Stories indexed with the term ‘FY 2013 budget’

AAPS 2012-13 Budget Increased by $1.3 Million

At its May 8, 2013 meeting, the Ann Arbor Public Schools board of education was presented with the third quarter financial report for FY 2012-13.

According to the report, the expenditure budget will be approximately $1.3 million higher than originally projected. The increase is due to a $700,000 increase to transportation costs, a $300,000 increase of the substitute budget, and an increase of $300,000 for the health care budget to cover anticipated usage through the remainder of the fiscal year.

The $1.3 million increase in expenditures comes after the trustees had already amended the budget by $2.5 million two months ago, on March 13, 2013, to account for the second quarter financial report.

At its next regular meeting, the board will be asked … [Full Story]

AATA OKs FY 2013 Budget with Deficit

The budget for the upcoming Ann Arbor Transportation Authority fiscal year – which starts Oct. 1, 2012 – will show a roughly $300,000 deficit. The vote by the AATA board adopting the $32,700,181 budget, as well as an annual work plan, was taken at its Sept. 27, 2012 meeting.

The draft AATA budget provided on Sept. 12 to the city council as a communication item for the council’s Sept. 17 meeting showed a surplus of $22,692 over the budgeted expenses of $33,344,048. The need for the AATA to use $300,000 of unrestricted net assets – to cover the difference between expenditures and revenues –  was prompted by notification on Sept. 14 by the Michigan Dept. of Transportation (MDOT) that a new interpretation of the state’s operating assistance … [Full Story]

Ann Arbor Receives Firefighter Grant

In a press release issued on May 30, 2012, Michigan’s U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin announced the award of a $642,294 federal grant to the city of Ann Arbor to hire new firefighters. The grant comes through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program. How that money translates to firefighter positions is not yet completely clear.

Reached by email, city administrator Steve Powers indicated that the city’s application had been for three firefighter positions for what he believed to be two-year grant period. Ann Arbor’s unit cost for a firefighter full-time equivalent is $79,599 per FTE. For a two-year grant period, that would translate to almost exactly four firefighters for each of two … [Full Story]

Ann Arbor City Council OKs FY 2013 Budget

At its May 21, 2012 meeting, which adjourned around 1:30 a.m., the Ann Arbor city council approved the city’s fiscal year 2013 budget, for the period from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013. As required by the city charter, the budget had been proposed by city administrator Steve Powers a month earlier on April 16.


In the couple of weeks leading up to the May 21, 2012 meeting, councilmembers had their hands literally full with the FY 2013 budget. (Photo by the writer, taken on May 18.)

The amendments approved by the council included modifications that added a secretary position to the 15th District Court, increased human services funding by $46,899, added $78,000 to the Ann Arbor Housing Commission budget, and eliminated a contract with RecycleBank to administer a coupon program to encourage residents to recycle.

One resolution – which did not actually modify the budget – simply directed the city administrator to bring a future mid-year budget amendment to add up to six firefighters to the budget – if a federal grant and increased state fire protection allocations materialize.

Amendments that were brought forward, but that did not win council approval, included a proposal to leave money in various city funds, totaling $307,299, instead of transferring that amount to the public art fund. Also failing to win approval was an amendment that would give a specific interpretation to the city’s downtown development authority tax increment finance (TIF) capture ordinance – that would have benefited the city’s general fund by around $200,000. Both of those amendments were brought forward by Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3).

Another amendment that failed would have restored loose leaf collection service in the fall, as well as holiday tree pickup. And an amendment to fund additional police officers also did not succeed. Both of those amendments were proposed by Jane Lumm (Ward 2). Lumm was joined by Mike Anglin (Ward 5) in dissenting on the final budget vote.

The total expenditure budget for FY 2013 as proposed – across all funds, including utilities, solid waste and the like – came to $404,900,312 in revenues against $382,172,603 in expenses.

The originally proposed budget for the much smaller general fund – out of which the city pays for services like fire and police, planning, financial services, administration, parks and recreation – showed $79,193,112 in revenues against expenses totaling $78,869,750 for a planned surplus of $323,362. The following year, FY 2014, had been projected to be basically a break-even year.

The cumulative impact of the amendments approved by the council on Monday night increased expenditures to $79,070,842 against revenues of $79,193,112, for a surplus of $122,270. Below is a detailed list of proposed amendments and outcomes. [Full Story]

Column: Let’s Take Time on Ann Arbor Budget

On the evening of May 21, the Ann Arbor city council will start its second meeting in May. I’d like to suggest not ending Monday’s meeting on Monday.

That’s right, I’d like to “kick the can down the road.” I suppose it’s a pretty big can. But it’s a short road – only one week.

When kicking the can down the road, be sure it's a small can, a short road and does not contain worms.

When kicking the can down the road, be sure it’s a short road and does not contain worms. (Incredible self-portrait action shot by the writer.)

Letting that meeting continue past Monday will be a benefit to the council and Ann Arbor residents, as well as to other public bodies like the Ann Arbor District Library, Washtenaw County, Washtenaw Community College and the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority (DDA).

The city charter requires that by the end of that meeting, the council must approve the city budget for fiscal year 2013 – which begins on July 1, 2012. If the council does not act on the budget before the end of the meeting, then according to the city charter, the budget proposed by the city administrator on April 16, 2012 will automatically take effect. Last year, the “second meeting in May” was conducted over the course of sessions on three separate days, and did not end until May 31, 2011.

Last year’s extension of that second meeting in May – achieved  by recessing and reconvening on subsequent days – stemmed from the council’s desire to achieve clarity about issues related to the DDA. The issue centered around tax increment finance (TIF) capture, as well as the contract under which the DDA operates the city’s public parking system.

This year, one of the amendments that’s almost certain to be proposed on Monday – by Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3) – revisits the issue of the DDA’s TIF capture, and provides a recurring revenue source for the city to fund two firefighter positions this year, and perhaps more in subsequent years. Kunselman’s amendment calls for the kind of interpretation of the city’s ordinance on DDA TIF capture for which I’ve previously advocated. [See "Column: Tax Capture is a Varsity Sport"]

So this year, I’d like to suggest that city councilmembers plan now to take advantage of the parliamentary option of recessing their May 21 meeting until May 28 – so that they and the public can give thorough consideration to at least nine other budget amendments (in addition to Kunselman’s DDA/firefighter amendment) that could be brought forward on Monday.

The formal public hearing on the budget was already held and closed on May 7, 2012. It enjoyed the participation of just three Ann Arbor residents. By establishing the May 21 session as an occasion to sketch out the intent and the mechanics of proposed budget amendments, the council would better serve the public’s interest in being able to advocate for or against the various proposed amendments to the budget.

I’d also like to use the occasion of this column to lay out the content of some of the fire protection amendments, and to single out Kunselman’s amendment as one that I think especially deserves the entire council’s support.   [Full Story]

Park Commission Supports FY 2013 Budget

At its April 17, 2012 meeting, the Ann Arbor park advisory commission unanimously approved two resolutions related to the city’s fiscal year 2013 budget, the year beginning July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013. It’s the second year of a two-year budget planning cycle. PAC had previously recommended approval of budgets for both years at its April 2011 meeting. The parks budget is part of the city’s overall budget, which city administrator Steve Powers presented at the April 16 meeting of the Ann Arbor city council.

The portion of the city budget relating to parks can be separated into two parts: (1) park operations; and (2) parks and recreation.

On Tuesday, PAC recommended approval of the FY 2013 parks operations … [Full Story]

Ann Arbor Council Gets Draft 2013 Budget

At the Ann Arbor city council’s April 16, 2012 meeting, city administrator Steve Powers presented the Ann Arbor city council with his proposed budget for fiscal year 2013, which begins on July 1, 2012. He described the current situation as one where the city has emerged from the crisis of the last few years and is ready to return its focus to “sustaining our future.”

The total expenditure budget for FY 2013 – across all funds, including utilities, solid waste and the like – is proposed at $404,900,312 in revenues against $382,172,603 in expenses.


About half of the recurring expenditures in the proposed FY 2013 budget for the city of Ann Arbor general fund are made up by safety services – police and fire. (Image links to Google spreadsheet.)

The proposed budget for the much smaller general fund – out of which the city pays for services like fire and police, planning, financial services, administration, parks and recreation – shows $79,193,112 in revenues against expenses totaling $78,869,750 for a planned surplus of $323,362. The following year, FY 2014, is currently projected to be basically a break-even year.

That’s similar to the picture that chief financial officer Tom Crawford had sketched out for the city council at a Feb. 13, 2012 work session. But he’d projected close to $1 million in net surplus – which included $1.6 million in surplus on the recurring revenue and recurring expenses side.

So the city administrator’s budget includes some additional one-time, non-recurring expenses as well as some additional costs, compared to Crawford’s February sketch. An example of a greater recurring cost is the settlement of the firefighters union contract. A more frequent mowing cycle in the parks – every 14 days instead of every 19 days – is an additional cost. An example of an additional non-recurring cost is an allocation for the local matching portion of the High Speed Intercity Rail project – the city’s current nomenclature for the Fuller Road Station, while the final site determination of such a station is still pending.

With some notable exceptions in police and fire, the proposed FY 2013 budget mostly reflects the planning done a year ago when the FY 2012 budget was adopted. (Although the city of Ann Arbor adopts annual budgets, it plans in two-year cycles.)

Highlights of the proposed FY 2013 budget that are different from the two-year plan include the addition of one police officer instead of eliminating nine positions (for an additional cost of $1,038,167). Staffing for the police department as a whole, however, will include a reduction of 19 dispatcher positions, because the city is now contracting with Washtenaw County for dispatch services. In the city administrator’s budget message to the council, the savings due to the outsourcing of dispatch operations are identified as $1,238,297. Also identified in the budget message are $477,000 in savings from labor contract settlements with the police unions.

The proposed budget also calls for maintaining the budgeted staffing for the fire department at 82 firefighters, instead of reducing firefighter positions by five positions (for an additional cost of $584,000). The recent contract settlement with the firefighters union is listed as a $229,000 additional cost – firefighters are being paid to work more hours. However, $657,000 in additional revenues to the fire department are also identified – due primarily to increased inspections and the fees associated with that. At the March 12 work session when fire chief Chuck Hubbard presented a new, three-station coverage model to the city council, he stated that he felt the ideal number of firefighters for the Ann Arbor department would be 88 firefighters.

In terms of utility rates, the drinking water, sanitary sewer, and stormwater fees are proposed to increase between 3.25% to 4.25%.

According to Ann Arbor’s city charter, the city administrator must present the city council with a proposed budget for the next fiscal year at its second meeting in April, which fell on April 16 this year. The city council then must make any amendments to the proposed budget by the second meeting in May. This year that falls on May 21. Public hearings on the budget and associated fee changes will be held at the council’s May 7 meeting. [Full Story]