Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

City Council: Budgets

21. May 2007 • Juliew
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Monday, May 21 at 7:00 pm.
Ann Arbor City HallCity Council Agenda


  • Zion Lutheran Church site plan
  • Rezoning of 8.06 undeveloped acres on Burton Road (off Packard) from R1C (Single-Family Dwelling District) to R4B (Multiple-Family Dwelling District) in order to build a 120 unit apartment building
  • Resolution to Adopt Ann Arbor City Budget and Related Property Tax Millage Rates for Fiscal Year 2008
  • Several fee adjustment resolutions
  • Resolution to Approve Amendment to Professional Services Agreement with Quinn Evans|Architects for the Planning and Design of the Ann Arbor Municipal Center ($833,350.00)

  1. There are many people who are not happy with the funding slated to be approved at this Council meeting. I received the following e-mail on Friday regarding the spending and fee resolutions:

    The 5/21/07 council agenda reveals what city officials are planning to do with the extra money voters thought would go to parks. The $1 million design contract for a new city hall is back on the agenda. Council agreed to spend $129,250 to get started and now Fraser wants an additional $833,350 to finish the design of a new municipal center. After all, the highest paid city administrator in the state should have the most impressive municipal center in the state, courtesy of Ann Arbor taxpayers. (agenda items DS8 and F1)

    City officials also want to spend $309,975 to buy new furniture for the new maintenance facility. Apparently new furniture is more important than keeping project grow and adaptive rec programs. The furniture list is 50 pages long. (agenda item DS1)

    In addition to paying higher taxes, park users will also be paying higher fees to use the parks. Nearly everything costs more. Residents will pay 15% more for a 2 hour river trip, while non-residents pay 9% less. Bike rentals are up 20% for residents and down 5% for non-residents. Cobblestone farm is being turned into a profit center with new fees that substantially exceed the city’s cost. (agenda item DS4).

    In addition, the Burton rezoning will most likely have a large turnout to the public meeting. Many of the long-time residents are objecting to the zoning change which will allow a very dense development in a currently single-family zoned area.

       —Juliew    May. 21 '07 - 01:43AM    #
  2. The emailer wrote: “Apparently new furniture is more important than keeping project grow and adaptive rec programs.”

    Raising the specter of Project Grow’s disappearance because of reduced allocations to parks from the general fund is an interesting rhetorical flourish. But Project Grow is a private non-profit.

    Perhaps the City’s relationship with PG extends beyond allowing PG to use City land to some actual financial support? Anyone have some facts not laced with unbridled passion for parks?

       —HD    May. 21 '07 - 05:03PM    #
  3. From the Town Hall Budget presentation this April, looks like the City is not going to give Project Grow $7,000. Given that Project Grow is a 501c3 corporation, I think it would be a great, local donation for anyone interested in supporting it.

       —Juliew    May. 21 '07 - 08:08PM    #
  4. HD, a variety of private non-profits such as Project Grow rely on donations by the City. If the money disappears, so may some of these groups.

       —David Cahill    May. 21 '07 - 10:11PM    #
  5. Thanks for the info on Project Grow. I am newly on the board (that doesn’t read right…but you know what I mean) and I can’t say enough great things about PG! :) We still have some plots available, too, if anyone wants to garden!!

       —TeacherPatti    May. 22 '07 - 02:43AM    #
  6. You left out a highlight: a resolution to join the Ecology Center in intervening in the upcoming DTE rate case in order to encourage a true renewable energy tariff.

       —brix    May. 22 '07 - 04:32PM    #
  7. Dave — another question about the Human Rights Party. Did you know Peter Denton? Any idea where he is now?

       —Dale    May. 22 '07 - 08:37PM    #
  8. No, I didn’t know Peter Denton. Please eschew drift.

    The citizens really got screwed last night. Council passed the budget with the big reduction for parks. Plus, by a 7-4 vote (Suarez, Hieftje, Johnson, and Kunselman opposing), Council voted to spend $800,000+ more on designing a new City Hall. This happened despite the fact that the mayor revealed that First Martin was willing to build a building cheaply and lease it to the city.

       —David Cahill    May. 22 '07 - 10:48PM    #
  9. Good advice, but I would like to ask about what steps the concerned residents of the Lower Town area are taking since the historic district was shot down? Any insight, Dave? And I have another question about how Hillary Clinton is polling among likely Democratic primary voters — do you have any updates to this comment?

       —Dale    May. 23 '07 - 05:51AM    #
  10. How sad – in addition to the spam-style denial of service type attacks (mortgage, Viagra, etc.), AU is apparently being plagued by someone masquerading as one of its founders. I’m sure the real Dale wouldn’t put so much off-thread stuff on.

       —anonymous too    May. 23 '07 - 04:55PM    #
  11. In other Council news, Council passed a resolution stating that the DDA could not spend $1.6 million of its budget without further Council approval. Bad feelings all around as a result.

       —David Cahill    May. 23 '07 - 07:43PM    #
  12. There was no indication from either First Martin or the Mayor that they could build a new building cheaper than it would cost the City to do on its own.

       —Bill T.    May. 24 '07 - 07:10AM    #
  13. I was not a founder.

       —Dale    May. 26 '07 - 12:10AM    #