​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ (PDF), Volume 14, Number 7 (ori​ginally distributed July 1, 2020, via email to "re​​​sident newsletter: A2 City News" subscribers)​​​​

***Please note: The date range fireworks are permitted for the Independence Day holiday have been updated to reflect the State of Michigan law.***

Indepen​​dence Day schedule

City of Ann Arbor municipal offices, including the Customer Service Center at Larcom City Hall, will be closed for Independence Day, Friday, July 3. Safety services and water utility operations will maintain 24-hour schedules.

Trash, recycling and compost collection will take place per the regular schedule on July 3.

H​​oliday fun

Plan ahead for something fun to do on Independence Day/weekend! Hit the greens at Huron Hills or Leslie Park golf courses. Both courses will be open 6:30 a.m.–9 p.m., and normal weekend rates will apply for Saturday, July 4. Or boat at Argo Canoe and Kayak and Gallup Canoe and Kayak. Both locations are open every day, including July 3, 4 and 5, 9 a.m.–8 p.m. Boat rentals are available from 9 a.m.–6 p.m. with all boats due back by 8 p.m. Reservations required for all canoe, kayak, stand-up paddleboard and paddleboat rentals.

Also open on Saturday, July 4, is the Ann Arbor Farmers Market.  Place your order ahead of time to pick up during market hours Saturday, 7 a.m.–3 p.m. Or shop safely onsite, with the market's new protocols in place. Fresh, local ingredients and treats for your holiday picnic await, including strawberries and blueberries.

Visit E​​​very Park Challenge

Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation is posing a challenge to visit all 163 parks in the city parks system! The Visit Every Park Challenge encourages everyone to get outdoors to explore and discover a new park. Every two weeks, a new set of four parks that also will have a hidden letter for you to find (one letter per set of parks) will be revealed. Participate all summer long to collect six letters, which you can then unscramble to reveal a location to receive a prize! Visit www.a2gov.org/VEPchallenge for details, or contact GIVE 365 at 734.794.6445 or volunteer@a2gov.org

Time for fire​​​works?

*UPDATED: 7/2/2020 - If you're planning to celebrate the July 4th holiday with fireworks, please remember to do so safely and responsibly. For starters, per the *State of Michigan Fireworks Safety Act 256 of 2011, keep in mind that fireworks usage is permitted only during certain timeframes and only around national holidays. For the *2020 Independence Day holiday, use is allowed only on *June 29, 30, July 1, 2, 3 and 4, and only after 11 a.m. until 11:45 p.m. on these dates. Use without permission is always prohibited at city parks, schools and all public and private property that isn't your own.

Using fireworks without forethought can be dangerous. Please note these reminders:

  • Toss hand-held fireworks, such as sparklers, into a bucket of water when finished.
  • Keep a water source ready to spray embers from fireworks. Drench the entire area where you've been using fireworks when done.
  • Don't try to re-ignite fireworks that won't go off.
  • Don't launch fireworks into forests or fields. Dry grass or leaves could ignite.
  • Keep fireworks away from your face and eyes.

For more information, visit the National Fire Protection Association website at www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Seasonal-fire-causes/Fireworks.

Fireworks also pose a risk to pets. Visit the American Veterinary Medical Association for tips on how to keep pets safe on July 4th and all summer long at www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/petcare/july-4-safety.

If you plan to use fireworks, please follow the laws, do so safely and be courteous by letting neighbors know in advance.

Quality Water Matt​​​ers July issue

The July issue of A2H2O: Quality Water Matters includes important information regarding the need to flush pipes before reopening businesses or homes; June testing data; and how to learn more about your water treatment plant and the safety of Ann Arbor's drinking water. Read on at www.a2gov.org/departments/water-treatment/PublishingImages/Pages/default/quality_water_matters_newsletter_2020_july.pdf (PDF).

Webinar for floodplain pro​​​perties

At 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 16, 2020, the City of Ann Arbor will be hosting a webinar to discuss rule changes for Ann Arbor properties in the floodplain. Stormwater and Floodplain Programs Coordinator Jerry Hancock will provide an overview of proposed regulation changes establishing higher building standards within the floodplain with the intent of minimizing public and private losses due to flooding.

The changes are proposed in a new Floodplain Management Overlay Zoning District. This district would be added to Chapter 55 – the Ann Arbor Unified Development Code. The proposed district includes all lots in and within 50 feet of the floodplain. These lots will be subject to the floodplain management regulations and restrictions in addition to other existing zoning and development regulations.
Participants can submit questions which will be answered live during the webinar. For the meeting link, as well as additional information on the project, please visit www.a2gov.org/floodplains.

Transportation project​​​ updates

The 2020 annual street resurfacing and preventative maintenance projects have begun. This suite of projects encompasses the majority of the city's street resurfacing activities, including several major and multiple local streets. Major road projects in this year's program include:

  • Boardwalk Drive (East Eisenhower Parkway to northerly end).
  • East Madison Street (South Main Street to Ann Arbor Railroad).
  • Geddes Avenue (Church Street to Observatory Street).
  • Granger Avenue (South State Street to Packard Street).

The asphalt shared-use paths along West Oakbrook Drive (Ann Arbor-Saline Road to South Main Street) and South Main Street (West Eisenhower Parkway to Ann Arbor-Saline Road).

Additional capital preventative maintenance treatments will also be conducted on several other major streets. Work has already been completed on East Eisenhower Parkway, East Madison Street, East Stadium Boulevard, Packard Street, and West Washington Street and is currently occurring on Geddes Avenue, the West Oakbrook Drive asphalt paths and in the Dicken Elementary School neighborhood. A full list of streets included in this project can be found at www.a2gov.org/roadconstruction.

Watch water consumption ​with AquaHawk

The City of Ann Arbor is launching AquaHawk, a free online tool that provides water customers with access to:

  • View and track water consumption.
  • Get water alerts via email, text or phone.

    To register, simply visit www.a2gov.org/aquahawk and click on the “register" button. Users who have multiple accounts with the same customer number only need to add one account per customer number; the remaining accounts that share that customer number will be linked within 24 hours. After registering, water customers will be able to see their current water-use history and take advantage of the other powerful tools AquaHawk provides. Questions can be directed to City of Ann Arbor Customer Service at 734.794.6320 or customerservice@a2gov.org.

Summer taxe​​​s due

Summer property taxes are due in July. For eligible, low-income homeowners, Michigan law provides for a reduction in property taxes, commonly known as a poverty exemption. Qualifications and application information can be found online at https://www.washtenaw.org/DocumentCenter/View/9529/2020-Ann-Arbor-City-Poverty-Exemption-Guidelines--Application?fbclid=IwAR3pl9Qbzi6-riqtldWPNcjAIcbFCIPFSF3qFbIkBtYoLHGGAi5idZDtbHI.

The city is encouraging taxes to be paid online or by mail, but, if necessary, payments will also be accepted 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. Level One Bank (formerly Ann Arbor State Bank), Bank of Ann Arbor and TCF Bank will accept full tax payments in July only.

Please note, the customer service center at Larcom City Hall is closed Friday, July 3 for Independence Day. Otherwise, regular business hours at the customer service center are 8 a.m.–5 p.m. weekdays.

Visit the city's treasury web page for more information, including how property taxes are calculated.

A2, be ​​​safe

As restaurants and businesses begin to reopen throughout Ann Arbor, let's all do our part to be safe and healthy together. City of Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor is sharing a message urging residents and visitors to wear masks, keep 6 feet apart, and continue to follow safety practices to fight COVID-19. Watch the mayor's latest video, from June 21, 2020, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7LqL1o6hSQ&t=5s; and please be mindful of the following:

  • Slow down. Motorists, watch carefully for pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • Spread out and cover up. Practice physically distancing when visiting a restaurant, business or enjoying our many parks. Continue to wear a face covering to prevent the spread of the virus. Your mask protects others and their mask protects you.
  • Pick a place to park. Full parking enforcement is underway in all areas of the city and Ann Arbor parking decks have reopened. There are still bagged meters in front of some restaurants and businesses so you can swiftly pick up orders.

For more on pedestrian safety, watch the city PSA at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhQmKyhy_fo.

City seeks input o​​​​n safe cycling

The city wants your feedback on a draft network of comfortable bike routes, i.e., streets people would be comfortable cycling on, given their level of tolerance and traffic stress. These bike routes will become part of the city's transportation plan update. The survey closes July 10. 

Shape your future, the safest​​ way

There's still time to self-respond to the 2020 Census! Completing your 2020 Census now, as opposed to waiting, is more important than ever. Census takers from our community will soon begin visiting households that have not responded. With COVID-19 causing us all to be more cautious with in-person interactions, your self-response ahead of time will prevent a census taker from having to visit you ... and that would be much appreciated!

In a recent video message, City of Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor explains why it is so important to count all who live in Ann Arbor, and he also notes the safety and security measures in place to keep all responses confidential and risk free, even if citizenship is a concern. Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsLW_7wss-s&feature=youtu.be.

Here are some dates to keep in mind:

  • Later this month, the U.S. Census Bureau will send an additional reminder postcard to households that have not yet responded. (If you receive a reminder in the mail after responding, please disregard.)
  • Census takers will begin visiting households that haven't yet responded in early to mid-August.
  • You can still respond to the 2020 Census, even on your own, until Oct. 31.

You can respond online, by phone in English or 12 other languages, or by mail using the paper questionnaire that was either mailed or dropped off at the door earlier this year. Visit https://2020census.gov/ for all of the details.

The city thanks all who have already completed the 2020 Census and those who plan to soon. Funding and representation for our community over the next 10 years depend on YOU!

Good ​news!

  • At the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness seventh annual Breakfast of Champions event, Ann Arbor Housing Commission Executive Director Jennifer Hall was honored as the 2020 Public Policy Champion. MCAH, a statewide, non-profit membership organization committed to addressing homelessness and affordable housing, recognized Hall as a lifelong supporter of social justice, affordable housing and ending homelessness; and for her many accomplishments in this arena. Among those accomplishments, Hall raised $65 million to redevelop the AAHC public housing portfolio, adding 58 new apartments and dedicating over 25% of these units to individuals experiencing homelessness. Learn more at https://mihomeless.org/index.php/breakfast-of-champions/.
  • Ann Arbor is ranked as the 10th best small city (100,000-500,000 population) in which to live by Resonance Consultancy, a real estate, tourism and economic development advisory group. Learn more at https://mitechnews.com/featured/ann-arbor-ranks-10th-in-survey-of-best-small-cities-in-united-states/.

Now show​ing on CTN

Check out the lineup of shows on CTN.

  • The current episode of FYI on CTN features Ann Arbor Summer Festival's Michael Michelon and James Carter. Learn about how the festival has been adapted and about the collaboration with CTN. Watch at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1l5KgRqprEo&t=8s.
  • The League of Women Voters – Ann Arbor Area (LWVAAA) is moderating a series of forums for candidates running in the Aug. 4 primary election. Forums will cover races for:
    • U.S. House.
    • Michigan House.
    • County Board of Commissioners.
    • Ann Arbor City Council Wards 1-5.
    • County Clerk.
    • County Prosecutor.
    • County Sheriff.
    • Judges.

Find the forums on the “election" playlist on the CTN YouTube Channel, https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLw6eY79a9rp-8PJdJq7TntiCp8doKQftj. Additional forums are scheduled through July 16 and will be added to the playlist as they are completed. A list of forums and the dates they'll be recorded may be found at the LWVAAA website, https://my.lwv.org/michigan/ann-arbor-area/candidate-forums-view-demand.

New “I Voted" sticker ​​designs to debut in November

Ann Arbor voters will be able to show their civic pride like no other city in the country during the November 2020 Presidential Election. The results are in for the City of Ann Arbor “I Voted" Sticker Design Contest. Congratulations to:

  • Kindergarten–sixth grade — Sylvia DeBord, Bach Elementary, Grade 5.
  • Seventh grade–12th grade — Marcella Passos, Pioneer High School, Grade 11.
  • Citywide — Eric Oppitz, Ward 5 resident.

The winning “I Voted" designs will debut during the presidential election in November, when the stickers will be proudly worn and shared by the 107,114 registered voters who call Ann Arbor home. Stickers will be available at Ann Arbor polling places, as well as online in digital form, via the city website, on Presidential Election Day Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.

Learn more and see the winning designs at https://www.a2gov.org/news/pages/article.aspx?i=701.

Are you ready​​​​?

Though risks posed by the pandemic may be top of mind, there are other threats to also be aware of and prepared for this time of year. Severe thunderstorms, extreme heat and other hazardous weather conditions can strike with little or no warning. Ready.gov reminds us that now is the ideal time to ensure your emergency plan and supplies are up to date. 

Before an emergency, start your planning process with these thought prompts from ready.gov: 

  • How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  • What is my shelter plan?
  • What is my evacuation route?
  • What is my family/household communication plan?

Ready.gov provides valuable resources to help you answer these questions and assemble a comprehensive plan.

Your planning should include steps to ensure your pets' well being, too. If you need to evacuate your home for any reason, remember your furry, scaly or feathered friends. The Ready Campaign offers guidance and tips with regard to: 

  • Making a pet emergency plan.
  • Preparing shelter for your pet.
  • Protecting your pet during a disaster and caring for them afterwards.
  • Tips for large animals.

Learn more about how to ensure your entire family is prepared for emergency situations.

Dog li​​censes

The city's annual spring dog license renewal program was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic stay home order. Tags that expired May 30, 2020, will be honored as current for an additional six months. Renewal forms will be mailed to all expired-tag holders following the November 2020 election. For details on dog licensing, visit https://www.a2gov.org/departments/city-clerk/Pages/Dog-Licensing.aspx.

Why lice​nse?

  • It's state law in Michigan.
  • To control and prevent the spread of rabies — A proof of rabies vaccination is required in order to purchase a license. Therefore, requiring dogs to be licensed is also a measure to prevent the spread of rabies.
  • Provides identification — Helps to reunite lost dogs with their owners.

Visit the city clerk's office online for details and an application

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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​