More Money for Blake in New AATA Capital Plan

At its Jan. 19, 2012 meeting, the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority board authorized its capital and categorical grant program for 2012-2016. [.pdf of capital and categorical grant program] To continue receiving federal and state funding, it’s required that the AATA develop such an annual plan for use of federal and state funds.

The board had authorized a revised version of its 2011-2015 plan last year on Aug. 24, 2011. That revision was made in order to accommodate three projects: (1) the Blake Transit Center (BTC) reconstruction in downtown Ann Arbor, (2) the bus storage facility expansion, and (3) the bus maintenance facility upgrade.

This year’s program also includes those projects. The resolution adopted by the board at its Jan. 19 meeting includes an additional use of grant funding of up to $1.5 million – $1.2 million in federal formula funds and $0.3 million in state funds – for the planned reconstruction of the downtown Ann Arbor BTC. That brings the total BTC project budget from the previously reported $5.5 million to as much as $7 million.

The AATA does not think that it will be possible to construct the center’s design for $5.5 million, but the board is not necessarily committed to spending the entire $7 million. Some of the additional cost involves technology for informational displays. The resolution approved by the board on Jan. 19 sets that additional funding as the final maximum amount for the planned BTC reconstruction.

According to the resolution, the final cost estimates for the planned BTC reconstruction are due by March 2012. For a more detailed description of the planned new center – which will be reconstructed on the opposite end of the same parcel where the current center sits – see “AATA Preps Stage for Future Transit Choice.”

Also at the Jan. 19 meeting, the board authorized its CEO, Michael Ford, to submit applications, certifications and assurances to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), when the AATA asks for funding from that agency. The FTA requires the AATA to have passed such a resolution. The board’s resolution also authorized the CEO to execute contracts with the FTA on behalf of the AATA.

This brief was filed from the downtown location of the Ann Arbor District Library at 343 S. Fifth, where the AATA board holds its meetings. A more detailed report will follow: [link]