Council Commits Up to $750,000 for 721 N. Main

A commitment of up to $750,000 from the city’s general fund – to undertake planned improvements to the city-owned property at 721 N. Main – has been made by the Ann Arbor city council in action taken at its June 17, 2013 meeting. The commitment is a requirement for a grant application that the city is making to the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund for $300,000.

If the city’s plan unfolds as it expects, then none of the $750,000 in general fund money would be needed.

The improvements to 721 N. Main have resulted from work done by a North Main corridor improvement task force that has been working at the direction of the city council since the summer of 2012 to make recommendations for the corridor.

Of the $1.2 million estimated cost for the planned trail and stormwater improvements to the site, the city plans to use $150,000 from the city’s stormwater fund. To cover part of the remaining $1.05 million, the city hopes to use $600,000 from a grant it it’s applied for from the Michigan Dept. of Transportation (MDOT) and the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) – through SEMCOG’s transportation alternatives program (TAP).

The council approved the application for the SEMCOG grant at its April 15, 2013 meeting. To cover the remaining $450,000, the city hopes to use $150,000 from a Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Connecting Communities grant and $300,000 from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) grant. The council approved the application for those last two grants at its Dec. 17, 2012 meeting.

The council’s resolution passed on June 17 comes in response to an MNRTF grant requirement that the council commit the city to funding the other grants itself – from general fund money – if the grants fail to materialize. The $750,000 figure comes from adding the $600,000 SEMCOG grant to the $150,000 Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation grant.

This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]