Monday, March 3, 2014

Ann Arbor City Council preview for March 3rd, 2014

Ann Arbor City Council is meeting in regular session on Monday, March 3rd, 2014 at 7:00. Here's what to expect from the meeting.

Highlights of the agenda include several items that had been previously postponed, including a No Smoking Ordinance and termination of the Percent for Art program. Funding for affordable housing is also on the agenda. In the clerk's report, the highlights are a 3 year old DDA annual report, and a set of letters from Pattengill students about the poor plowing on the main street leading up to their school after a recent snowstorm.

As always there are other media organizations covering council - look for a comprehensive Ann Arbor Chronicle preview, and a Monday story from the Ann Arbor News with background on one or two highlighted issues.


Update from Safety Services Area Administrator.
No idea what to expect here; the administrator is Police Chief John Seto.
Public commentary, 3 minutes per speaker.
I'm expecting someone from the Library Green to speak, as well as perennial commentator Tom Partridge.
MC-1. Mayoral communications, . Appointments, confirmations.
Confirming one appointment to the Local Officers' Compensation Commission. This commission has been so short-handed that the last time they met they didn't have enough members to make a quorum.

No public hearings tonight.

A-1, Approval of Council Minutes

This generally goes through without incident. The minutes include redacted versions of email that council members received during the meeting. Notable in that collection is a back and forth between CM Lumm and Mark Tucker of Festifools, and a note from CM Briere chastising CM Lumm for violating council rules by having substantive discussions on an agenda point via email during a council meeting.
Consent Agenda 
The consent agenda is usually voted on as one item bundling together all of the individual items, and it's generally not controversial. In some cases a CM will pull out one or more items to be voted on individually, usually to make a point and not to adjust the outcome of the vote.
CA-1, $15,000 on building a fence at the Ann Arbor Municipal Airport.
CA-2, $28,468 on lighting fixtures for the 3d and 4th floors of City Hall.
CA-3, $44,702 for an emergency purchase order to Ellsworth Industries.
CA-3 is for emergency spending due to cost of materials in fixing water main breaks due to the extreme cold weather. The original budget of $41,683 for "aggregate materials" has been exhausted. The City Administrator approved the emergency P.O. on February 14 and now goes before council to confirm it.
 CA-4, $30,000 for water main repair to ET Mackenzie on an emergency PO.
When the water service lead failed at 1214 South University (Galleria, Pinball Pete's), it was impossible for the city to completely shut down the existing 6" water main. The emergency contract was to transfer the service to a newer 12" water main. ET Mackenzie was on site doing the work for the property owner and the city found it cost effective to hire them for this additional repair and transfer of service.
CA-5, Approve a grant application for a "Universal Access Playground" at Gallup Park.
Ann Arbor Rotary Club has pledged $250,000 towards the development of this playground, which seeks to exceed ADA standards and be as inclusive as possible for all children with special needs. The application is for a grant to the Michigan DNR. The estimated cost of the playground is $500,000, and the city contribution in the Capital Improvement Plan is $100,000.
CA-6, Close Monroe Street for the Monroe Street Fair, Saturday, April 5 2014.
Fred Heller/Creative Rec, LLC is this year's organizer of the Monroe Street Fair, which is held on the same day as the Hash Bash.
CA-7, Street closings for Take Back The Night, Wednesday, April 2, 2014.

Ordinances, first reading

C-1, No Smoking Ordinance.
Postponed from February 3, 2014, this ordinance sponsored by Chuck Warpehoski would prohibit outdoor smoking within 20 feet of bus stops, Blake Transit Center, any City Building, and any park so designated by the City Administrator. A fine of $50 applies.
Motions and Resolutions

DC-1, Affordable housing.
"Resolved: The City Council directs the City Administrator to prepare a budget amendment for the allocation of $600,000 from the AAAHTF for Phase I of AAHC's proposal and submit it to the Agenda on the receipt of the proceeds from the closing of the old YMCA lot."
DC-2, Public Art Ordinance.
Establishes a transition plan for arts administration to be completed by October 6, 2014, and a funding plan for arts administration.
DC-3, Refund Percent for Art moneys to funds of origin.
De-fund all of the percent for art programs to the tune of $943,005, but continue funding for the Coleman Jewett memorial ($5,000) and for Canoe Imagine Art ($21,000). Terminate the art installation at Argo Cascades. Continue the projects at Stadium Bridges and the Kingsley Rain Garden.
DC-4, Rehire Aaron Seagraves as Public Art Administrator.
This extends the term of his agreement through June 30, 2014, and adds $18,500.00 to the budget to pay for this.
DC-5, Support the Fire Protection Grant Program.
A request that the state fully fund the Fire Protection Grant program in FY 15. The program pays for fire services for municipalities (such as Ann Arbor) that have non-taxed properties that they are responsible for fire service for (such as the University of Michigan).
DC-6, Urban Park on the Library Lot Structure.
The Ann Arbor News story on this issue is detailed. The proposal is to make a 10,000 sq ft park on the surface of the Library Lane Structure bounded by the Fifth Avenue sidewalk on the west, the Library Lane Street sidewalk to the south, the western entry to the central elevator to the east, and the southern curb of the service alley on the north.
DC-7, Development District Liquor License for Takashi Concepts Michigan, LLC, 608 E. Liberty St.
Slurping Turtle is looking for a development liquor license for a new restaurant in the old Borders space.
DC-8, Waive Attorney-Client Privilege
The City Attorney has prepared a memo regarding property tax assessment, and this resolution would cause the memo to be published.
DS-1, $133,843 for repaving tennis courts and basketball courts at Clinton Park.
Tennis courts are undersized, and both courts date back to 1966 with repairs made in 1987.
DS-2, East Ellsworth at S State St non-motorized easement.
Belle Tire site plan needs an adequate setback, and by building a 7 foot wide sidewalk those plans would be able to go forwards. There would be a public hearing on the matter on April 7, 2014.
DS-3, $457,393 for 18 vehicles.
17 of these vehicles are for police use, and several of those are SUVs instead of sedans because of the need for more equipment in the vehicle. The one non-police vehicle is for Signs & Signals / Radio Shop. Have you driven a Ford lately?
DS-4, $160,923 for a secondary chiller at City Hall.
The old chiller is breaking down, and this new secondary chiller has about 2/3 of its capacity. The new unit will be primary in the spring and fall, and if the old chiller breaks down, at least there will be some cooling capacity.
DS-5, $148,176 for civil engineering services to Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc. (FTCH).
The funds would pay for design work for "Urgent Sanitary Repairs" on Huron Street (near Glen and Zina Pitcher) where a 30 foot manhole is in poor repair. In addition, the funds would cover sidewalk design on Scio Church and on Barton Drive and would enable the city to be eligible for Federal funds for those projects.
DS-6, $77,400 to support the Pedestrian Safety Task Force.
The proposed work approach, developed using the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) guidebook titled How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan as a guide, recommends that consulting facilitation services be obtained to fully support the Pedestrian Safety and Access Task Force in their efforts.
DS-7, $30,000 for a new sidewalk on Ann Arbor Saline Road and for improvements to that road.
For the design and construction of proposed improvements to Ann Arbor-Saline Road from Oak Valley Drive to Eisenhower Parkway.
DS-8, Sanitary Sewer Easement at 3150 Boardwalk Drive.

Clerk's report (highlights)

F-4, Communication from Marie Embry’s Pattengill Elementary School Students Regarding Snow Plowing on Crestland.
Guys, you need to fix the road. The reasons you should is because cars are rolling around like a donut and that is dangerous because because kids, adults, and old people can get hurt. Also the people who drive cars are going backwards on hills and that is bad, really bad. Also some cars are slipping and moving around like a fishtail.
F-5, City of Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority Annual Report July 2009 - June 2010.
This report was sent to the City Clerk more than three years after it was prepared.
F-6, Montgomery House condominium project.
This letter establishes a condo project at 210-216 S Fourth Avenue, aka the "old Montgomery Wards building", and names it Montgomery House, with a maximum of 32 units.
Minutes of public meetings. Again highlights only:

G-1, Historic District Commission Meeting Minutes of July 11, 2013.
I guess it's OK for HDC minutes to be historic when they are presented to City Council; these are more than half a year late.

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