Sunday, March 16, 2014

Ann Arbor City Council preview for March 17, 2014

The Ann Arbor City Council meets in session the first and third Mondays of each month, as a general rule. The Monday meeting of 17 March 2014 starts at 7:00 p.m. in council chambers on the 2d floor of city hall.

Highlights for this week's meeting include what will certainly be heated discussion of the future of the surface of the Library Lot, either as parking, a park, public space, or private development. There are no public hearings, so there's a chance that it will be a quick night's work, as long as council comes to some relatively prompt conclusions about the Library Lot.

Pun Plamondon addresses the Ann Arbor City Council, 1973.

As always, the Ann Arbor Chronicle has a detailed preview of the council agenda, which I recommend to you. If any Ann Arbor News stories pop up they will be linked here as well.


INT-1 Introduction of Shryl L. Samborn, Fifteenth District Court Administrator

Public commentary 

10 speakers at 3 minutes each. Expect commentary on the Library Lot, as well as from perennial public speaker Tom Partridge.

Communications from Council

Communications from the Mayor

No public hearings are scheduled.

Approval of Council Minutes

A-1 Approval of minutes, including minutes of the special session of February 24, 2014 (Edwards Bros property) and council emails from the March 3 session. 
Alas the emails from 3/3 were unreadable when I went to look at them and I've asked the clerk for an updated copy.

Consent Agenda

These items are generally introduced from staff and request approval for relatively small and uncontroversial expenses. Any council member can cause an item to be pulled from the consent agenda and voted on separately.

CA-1. Resolution to Approve Amendment No. 1 to Golf Cart Lease with Pifer Inc. and Authorize Sale of 32 City-owned Golf Carts ($50,336.00)
A resolution to amend the current lease with Pifer Inc. for the 2014 and 2015 seasons for lease of 99 golf carts (an increase of 34 carts from the original 65 carts leased)  for use at Huron Hills and Leslie Park Golf Course. In addition, you are asked to authorize the sale of 32 City owned golf carts to Pifer Inc.  
CA-2. Resolution to Approve the Purchase of One Police Detective Vehicle  from Berger Chevrolet (Oakland County Cooperative Purchasing Contract $26,750.00)
The City's labor contracts with the Ann Arbor Police Officers Association and the Ann Arbor Police Supervisors require that vehicles used by their members will not be driven more than 80,000 miles or 6 years, whichever comes first. The police detective vehicle listed on this resolution will replace a vehicle that will have reached the 80,000 miles limit in the next year.
CA-3. Board of Insurance Administration minutes of February 27, 2014.
These minutes are curiously incomplete, as they do not record the amounts of money that the city settled insurance claims for, and thus it's impossible to tell if these were routine inexpensive settlements or unusual large settlements. All of the claims for pothole damage were denied. I've asked for more info on the settlement amounts.
CA-4 through CA-10. Street closings for various functions.
Listed here in date order:
6th Annual Box Cart Race / Soap Box Derby, March 29, 2014
Burns Park Run, Sunday May 4, 2014
Cinco de Mayo party, Tuesday May 6, 2014
Springfest, April 10, 2014
Live on Washington, May 10, 2014
Dexter Ann Arbor Run, June 1, 2014
Mayor's Green Fair, June 14, 2014
CA-11. Resolution to Temporarily Relocate Precinct 1-7 from Pierpont Commons, 2101 Bonisteel, to Northwood Community Center (Family Housing), for the City Primary Election to be held on Tuesday, August 5, 2014 due to Construction at Pierpont Commons

Motions and resolutions

DC-1. Designating an Urban Public Park Location on the Library Lot Site.
This is delayed from a previous meeting and is expected to be part of citizen commentary before the meeting. There are 17 "whereas" clauses in the resolution and 4 "resolved" clauses, but there is not a single dime of budget allocated to the task. 12,000 sq ft of the Fifth Ave portion of the surface of the Library Lot structure would be designated a public park.
DC-2. Waive Attorney-Client Privilege with Respect to the February 25, 2014 City Attorney Memorandum on Property Assessment.
"Whereas, Often the general public is unaware of the laws governing the manner in which the City Assessor is required to assess homes and the effect of a reduction of the assessment for one year by the Board of Review and/or the Michigan Tax Tribunal on the property tax assessment for the subsequent year." The City Attorney has prepared a memo on the topic, and the resolution would direct him to file it with the City Clerk for publication.
DC-3. Recognizing the Pearls and Ivy Foundation Inc. as a Civic Nonprofit Organization Operating in Ann Arbor for the Purpose of Obtaining a Charitable Gaming License
This foundation is associated with Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.
DC-4. Recommending Ann Arbor City Council Direct the Development of a Commercial Building Energy Benchmarking and Disclosure Ordinance
The Energy Commission is recommending commercial buildings annually report energy consumption in a format consistent with the free online energy benchmarking system, ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, provided by the U.S. EPA. Streamlined services like Portfolio Manager are built into the annual disclosure process to allow simple reporting of annual energy usage. This resolution requests a stakeholder group be convened to develop and present a draft ordinance by the start of 2015. 
DC-5. Recommending Staff Resourcing for Community Energy Efficiency
Resolved, Ann Arbor City Council direct the City Administrator to restore a second community energy position as an FTE (full time equivalent) to create and implement additional community energy efficiency, conservation, and renewable energy programs that further the Climate Action Plan's adopted targets, reduce our community GHG emissions, provide economic benefit to our community and help to preserve our quality of life. (No budget allocation is provided for this request.)
DC-6. Resolution to Waive Attorney-Client Privilege with Respect to the August 9, 2012 Advisory Memorandum from the City’s Outside Bond Counsel
Regarding a 2012 advisory memo from Bowden Brown of Dykema Gossett provided the City  on the limitations on private business use of City public parking facilities financed with outstanding federally tax-advantaged bond issues (i.e. tax-exempt and tax credit bond issues) (Bond Financed Decks); this resolution would cause that memo to be published.
DC-7. Reprieve for Banfield's.
At our last meeting, Banfield's liquor license (3140 Packard) was recommended for non-renewal. The City Treasurer has now confirmed the delinquent obligations have been paid in full.  Renewal of the License is recommended.
DC-8. Direct the City Administrator to List for Sale 319 South Fifth and to Retain Real Estate Brokerage Services
Much like the Old Y Lot was sold for the city by a broker, this resolution would direct the City Administrator to engage the services of a real estate broker to sell the 319 South Fifth ("Library Lot") space. "RESOLVED, That City Council deems the highest and best use for the property located at 319 South Fifth (Library Lane) to be mixed-use consisting of commercial, residential, and public use."
DS-1. Resolution to Approve Changes to Bylaws of the Ann Arbor City Planning Commission.
The Ann Arbor City Planning Commission recommends approval of the attached amended bylaws. Article VII, Section 16 of the bylaws were amended to change the advance notice required for special accommodations from 24 hours to two business days.
DS-2. Resolution to Approve a Contract with the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office for Weapons Screening Services in the Ann Arbor Justice Center for the 15th Judicial District Court ($160,000.00)
The Sheriff's Office and the Court estimate that three Court Security Officers will be assigned per day to the Court on staggered schedules to accommodate the ebb and flow of Court business during a typical business day.  Because the proposed contract is a "per-hour" contract, the total daily or weekly number of hours worked may be fine-tuned to match visitor volume and reduced Court business hours. ($26.24 per hour per person.)
DS-3. Resolution Accepting Easement for Stormwater Drainage Facilities at 3500 Fox Hunt Drive from Robert A. Young and Andrea G. Jensen (8 Votes Required)
RESOLVED, That the City Council approves payment of $60,000.00 to Robert A. Young and Andrea G. Jensen, husband and wife, for an easement for stormwater drainage facilities across 3500 Fox Hunt Drive.
DS-4. 14-0201 Resolution to Appropriate Funds and Approve Purchase of Two Clark C30 Forklifts for City Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) from Fraza Forklifts ($55,268.00) (8 Votes Required)
The existing two forklifts at the MRF are being rented for $2,000.00 per month, or $12,000.00 per year for each forklift.  The purchase cost will be covered by savings in rental charges in 2.3 years.  The expected life of the new forklifts is three to five years. Purchasing the units will result in the elimination of these rental charges.


F-1. Capital Improvements Plan Adjustments for FY15-20
From the minutes of the City Planning Commission: 
Parekh said that there are so many great things included in the CIP plan and he felt the citizens would get more excited if they knew about these plans and when they were competed. He asked how the general public finds out when projects are done.  
Gosselin explained that they attempted last year to get information added through the CIP on the ward by ward map but were not as successful as they had hoped. She said she is trying to add more onto the CIP page and together with the City’s revisions to the website things will be easier to find and see.
F-2. Downtown Development Authority Annual Reports - Fiscal Years 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007
This is a new record for late submission of documents for the clerk's report; the DDA never sent their annual reports from 2004-2007 to the city until now.
F-3. Sidewalk Occupancy Permits and Peddler’s Licenses for April 5, 2014
Hash Bash is held annually on the University of Michigan (UM) Diag.  This year's event is on April 5, 2014.  Because the event takes place on University property and does not involve street closings, the City has no jurisdiction over approval of the event.  In order to reduce congestion in the Diag area the City has, however, administratively suspended and/or revoked sidewalk occupancy permits and peddler's licenses in the immediate area at the request of the University and Ann Arbor Police for at least the last six years.
F-4. Letter to Kelli Sobel, Executive Director, State Tax Commission dated February 26, 2014
(City Administrator - Steven D. Powers, City Administrator)
The State Tax Commission audited the city for compliance on assessment records and found a number of deficiencies, including the late filing of meeting minutes with the City Clerk. This letter addresses the issues that were found and remedied.

G. Minutes from boards and commissions.

City council is often the last to be informed when a board or commission approves meeting minutes. Some examples below; also note above the decade-long delay in getting the DDA annual report.
G-1. Public Market Advisory Commission minutes of July 2013.
Approved minutes are available on Legistar through November 2013.
G-2. City Planning Commission Meeting Minutes October 15, 2013
Approved minutes are available on Legistar through February 20, 2014.  
G-3. Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes of November 20, 2013
Approved minutes are available on Legistar through January 22, 2014. 
G-4. G-5. Design Review Board Meeting Minutes of December 18, 2013 and January 15, 2014.
Approved minutes are available on Legistar through February 19, 2014.
G-6.  Council Liquor License Review Committee Meeting Minutes - January 17, 2014
These are the latest minutes available in Legistar.
G-7. Cable Commission Meeting Minutes of August 27, 2013
No meeting minutes are available in Legistar.
G-8. City Election Commission meeting minutes of August 1 and August 27, 2013.
No meeting minutes available in Legistar. 
G-9. Park Advisory Commission Meeting Minutes of January 28, 2014
The latest minutes recorded in Legistar are from October 15, 2013. 
G-10.  Audit Committee Meeting Minutes - March 10, 2014
No meeting minutes available in Legistar.

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