Ann Arbor city council meeting (May 31 session of May 16, 2011 meeting): The Ann Arbor city council finally adopted its fiscal year 2012 budget near midnight on the last day of May. The meeting had begun on May 16, was then recessed until May 23, immediately recessed again, and finally ended on May 31.
An amendment to extend funding for four police officer positions for an additional three months failed on a 5-6 vote. That means that 20 total full-time positions in the police and fire departments will now be eliminated. In terms of sworn officer positions, that translates into a loss of six police (four through layoffs) and seven firefighters (three through layoffs).
Successful amendments to the budget included: (1) use of $85,600 in general fund reserves to add to human services funding; (2) use of $90,804 in general fund reserves to add to the parks allocation; (3) use of $7,000 in general fund reserves to cover the cost of an additional city council primary election (as proposed, the FY 2012 budget anticipated primaries in only two of the city’s five wards); and (4) acknowledgment of an additional $87,452 from the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority’s parking fund to the city’s general fund, resulting from a newly ratified parking contract. A proposed amendment to reduce allocations to the public art program failed.
In other business related to the city’s budget, the council ratified a new contract with the DDA for management of the city’s public parking system. It’s a contract that runs for 11 years and will transfer nearly $3 million of public parking revenue to the city every year. The council rejected on a 2-9 vote a proposed amendment that would give the city council veto power on the DDA’s authority to set parking rates.
The council also approved a resolution to waive the city’s share of excess TIF (tax increment finance) capture in the DDA’s district – that amounts to $712,000 that won’t be paid to the city.