Ann Arbor: Stim City?

City, county compile wish lists for possible federal aid

Even though Congress hasn’t figured out the details of its proposed federal stimulus package, it’s hard to attend a local government meeting these days without some reference to it – the topic was discussed last week at both the Ann Arbor city council and Washtenaw County commission meetings. But with some economic recovery deal expected this week, local officials already have wish lists in hand.

How their wishes will be answered isn’t clear. They’ve been told to supply “shovel-ready” projects, those that are ready to go within 90 days of getting funded. Federal dollars will likely be delivered to the state, with the governor and state legislature responsible for allocating those funds. The Chronicle recently talked to state Sen. Liz Brater, who said that until Congress decides how much it’s willing to provide and how it wants the states to handle those funds, “we’re really in a holding pattern here.”

So what exactly do city and county officials hold in their wish lists? Housing, roads, sewers, sidewalks and more – there’s no shortage of projects. The files below give the details.

City of Ann Arbor Wish List

City of Ann Arbor Environmental Wish List

Washtenaw County Wish List

Washtenaw Road Commission Wish List (JPG file)

UPDATE: Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (AATA) Wish List


  1. February 10, 2009 at 1:17 am | permalink

    Interesting to note that most of the AA projects are maintenance items that the city will have to perform weather or not they get any federal monies. They are just trying to get the federal government to pay for normal expenditures. And if they succeed what will happen to the money saved in the city budget? More double digit raises for the staff?

  2. By Steve Bean
    February 10, 2009 at 12:41 pm | permalink

    The nature of the items on the list is essentially dictated by the requirement that they be “shovel-ready” projects in order to be considered for funding. If you look closely, not all are maintenance projects. So next time you needn’t bother trying to rationalize your pot shots.

  3. February 10, 2009 at 3:08 pm | permalink


    Could you reformat the County and City spreadsheets so they cover the same fields? I’d like to compare like to like, and right now, they are slightly different.



  4. February 11, 2009 at 10:48 am | permalink

    I love the fact that our list is mostly maintenance items. I think Obama et al. are trying to do too many things at once.

    Let’s just fix everything that’s broken. I’d like to see a complete, nation-wide package that focuses exclusively on deferred maintenance. Now that would be stimulating!

  5. By Dave Askins
    February 11, 2009 at 9:58 pm | permalink

    Sabra Briere asked: “Could you reformat the County and City spreadsheets so they cover the same fields?”

    Here’s a merged Excel file of city and county wish lists.

    City of Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County wish lists in one MS Excel Sheet

    Our initial intent was to create PDFs for greater accessibility to those who may not have MS Excel installed on their machines. In formatting the separate Excel sheets to fit onto a single landscaped page, two people made two different decisions about what columns to drop.

  6. By Dave Askins
    February 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm | permalink

    For those who like their stimulus package wish lists printed off on giant plotter-sized pieces of paper, on the second floor of the Larcom Building, just to the left of the elevators (same wall), next to the Greenway posters, there’s a printout of the city’s wish list measuring at least five feet tall.