Stories indexed with the term ‘capital improvements’

DDA: Housing Commission Gets $600K

The Ann Arbor Housing Commission has received a grant of $600,000 to put into capital improvements to two properties in or near the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority tax capture district: Baker Commons and Miller Manor.

Baker Commons is a 64-unit building located at the southeast corner of Packard and Main, within the DDA district. Miller Manor is a 103-unit building on Miller Avenue outside the DDA district, but within a quarter-mile of the district boundary. That conforms with the DDA’s policy on use of its tax increment finance (TIF) funds for housing.

The $600,000 – which is to be paid in three $200,000 annual installments starting this year – was approved at the DDA board’s April 2, 2014 meeting. The … [Full Story]

Non-Motorized Capital Projects OK’d

At its Nov. 7, 2013 meeting, the Ann Arbor city council has approved at least three projects related to non-motorized infrastructure: a contract with the Michigan Dept. of Transportation for resurfacing of Jackson Avenue, and direction to take the first step for special assessment of property to fund construction of sidewalks in two locations – Stone School Road and Scio Church Road.

The $301,600 contract with MDOT would resurface the section of Huron Street from Main Street westward as Huron becomes Jackson Avenue on to I-94. The project will include a re-striping to reduce the number of lanes from four to three and to add bicycle lanes. An agreement with MDOT is required because the city must contribute 12.5% of … [Full Story]

UM Infrastructure Projects Move Forward

A $7 million project to replace two chiller units for the University of Michigan Willard H. Dow Laboratory and the Chemistry Building at 930 N. University, where the lab is located, was approved by UM regents at their Sept. 20, 2012 meeting. It was one of two infrastructure improvements on Ann Arbor’s central campus that were authorized by the board.

According to a staff memo, until 2010 there were three steam-absorption chillers for the building. One was replaced in 2010, and the $7 million project aims to replace the other two with new electric chillers, pumps, piping, controls, and a new electrical substation. Staff estimates there will be a $600,000 annual energy savings after the replacement.

Regents also authorized a $1.2 million project to replace two … [Full Story]

Ann Arbor Senior Center: Changes Reviewed

Ann Arbor park advisory commission meeting (Oct. 18, 2011): Having skipped a meeting in September, park commissioners faced a full agenda at their October session, highlighted by a consultant’s report on the Ann Arbor senior center.

Christopher Taylor, Sam Offen, Tim Doyle

Ann Arbor city councilmember Christopher Taylor, left, accepts a ballot from Tim Doyle, right, a park advisory commissioner. In the center is Sam Offen, who was re-elected as chair of PAC's budget committee. Taylor is a non-voting ex-officio member of PAC.

The report – including 16 recommendations for changes to improve the Burns Park center and senior services – is the latest in an effort that dates back to 2009, when the city considered closing the center. Suggestions include: (1) expanding programs to other locations, particularly to low-income senior housing; (2) partnering with other programs in the area, such as the popular travel program offered by Pittsfield Township’s senior center; and (3) possibly making the Burns Park facility more of a community center, and renaming it to reflect that broader mission.

Staff will be taking this report and incorporating elements of it into a strategic plan, which will be reviewed by PAC and city council before action is taken.

The meeting also included votes to recommend awarding contracts for renovations at Island Park, and support for a bioremediation pilot project at Southeast Area Park. Matt Naud, the city’s environmental coordinator, told commissioners that the test would determine the effectiveness of an approach to remove an existing vinyl chloride plume. The process would involve giving nutrients to naturally occurring microorganisms that can break down the contaminant. The plume resulted from vinyl chloride being released from the now-closed city landfill into groundwater on the south side of Ellsworth Road.

Margaret Parker, a member of the Ann Arbor public art commission (AAPAC), gave a presentation about two potential public art projects along the Huron River – at the Argo Dam bypass, and the Gallup Park canoe livery. Since the work would likely be on city-owned parkland, members of the parks staff and park advisory commission would be part of a task force for the project. Laura Rubin, executive director of the Huron River Watershed Council, also attended PAC’s meeting. She spoke in support of a more comprehensive vision for art as part of RiverUp!, an effort to improve a 104-mile stretch of the Huron River.

During public commentary, commissioners heard suggestions for several ways to improve non-motorized connections between South State and South Main streets.

The October meeting also included a review of FY 2011 and first-quarter FY 2012 financials for the parks system, and PAC’s annual election of officers. There were no deliberations, and current officers – including PAC chair Julie Grand – were re-elected unanimously. [Full Story]

Repairs Recommended for Island Park

At its Oct. 18, 2011 meeting, the Ann Arbor park advisory commission passed two resolutions related to Island Park. PAC recommended approval of a $92,586 contract with Legacy Custom Builders Inc. for repair of the Island Park Greek Revival shelter. The price includes an $84,169 bid and a $8,417 (10%) construction contingency.

According to a staff memo, the shelter was built in 1914 and has been renovated several times, most recently in 1995. Weather, insect and animal damage has caused the structure to deteriorate. Four contractors made bids on the project, and Legacy Custom Builders proposed the lowest bid. The firm is based in Northville, Mich.

In a separate resolution, the commission recommended approval of a $71,500 contract with Saladino Construction Company Inc. … [Full Story]

AATA OKs Raft of Capital Expenditures

At a special meeting held on July 19, 2011, the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority board authorized expenditures for a range of different capital projects at the site of its headquarters on South Industrial Highway. They included an expansion of the bus storage facility, replacement of bus hoists, a blanket contract for concrete work, and detention pond and landscaping improvements.

The $2.4 million cost of the bus storage facility project will be financed using a combination of roughly $1 million in ARRA (federal stimulus) funds and $1.4 million in existing federal formula funds. The $980,500 bus hoist replacement will be financed by a combination of existing grants and from federal formula funds. The blanket concrete contract lasts for five years for up to $250,000 worth of concrete work for the contract period. The detention pond work will cost $98,500 and will be financed through a combination of Federal Transit Authority funds and federal formula funds.

This brief was filed shortly after the AATA board meeting, which took place at the AATA headquarters at 2700 South Industrial Highway: [link] [Full Story]

Parking Deck Pre-Tensioned with Lawsuit

View of construction sight for proposed underground parking garage looking east to west. Herb David Guitar Studios and Jerusalem Garden are located in the upper right corner of the block.

View of construction site (Ed. note: corrected from "sight") for proposed underground parking garage looking east to west. Herb David Guitar Studios and Jerusalem Garden are located in the upper right corner of the block. (Image links to Microsoft's Bing Maps for full interactive display.)

As The Chronicle previously reported, at last week’s city council meeting, Ann Arbor CFO Tom Crawford announced that bonds for the 677-space South Fifth Avenue underground parking garage had been sold on Aug. 5.

And on Friday, Aug. 7, the Downtown Development Authority’s capital improvements committee conducted interviews with four candidate companies for the job of construction manager of the garage.

Then, by Wednesday morning of this week, references and financials for the Christman Company had checked out to the satisfaction of the DDA staff and Carl Walker – the design firm that’s been hired for the project. DDA executive director Susan Pollay is working out a time for a special meeting of the whole board to award the job to Christman.

But the day before, on Aug. 11, a lawsuit in connection with the parking garage project – which had previously been threatened by the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center – was actually filed. The complaint alleges violations of the Michigan Environmental Protection Act, the Michigan Open Meetings Act, as well as nuisance and trespass violations.  Herb David Guitar Studio and Jerusalem Garden restaurant are plaintiffs in the suit, along with GLELC. [Full Story]