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Dharma's Council Newsletter, April 29, 2023

Neighbors,


Our next Council meeting is Monday, May 1st at 7pm. Before I get to a preview of our agenda, here are some updates about things going on around Ann Arbor. City Budget Season The budget process for Fiscal Years 24 and 25 are underway. Council must adopt a budget for FY24 by May 15th. I encourage you to watch staff budget presentations and see Councilmember questions and staff responses, which are posted weekly on the City's Public Budget process page. At our last Council meeting, the City Administrator presented his proposed budget. It is now up to City Council to review and put forth amendments if and where they think they are needed. $1M dollars of the City's share of marijuana excise tax rebate funds are unallocated in the budget presented to us. However, the Resolution to Commit Marijuana Excise Tax Rebate Funds directs us on how we should spend these funds. Let me know if you have thoughts on our budgeting priorities. Commuter Challenge 2023 Starting Monday, May 1st The friendly competition to encourage people who may not otherwise use alternative modes of transportation to try it at least once during the month begins Monday, May 1st. To participate, sign up at: https://www.commuteandwin.org/Public/Home.aspx. Ann Arbor Water Open House, Saturday, May 6th

Tour the Ann Arbor Water Treatment Plant to learn about our award-winning water at the Ann Arbor Water Open House Saturday, May 6th at 919 Sunset Road. The event is free, but advanced registration is required. To sign up, visit https://www.a2gov.org/pages/calendar.aspx and click the "sign up" button next to your desired time on May 6th. I toured the plant in November, and it was a treat to see all that goes into bringing clean water to our taps!


Community Listening Sessions May 11th and May 18th on Sustainable Heating The City's fossil fuel gas franchise with DTE is set to expire in 2027. City Council approved a resolution on March 20th directing the City Administrator to work with interested utilities to begin initiating a responsible transition to clean, safe, renewable energy for heat in Ann Arbor. Work is beginning, and the City wants your feedback.

  • Listening sessions: Two virtual listening sessions are scheduled for May 11th (registration link) and May 18th (registration link), both at 6pm, to gather community feedback on what sustainable heating could look like in Ann Arbor and help inform the negotiation of the franchise.

  • Request for Ideas: a new request for ideas has been released to gather ideas from industry, utilities, and businesses working on sustainable heating. Organizations interested in submitting ideas should respond to this RFI.

  • Email: Interested individuals are encouraged to email ideas or questions to franchisefeedback@a2gov.org.


City Council Meeting, Monday, May 1st at 7pm Please reach out if you have questions, concerns, or thoughts on any of the agenda items. Email: DAkmon@A2gov.org | Phone/text: 734-492-5866

There are a few ways to share your thoughts on agenda:

  • eComment

  • Email City Council: CityCouncil@a2gov.org

  • Comment at the meeting (remote or in person): Call the City Clerk's office at 734-794-6140 beginning at 8 a.m. on the day of the meeting to reserve a public speaking time. NOTE: you do not need to reserve time to speak during a "public hearing" item.

A few items of note from the agenda:

  • AC-3 Unarmed Response Report. This is not an item of action of discussion in the meeting, but I know that many members of our community have been waiting on the recommendations for building an Unarmed Crisis Response Team in Ann Arbor. Just released to City Council today, this report from Public Sector Consultants details feedback from a community engagement process that took place over several months. In the coming weeks, Council will be getting a staff recommendation on how the RfP process should be structured. The outcome of the RfP will be the identification of the preferred vendor that will implement the program.

  • CA-1 Resolution to Approve a Contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation for the State and Hill Streets Improvements Project ($6,909,800.00) and to Appropriate $250,000.00 from the Street, Bridge, and Sidewalk Millage; $3,208,700.00 from the Major Street Fund; $302,700.00 from the Water Supply Fund; $252,850.00 from the Stormwater Fund; $67,750.00 from the Sanitary Fund. This is a contract for roadwork (a large portion in Ward 4) that includes resurfacing, ADA accessible ramps at existing crosswalks, additional pedestrian safety improvements, installation of protected bike lanes, and water main work. This project represents a good example of building transportation infrastructure that provides healthy and safe transportation options for everyone. A good deal of federal funding is being leveraged for this work. You can learn more about the project on the project webpage.

  • PH-3 Resolution to Approve Fiscal Year 2024 Fee Adjustments for the Public Services Area - Engineering, Public Works, Systems Planning, Water Treatment Units and the Fleet and Facilities - Airport Unit of the City Administrator's Office. As part of our annual budget process, fee adjustments are proposed for Public Services Area Engineering, Public Works, Systems Planning, Water Treatment Units and Fleet and Facilities - Airport Unit. Some fees are new to reimburse for costs of service, others have been removed because they are no longer offered, and some fees are reduced to reflect changed actual cost.

  • PH-4 Resolution to Approve FY 2024 Fee Adjustments for the Community Services Area. As part of our annual budget process, fee adjustments are proposed for Planning, Parks, Golf, and Liveries. It has been several years since many of these fees have been increased. When determining costs, the City examines increases in labor, materials, supplies, equipment and overhead costs. A complete fee change schedule is attached to the agenda item.

  • C-1 An Ordinance Authorizing the Issuance and Sale of Water Supply System Revenue Bonds, Series 2023, ($40,000,000.000). This ordinance will approve the issuance by the City of Water Supply Revenue Bonds to finance the costs of additions and improvements to the City's water supply system. Water rate and fee projections that Council receives as part of the budget presentation account for the bond issuance. Also note that this is only a notice of intent, not the bond issuance. The City looks at opportunities to fund improvements through the Michigan Drinking Water Revolving Loan program. So, while this agenda item will provide staff the ability to issue debt up to $45M for drinking water system updates, it does not preclude the use of revolving loan funds or other program funds. Because there have been a few questions related to this topic, we have requested a staff presentation at our meeting Monday.

  • DB-1 Resolution to Dissolve the Brownfields Plan Review Committee. If approved, this resolution would dissolve the Brownfields Plan Review Committee. The rationale presented for dissolving the committee is that explicit direction for approval of plans has been established in the Brownfield Development Policy (adopted in 2019), this direction can be applied by staff as they review plans, and it does not remove City Council's authority in approving Brownfield plans.

How Council Voted The Ann Arbor Voting Charts Project is a community-maintained record of voting history for City Council. Check out the April 17th, 2023 Voting Chart.

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