Stories indexed with the term ‘mutually beneficial’

Ann Arbor Council to Weigh Parking Deal

At a 7:30 a.m. Monday, April 11, 2011 meeting of two “mutually beneficial” committees – one composed of Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board members and the other made up of city councilmembers – a consensus was reached that the full city council should now give some direction on the new contract under which the DDA would continue to operate the city’s public parking system. The two committees agreed that a “resolution of instruction” should be put to a city council vote at the council’s April 19 meeting.

The contract will call for the city of Ann Arbor to be paid a percentage of the public parking system’s gross revenues. The two committees have been unable to reach a consensus on that percentage. So on April 19, the council will be presented with two options: (1) 16% in each of the first two years of a 10-year deal, and 17.5% in the remaining years – the 16-16-17.5 scenario, which is advocated by the city’s committee; (2) 16% in every year of a 10-year deal – a flat-16 scenario reflecting a compromise from an earlier DDA board position.

For additional details and history of the negotiations, see previous Chronicle coverage: “City, DDA Continue to Talk Parking, Taxes

On the council’s committee are councilmembers Carsten Hohnke, Margie Teall and Christopher Taylor. Serving on the DDA committee are Gary Boren, Russ Collins, Roger Hewitt and Sandi Smith. Monday’s April 11 meeting was attended by Smith and Teall in person, with Hewitt, Taylor and Hohnke joining by conference phone. Sue McCormick, public services area administrator for the city, also attended the meeting. [Full Story]

DDA Takes “Baby Step” for Ypsi Buses

Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board meeting (Dec. 1, 2010): At its last meeting of the year, the DDA board transacted only one piece of business: It authorized a grant of $14,417 to the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority to fund service improvements, like greater frequency and reduced travel times, for the AATA #4 bus, which runs between Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor.

Fifth and Division Street Improvements

Bricks: Part of the new streetscape improvements on Fifth Avenue in front of the DDA offices. Money: New ePark payment kiosks. As part of the Bricks and Money Committee report to the DDA board, John Splitt noted that the new street lights were being "wired as we speak." That was literally true – as evidenced by the yellow-vested, hooded electrician observed an hour before the meeting started. (Photo by the writer.)

The money is offered by the DDA as a challenge to other local organizations to support service enhancements on the route, which are estimated to have a total cost of $180,000. Board member Newcombe Clark described the grant as a great first step, adding “but man, is it a baby one.”

Although the transportation grant was the only vote taken by the board at the meeting, board members entertained discussion on two topics that are likely to receive a great deal of focus in the broader community over the next few months: (1) the future use of the Library Lot; and (2) the “mutually beneficial” discussions between the city and the DDA about the parking contract under which the DDA operates the city’s parking system.

The board also heard the usual range of reports from its committees. No one addressed the board during either of the two slots set aside for public commentary. [Full Story]