Stories indexed with the term ‘contracts’

Council Tables Ann Arbor SPARK Contract

The $75,000 annual contract with Ann Arbor SPARK for economic development services has been tabled by the Ann Arbor city council. The 6-5 vote by the council at its June 16, 2014 meeting came after 10 minutes of deliberations, with support from Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3), Sumi Kailasapathy (Ward 1), Jack Eaton (Ward 4), Mike Anglin (Ward 5), Sabra Briere (Ward 1), and Jane Lumm (Ward 2).

The abbreviated discussion was the result of the fact that a motion to table – as contrasted to a motion to postpone to a date certain – is not debatable. So once the motion was made, the council immediately voted. The motion to table was made by Eaton, who said it could be taken up … [Full Story]

CDM Smith $750K Contract Extension Delayed

A $748,106 contract extension with CDM Smith Inc. for continued work as part of Ann Arbor’s footing drain disconnection (FDD) program has been postponed by the city council until June 2, 2014. City council action to postpone the contract extension came at its May 5, 2014 meeting.

In 2012, the city’s program to disconnect footing drains from the sanitary sewer system was suspended by the council in some areas of the city. Specifically, it was suspended in the Glen Leven and Morehead (Lansdowne neighborhood) areas. The program was allowed to continue in other geographic areas and as part of the city’s developer offset mitigation (DOM) program. The DOM requires owners of new developments to complete a certain number of FDDs to offset … [Full Story]

Bus Stop Concrete Work Goes to Saladino

A one-year contract with Saladino Construction for small concrete jobs has been approved by the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority board of directors. The contract, which has the option to be extended for four additional one-year periods, will cover work for access walks, shelter and bench pads, sidewalk extensions, curb extensions and bus pullouts.

Action to approve the contract came at the April 17, 2014 meeting of the AAATA board. The one-year contract is expected to be worth about $54,000 a year, which is under the $100,000 threshold requiring board approval. But because the board was approving potentially a five-year period, with the value of the work expected to exceed $100,000, the contract required board approval.

Saladino was selected from four bidders for the work. Even … [Full Story]

Ann Arbor Skatepark Construction OK’d

The Ann Arbor city council has given the final approval necessary for the creation of a skatepark in the northwest corner of Veterans Memorial Park, on the west side of the city. That approval took the form of a unanimous vote on a $1,031,592 contract with Krull Construction.

Ann Arbor skatepark, Wally Hollyday, Ann Arbor park advisory commission, Veterans Memorial Park, The Ann Arbor Chronicle This conceptual design by Wally Hollyday for the Ann Arbor skatepark at the northwest corner of Veterans Memorial Park was approved by the city council on … [Full Story]

Council OKs Annual Contracts: SPARK, Lobbyist

The Ann Arbor city council approved two annual contracts for services at its June 17, 2013 meeting. One was a $48,000 contract with Governmental Consultant Services Inc. (GCSI) for lobbying services with the state legislature. The council also approved a $75,000 contract with Ann Arbor SPARK for business support services.

The two items appeared on the council’s consent agenda and were approved as a part of it. Items on the consent agenda are considered routine, and include contracts for less than $100,000.

The contact with the economic development agency Ann Arbor SPARK is one that has been renewed annually since the Washtenaw Development Council and Ann Arbor SPARK merged in 2006. Previously, Ann Arbor had contracted with the WDC … [Full Story]

AAPS Board Briefed on Paving Contracts

At the April 24, 2013 meeting of Ann Arbor Public Schools board, trustees were briefed on bid recommendations for contractors to perform the 2013 summer paving projects. The first briefing was presented by Randy Trent, AAPS executive director of physical properties.

Trent had interviewed the lowest qualified bidders: Best Asphalt from Romulus, Barrett Paving of Ypsilanti, and Quality Asphalt of Howell. After the district conducted due diligence, Barrett Paving withdrew its bid.

Contract awards are recommended for Best Asphalt at $377,535 and Quality Asphalt at $60,208 to perform the paving projects. Trent noted that Best Asphalt previously has done paving projects for the district, and Quality Asphalt has tried to get projects with the district in the past. The projects are funded … [Full Story]

Coke to Replace Pepsi in Ann Arbor Parks

Coke will be replacing Pepsi at the city’s parks facilities, if the city council acts on a recommendation by the Ann Arbor park advisory commission. At their April 16, 2013 meeting, park commissioners unanimously recommended approval of a five-year contract with Coca-Cola Refreshments for cold beverage concessions.

A 10-year contract with Pepsi Bottling Group of Michigan is set to expire in June of 2013. In vying for the new contract, only two companies responded to a request for proposals (RFP). According to a staff memo, the other bidder was disqualified after failing to meet the bid deadline. The memo did not name that company, but deputy parks and recreation manager Jeff Straw told commissioners that Pepsi had missed the deadline.

The new … [Full Story]

Parks Group Explores New Dog Park Site

Ann Arbor park advisory commission meeting (Feb. 26, 2013): An item generating the most discussion at this month’s PAC meeting related to two potential locations for a new fenced-in dog park: about 2 acres in and near South Maple Park, on the city’s west side off of West Liberty; and a roughly 1-acre section of West Park, on a knoll in the south-central area.

West Park, dog park, Ann Arbor park advisory commission, The Ann Arbor Chronicle

Aerial map showing a possible location – the purple trapezoid outline – for a dog park in West Park. The image is oriented with south at the top. North Seventh Street runs on the right side of this image, on the west side of the park. (Map by city staff, included in the park advisory commission’s meeting packet.)

No action was taken, and a PAC committee will continue to evaluate these options with parks staff before making a formal recommendation to the full commission. The previously recommended site – at a different location within West Park, near the parking lot off Chapin Street – was ultimately not presented to the city council, following protests from the nearby New Hope Baptist Church.

Another PAC committee, focused on developing recommendations for a possible downtown park, gave only a brief update. Its next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 5. However, commissioners heard from four people during public commentary who advocated for a new park atop the city’s Library Lane underground parking structure on South Fifth Avenue. Part of the commentary covered a proposal to build a temporary ice-skating rink on that site.

Commissioners also recommended approval of several contracts totaling over $180,000. The contracts cover landscaping work at multiple locations, golf cart leases, custodial work at Cobblestone Farm, renovations at Esch Park, and rental of an overflow parking lot for the Argo canoe livery. The landscaping work is being funded through a donation from the Henrietta Feldman Trust.

And in his monthly report, parks and recreation manager Colin Smith informed commissioners about a strategy the city is pursuing to deal with invasive aquatic plants – primarily Eurasian watermilfoil – at Geddes Pond. [Full Story]

AATA OKs RideGuide Print Contract

The RideGuide – an 84-page publication with bus route maps and schedule information for all Ann Arbor Transportation Authority bus routes – will continue to be printed by Grand River Printing/American Litho from Belleville, Mich. A one-year contract for $84,000 for printing and shipping was approved by the AATA board at its Feb. 21, 2013 meeting. The contract can be renewed in one-year extensions up to five years.

The AATA updates its schedule and prints new RideGuides three times a year – in January, April, and August. The cost charged by Grand River works out to about $27,600 per printing. And the staff memo accompanying the resolution indicates that the price bid by Grand River is about $0.36 per booklet. That works out … [Full Story]

City Council Acts on Wind Power, Park Items

Ann Arbor city council meeting (Jan. 7, 2013): Most of the council’s first regular meeting of the year was taken up with discussion of a U.S. Department of Energy grant of nearly $1 million for construction of two wind turbines, likely to be constructed on Ann Arbor Public Schools property.

This apple on a city council desk reflects the fact that part of the meeting was devoted to core priorities.

This apple on a councilmember’s desk could reflect the fact that part of the meeting was devoted to core priorities. (Photo by the writer.)

Councilmembers established a concern about the possible financial risks associated with the project, and a desire that public input be solicited on the ultimate decision for a site. But the vote was unanimous to accept the grant, which includes an obligation to provide roughly $480,000 in matching funds. That match is expected to be provided by Wind Products Inc., a company located in Brooklyn, New York.

At a meeting of the city’s energy commission held the following night, commissioners expressed their dissatisfaction that the proposal had not been brought to that body for review.

Some of the council’s deliberations on the wind turbines included the question of whether the effort was consistent with the council’s priorities for the next two years – ones that were formally adopted at the Jan. 7 meeting. The priorities, which had been identified in a Dec. 10 planning session, included the basic areas of: fiscal responsibility, public safety, infrastructure, economic development and affordable housing.

The council had three parks-related voting items on its agenda, neither of which prompted extended deliberations. One was approval of a design for the new skatepark in the northwest corner of Veterans Memorial Park, which is expected to start construction in the spring and be completed in the fall. A second voting item was the approval of another contract with the Conservation Fund, which helps manage operations for the city’s greenbelt and parkland acquisition programs.

A third parks-related voting item was authorization of a contract to replace roofs on two buildings at Cobblestone Farm.

Another agenda item – related to parks, but not requiring a vote – was a presentation from the council-appointed task force that’s been asked to make recommendations for a future vision of the North Main Street corridor, extending to the Huron River, including the MichCon property. They focused their presentation on the 721 N. Main property, for which the council had authorized two grant applications at its Dec. 17, 2012 meeting. The group has a summer 2013 deadline to make recommendations for the whole area.

Also on the topic of parks, the council heard from representatives of New Hope Baptist Church during public commentary, regarding a planned new dog park. Members of the congregation oppose the location of the dog park inside West Park, because it’s immediately adjacent to the church on Chapin Street. Also during public commentary, the council again heard calls for the top of the Library Lane parking garage to be designated as a park.

Some other items on the agenda could be grouped under land use and planning. The council gave approval to changes to the site plan for Packard Square, a proposed redevelopment of the former Georgetown Mall. The council had postponed the item from its Dec. 3, 2012 agenda.

And the council gave initial approval to a zoning request in connection with the proposed Summit Townhomes project site, just east of Stone School Road. The land was recently annexed into the city from Pittsfield Township.

Also as a result of council action, Ann Arbor residents could have some additional flexibility for parking cars on their front lawns – beyond just the occasions of University of Michigan football games.

In other business, the council approved the appointment of Carrie Leahy to the board of the local development finance authority (LDFA). The LDFA is a tax-increment finance (TIF)-funded entity that comprises the geographic area of the city of Ann Arbor’s downtown development authority, as well as the city of Ypsilanti’s DDA.

Other public commentary heard at the meeting included remarks opposing continued investment in companies that provide military hardware to Israel.

One hour immediately preceding the regular meeting was a special session of the council. Its agenda consisted only of a closed session, to discuss labor negotiations – which is an allowable topic for a closed session under the Michigan Open Meetings Act. [Full Story]

AAPS Focus: Achievement, Labor Contracts

Ann Arbor Public Schools board of education regular meeting (Oct. 10, 2012): Student achievement and labor contracts were the main topics of discussion for the AAPS board of trustees.

MEAP scores, Ann Arbor Public Schools

Ann Arbor Public Schools Grade 5 Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) scores for reading (left) and math (right). The green trend lines indicated African American student achievement under the old cut scores. Brown trend lines indicate achievement of caucasians.  The gap between the achievement has been amplified by new cut scores, which are indicated by blue and purple trend lines for African American and caucasian students, respectively.

Deputy superintendent of instructional services Alesia Flye and director of student accounting and research services Jane Landefeld, presented a comprehensive report on student achievement. While the trustees were pleased and excited to have such a detailed report, and there were several positive points in the data, they also expressed significant frustration at the disparity between the achievement of various subgroups. African American students in the district showed significantly lower achievement on standardized tests than students in other ethnic groups. Trustee Simone Lightfoot described herself as “fire mad” about some of the results in the report.

The conversation ranged from results and highlights to the challenges the district faces. Flye and her team indicated that the district would continued to work with this data and to implement the district’s established plans to address the achievement gap. But the presentation was a point of information only. [.pdf of AAPS achievement slide presentation with graphs and tables]

Also at the meeting, a proposal for a technology upgrade to the network infrastructure prompted a conversation about labor contracts. The network upgrade was a first briefing item on which the board did not vote. But conversation about labor contracts continued as trustees heard a second briefing about outsourcing the noon hour supervisor positions. In a 4-3 decision, the board did not approve the a contract with PCMI, which had bid to provide noon hour supervisors at a 24.83% administrative cost. [Full Story]

Former AATA Ad Contractor Protests Award

Transit Advertising Group Ann Arbor (TAG Ann Arbor) of Farmington Hills, Mich., made a formal protest to the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority regarding AATA’s award of a contract to another vendor – CBS Outdoor Advertising of Lexington, New York.  The contract previously had been held by TAG. The written protest was included in the AATA board’s Sept. 5 meeting information packet.

TAG president Randy Oram addressed the board during public commentary at the Sept. 5 meeting. Also during the meeting, AATA CEO Michael Ford pointed the board to his written response to the protest and asked the board to uphold his decision to award the contract to CBS. The board voted in a formal resolution to uphold the award to CBS.

At its … [Full Story]

County OKs Contract for Lansing Lobbyist

At their Oct. 19, 2011 meeting, Washtenaw County commissioners gave final approval to renew a two-year contract with Governmental Consultant Services Inc., a Lansing-based lobbying firm. The contract would run from Nov. 1, 2011 through Oct. 31, 2013 at $54,250 per year. That’s the same rate that the county currently pays, and is already built into the proposed 2012-2013 budget. [.pdf of draft contract]

GCSI lobbyist Kirk Profit and his colleagues most recently gave a formal update to the board at their March 2, 2011 meeting. GCSI provides lobbying services at the state level for several local units of government, including the city of Ann Arbor.

This brief was filed from the boardroom at the county administration building, 220 N. Main St. … [Full Story]

County Board to Renew GCSI Contract

At their Oct. 5, 2011 meeting, Washtenaw County commissioners gave initial approval to renew a two-year contract with Governmental Consultant Services Inc., a Lansing-based lobbying firm. The contract would run from  Nov. 1, 2011 through Oct. 31, 2013 at $54,250 per year. That’s the same rate that the county currently pays, and is already built into the proposed 2012-2013 budget. [.pdf of draft contract]

GCSI lobbyist Kirk Profit attended Wednesday’s meeting. He and his colleagues most recently gave a formal update to the board at their March 2, 2011 meeting. GCSI provides lobbying services at the state level for several local units of government, including the city of Ann Arbor.

This brief was filed from the boardroom of the county … [Full Story]

Library Board Adopts 2010-11 Budget

Ann Arbor District Library board meeting (May 17, 2010): At its May meeting, the AADL board adopted a budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year – keeping the millage rate at 1.55 mills. Though the tentative budget discussed at the board’s April meeting had projected a $200,000 shortfall, the library staff is now anticipating less of a drop in tax revenues for the coming fiscal year. That increased optimism on the revenue front means that the approved budget does not require tapping the library’s fund balance.

Board members also discussed awarding a contract for HVAC work, and heard from the representative of a company that’s not being recommended for the contract. The board revised the library district’s boundaries in the Northfield Township area, and approved new legal compliance and conflict of interest policies. [Full Story]

DDA OKs $2 Million Over Strong Dissent

Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board meeting (May 5, 2010): During the DDA board’s monthly meeting, mayor John Hieftje and city councilmember Sandi Smith found themselves briefly sidelined from the board on which they sit.


As mayor John Hieftje looks on, Rene Greff addresses the DDA board at the beginning of Wednesdsay’s meeting, asking them not to approve the transfer of $2 million to the city of Ann Arbor. Greff is a former DDA board member, but addressed the board as a downtown business owner – of Arbor Brewing Company.  (Photos by the writer.)

They were at the table, however, for the final vote on whether to pay $2 million to the city, which the DDA is not obligated to pay under terms of its existing parking system agreement.

The 7-4 outcome of that vote on the 12-member body, of which 11 were present, was enough to write a $2 million check to the city. Voices of opposition to the fund transfer came not only from inside the board itself, but also from the business community during public commentary. Two former DDA board members were in the audience.

An initial opinion given at the meeting by DDA legal counsel Jerry Lax was that Hieftje and Smith could participate in the deliberations. But when an amendment was proposed, which had a side-effect of removing the basis for Lax’s earlier advice, Smith recused herself. As it became apparent that Hieftje intended to remain at the table, board member Jennifer Hall raised the point of order again, and Lax indicated Smith’s recusal was appropriate and that Hieftje should follow suit. Finally, Hieftje accepted the opinion of the DDA’s legal counsel and took a seat in the audience, but contended that he’d been given different advice from the city attorney’s office. When the amendment failed, Smith and Hieftje were back at the table.

Another board resolution that generated animated discussion, but was ultimately tabled, involved a systematic re-allocation of funds, in $60,000 increments, to a reserve to pay for the restoration of downtown police beat patrols. The re-allocation would have come from monies previously slated to fund the Howell-Ann Arbor commuter rail project (Washtenaw Livingston Rail Line – WALLY).

The committee reports to the board did not involve the kind of blunt talk that emerged during discussions of the two resolutions. But two topics reported out from the board’s transportation committee can be expected to receive wider visibility in the coming months: (i) Where will the two employees of the getDowntown program be housed? and (ii) Can there be an express Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti bus?

In this meeting report, we focus exclusively on the $2 million transfer from the DDA to the city of Ann Arbor. [Full Story]