Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

FY2010 Proposed Budget Information

28. April 2009 • Matt Hampel
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The City of Ann Arbor has posted its 2010 draft budget (direct budget book PDF link here). Arbor Update ran character recognition software on the PDF and produced a semi-searchable Word document (6mb zip file containing a 14mb document).

I’ve also created an ArborWiki page for the budget to hold any interesting finds.

A note on finding budget information.

The City’s FY2010 budget page is cleverly disguised. While the 2009 budget is clearly labeled “Adopted Budget FY2009” on the finances pages, the 2010 information is wedged between 2007 and “prior years” with the not-so-intuitive title of “Town Hall”.

The budget book PDF looks like it was composed by a roundabout procedure. Some of the text comes straight from a document — it can be copied, selected, etc. The rest seems to have been printed from a spreadsheet file, then scanned in and added to a PDF. This means most of the budget — the useful bits — are not searchable.

There is a much easier way to combine files than printing and scanning them. If you have Adobe Acrobat Professional, select file -> create PDF -> from multiple files. This method also keeps the text searchable and selectable.



  1. Great work Matt! And thank you nudging the city to try to make this information more transparent!


       —Chuck Warpehoski    Apr. 29 '09 - 02:05PM    #
  2. The City Budget seems very evasive when it comes to outlining how the proposed budget cuts will actually affect us, the general public and those who do business in and with the City of Ann Arbor. In particular the budget cuts that have been proposed in the rental housing/building/inspection services involve staffing cuts. If the proposed budget is approved, it would mean longer lines at the rental housing/building/inspection office and longer wait time on phones. As it is now, we can almost never get through since there just isn’t enough staff as it is. If that front office would loose 2 more staff (there are only 3 there now), as the budget is proposing, it would be devastating for all of us contractors and developers who are forced to do business with that dept and with the city. How anyone could come up with such unrealistic budget cuts only proves how out of touch the managers of some city depts are.


       —Mr. James    May. 4 '09 - 01:52AM    #
  3. Mr. James: I think the building dept. is supported in large part by the fees paid for services and by developers with projects that need constant inspections. There are now almost no new projects in the city pipeline. Surely those in the city who oppose any new development, any change will be happy.

    But the sobering result will be no new tax revenue in future years and maintaining services will be increasingly difficult. Under the Michigan tax structure new devopment is the only way for local governements to increase revenue other than a millage increase. The slowdown in Michigan and now the whole US is finally arriving in Ann Arbor.


       —Ted Ancil    May. 4 '09 - 01:21PM    #