Stories indexed with the term ‘sidewalk replacement’

DDA OKs Sidewalk Improvement for AADL

Improvements associated with a redesigned entrance to the Ann Arbor District Library on Fifth Avenue in downtown Ann Arbor will be getting a boost from the Downtown Development Authority. In action taken at its June 4, 2014 meeting, the DDA board approved up to $125,000 for the redesign and replacement of the public sidewalk between William Street and the entrance to the Library Lane parking structure, on the east side of Fifth Avenue.

The goal of the sidewalk redesign is to eliminate the step that was installed at the curb, when Fifth Avenue was regraded in connection with construction of the underground Library Lane parking structure, which was completed in the summer of 2012.

At its most recent meeting, on May … [Full Story]

Ann Arbor: No New Sidewalk Program

A resolution to establish a five-year program to replace sidewalk gaps in the city of Ann Arbor was voted down by the city council at its Sept. 17, 2012 meeting. The resolution had been added to the council’s agenda by Mike Anglin (Ward 5) via an email sent to the city clerk on the morning of Monday’s meeting.

The resolution was amended just to require a report on the issue by Sept. 15, 2013, but it still fell one vote short of the six votes it needed.

The resolution received support from Anglin, Sabra Briere (Ward 1), Jane Lumm (Ward 2), Christopher Taylor (Ward 3), and Margie Teall (Ward 4). Councilmembers voting against the resolution pointed to the fact that the city’s … [Full Story]

Council Gives Initial OK for Sidewalk Repair Law

At its May 21, 2012 meeting, the Ann Arbor city council gave initial approval to a revision to the city’s sidewalk repair ordinance – in light of the voter-approved sidewalk repair millage, passed in November 2011. The basic idea is that for the period of the authorized millage – through fiscal year 2016 (which ends June 30, 2017) property owners will not be responsible for repairs to sidewalks abutting the property on which they pay taxes.

There are various wrinkles and contingencies in the revised ordinance for properties located within the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority tax increment finance (TIF) district.

Ann Arbor voters authorized an additional 0.125 mill to be levied as part of the street repair millage, which was also … [Full Story]

Ann Arbor Street Millage Renewal Planned

At its June 6, 2011 meeting, the Ann Arbor city council received a presentation setting out a timeline for renewing the city’s street repair millage, which is currently authorized through 2011 at a level of 2 mills, but is levied at 1.9944 due to the Headlee cap. One mill equals $1 for every $1,000 of a property’s state equalized value, or SEV. Renewal of the millage would need voter approval on Nov. 8, 2011.

As part of the council’s budget retreat discussion in January 2011, the council briefly discussed the idea of folding the city’s sidewalk replacement program – for which property owners now pay directly – into the activities funded by the street repair millage.

And at a budget work session in late February, public services area administrator Sue McCormick outlined how funds received through the METRO act, which are currently used for administration of the sidewalk replacement program, could be used to close out the 5-year cycle for the program. Then in future years, the METRO funds could be used for other work in the right-of-way. METRO funds are paid to the city under state statute for use of the right-of-way by telecommunications companies.

On June 6, the council received a sketch of a timeline for the public discussion on the street repair millage – including the possibility of increasing it to 2.125 mills to accommodate the sidewalk replacement program. That timeline would include two public meetings in June, a city council work session on June 13, and an online survey. At the council’s July 18 meeting, they’d hear a report on the public engagement, and the city council would give direction on how to proceed. At the council’s Aug. 4 meeting, it could then approve the ballot language, which needs to be submitted to the city clerk’s office by Aug. 16.

The street reconstruction millage is listed as CITY STREETS on tax bills.

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] [Full Story]

Ann Arbor 2012 Budget: Trees, Trash, Streets

Editor’s note: The Ann Arbor city council has held two retreats to discuss the city’s FY 2012 budget – one in early December 2010 and another in early January 2011. A summary of the material covered in those retreats is provided in previous Chronicle coverage: “Ann Arbor: Engaging the FY 2012 Budget.”

Leading up to the city administrator delivering a proposed budget in April – for FY 2012, beginning July 1, 2011 – the city council is also holding a series of work sessions on the budget. Their typical scheduling pattern is for the weeks between council meetings. Previous work sessions have taken place on community services, as well as the 15th District Court and police and fire services. On Feb. 28, the council held its final budget work session of the season – on public services and the city attorney’s office. [.pdf of  combined public services budget impact sheets provided on the city of Ann Arbor's budget impact web page.]

Streets, sidewalks, trash collection, trees in the right-of-way, water and sewers are all included under the general label of “public services” in the city. At Monday’s budget work session on those kinds of activities, public services area administrator Sue McCormick did not present the council with any news more dramatic than Roger Fraser did when he announced at the conclusion of the session that he’d be leaving his job by the end of April.

But McCormick did present the council with options for meeting reduction targets that would, if enacted, have a significant impact on the range of services offered by the city. In at least one case, the range of service would expand – the city (instead of adjoining property owners) could assume responsibility for sidewalk repair and replacement.

In another case – which McCormick stressed was not a recommendation, but rather just an informational ballpark amount for potential annual savings to the city ($2.1 million) – the city would get out of the business of trash collection. In another month, the city expects to give the council a report that provides more detail on possible alternatives to having city workers perform that task, including some kind of franchised trash collection operation.

Many of the specific reduction target tactics presented on Monday evening involved assigning costs to a unit outside the general fund. While the city’s total budget includes around $340 million in expenses, the annual discussion typically spotlights the general fund, which gets revenue from the general operations millage [listed on tax bills as CITY OPER] – and is currently levied at a rate of roughly 6 mills. The widely reported projected deficit of $2.4 million for the city’s budget is for the general fund.

During the work session, the assignment of costs to other funds caused Sandi Smith (Ward 1) to wonder if it was just a matter of “shuffling” money from one bucket to another. The answer she heard was: No – it’s a matter of assigning costs appropriately to whatever fund should properly bear the cost of a particular activity.

One of the largest instances of such a cost reassignment would use the stormwater utility fund, instead of the general fund, to pay for forestry operations for trees in the right-of-way. That move would save the city’s general fund around $660,000 a year.

Another example of that kind of “shuffling,” albeit with a smaller dollar figure ($35,000), was a proposal from the city attorney’s office to charge capital projects part of the cost of a paralegal specializing in easements, instead of burdening the city attorney’s budget with that expense. The city attorney’s reduction strategy, which had originally been scheduled for a prior work session, was also part of Monday evening’s presentation. [Full Story]

Meeting Watch: Pre-Council Caucus (21 Sept 2008)

Four councilmembers (Sabra Briere, Stephen Rapundalo, Mike Anglin, Marcia Higgins) heard from interested parties on four different topics: the sidewalk repair program, the 133 Hill St. site plan, the merger between Avalon Housing and Washtenaw Affordable Housing Commission, and City Place. [Full Story]

Sidewalk Concrete Connects to Past

Dan McConnell with a prized piece of concrete. What's so special about it?

Dan McConnell with a prized piece of concrete. What's so special about it?

When The Chronicle spots a single chunk of concrete lying lonesome on the grass, we’ll generally swing back around for a closer look. Around Eberwhite is an area where we’d noticed sidewalk replacement in progress on a neighborhood scale over the last couple of days, but the busted up slabs had generally been stacked up and carted off. Why was this lonely chunk still sitting there? It was as if someone had set it aside as something extra special. [Full Story]