Stories indexed with the term ‘city of Ann Arbor finances’

City’s Audit Triggers Standard State Letter

The city of Ann Arbor’s FY 2013 audit report – which received an “unmodified” or clean opinion from the firm that conducted the audit – has triggered a standard letter from the office of the State of Michigan Department of Treasury. The letter, dated Nov. 22, 2013 and received by the city on Dec. 4, resulted from a note in the audit report on the city’s local street fund.

According to city of Ann Arbor CFO Tom Crawford, the city’s response to the letter would not require any city council action. The city staff would be explaining to the state how the city’s internal financial procedures mitigate against what Crawford characterized as a “minor issue.”

A note in the city’s own audit report called … [Full Story]

UM, Ann Arbor Agree: Rail Costs Not Owed

The city of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan have agreed that $271,446 of costs associated with earlier studies of the Fuller Road transit station project are not owed by the university to the city. The costs had been billed by the city staff to the university under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two parties, which outlined an intent for the university to construct a 1,000 car parking garage at the Fuller Road site – across the railroad tracks from the university medical center.

The city had also planned to build a train station at the site. The university withdrew from the partnership earlier this year, on Feb. 10, 2012. The city of Ann Arbor has continued with its … [Full Story]

Greenbelt Commission Briefed on Food Hub

Ann Arbor greenbelt advisory commission meeting (April 5, 2012): The main item on this month’s GAC agenda was a presentation by local farmer and food activist Richard Andres, who updated commissioners on the Washtenaw Food Hub, a new venture he’s leading that aims to shore up local farmers and build community.

Dan Ezekiel, Richard Andres

From left: Dan Ezekiel, chair of the Ann Arbor greenbelt advisory commission, points out other GAC members to Richard Andres, who gave a presentation on the Washtenaw Food Hub. (Photos by the writer.)

Located on 16 acres in Ann Arbor Township, the food hub is envisioned to provide support for farmers to distribute and sell their produce, and for residents to buy food, attend workshops and create meaningful relationships with those who are part of the local food network. The project is still in its formative stages, but has potential to develop a food economy based on a human scale, Andres said, not a Wall Street scale.

GAC chair Dan Ezekiel noted that the hub is an example of the next phase of this region’s local food movement, which he said has “grown like an heirloom tomato” since the greenbelt program launched nearly a decade ago.

Commissioners also got a mid-year financial update on the greenbelt program at this month’s meeting, and heard about potential deep cuts to a federal farmland preservation program that has supported the greenbelt with more than $6 million in grants. The city has recently applied for $1,037,198 in additional grants that would help preserve 519 acres. Ginny Trocchio, support staff for the greenbelt program, also reported that over the next month there will likely be several closings on property within the greenbelt totaling another 300 acres.

Also at the April 5 meeting, Peter Allen – a local developer and GAC commissioner – proposed forming a strategic planning subcommittee to evaluate the greenbelt program so far and to look at what they’d like to accomplish in the future. It’s likely that the commission will formally consider his proposal at their May 3 meeting.

As it typically does, the meeting included a closed session to discuss land acquisitions. When commissioners emerged, they voted on three items – recommending that the city council approve the purchase of development rights on two properties, and to partner with Washtenaw County on a third acquisition. Ezekiel noted that the third item extends an existing county preserve on land that would provide public access and recreational opportunities.

At the end of the meeting, Ezekiel reported that a position on the commission will be opening up this summer. He urged anyone who’s interested to apply and “join the fun.” [Full Story]

Ann Arbor’s Finances Now an A2OpenBook

At the Ann Arbor city council’s Sept. 19, 2011 meeting, city CFO Tom Crawford announced the launch of A2OpenBook, an online tool that residents can use to follow the city’s revenues and expenditures. The information on the system is refreshed daily from the city’s LOGOS financial system.

The online system allows users to look at expenses and revenues by service area, by fund and by expense type. The information is download-able in MS Excel format so that users can search for and manipulate data as desired. Information is available for expenses beginning July 1, 2010 through today – data is updated daily.

There’s a possibility that P-Card data might be added in a second phase of the project.

This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link] [Full Story]