Council talks budget plans for lighting, road repairs

Rita Morris/Daily
Craig Hupy, Ann Arbor's Public Services Administrator, proposes a budget for the Public Services General Fund during the City Council Hall Meeting at Larcom City Hall Monday. Buy this photo

By Anastassios Adamopoulos, Daily Staff Reporter
Published March 23, 2015

Ann Arbor City Council convened for another discussion on the 2016 and 2017 fiscal year budgets Monday evening. The meeting focused on public services, including street lighting, streets and facilities upgrades.

Craig Hupy, Ann Arbor’s public services administrator, presented the city staff’s proposal for this section of the general fund.

Following the lifting of a 10-year moratorium on new streetlights last month, the Council heard plans for potential streetlight expenditures for the next two years.

Among the staff’s recommendations is a $750,000 investment in Kerrytown street lighting in the 2017 fiscal year and an additional $3.25 million for other areas in and outside the downtown area. Hupy said the Kerrytown investment includes 90 street poles and will replace all current lights in the area.

While Hupy said Kerrytown lighting has been identified for attention, the city has not yet discussed the actual installation with Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority.

Councilmember Stephen Kunselman (D–Ward 3) spoke in favor of the Kerrytown investment.

“I would highly encourage that the DDA help fund substantially the Kerrytown project,” he said.

The report states that each streetlight pole in the city will cost $43,013 over 40 years, which would include the costs of replacement parts, energy and labor.

Hupy the city will consider requests for additional or upgraded street lighting and rank them against other general fund priorities.

The Council also discussed several forthcoming street projects, including a proposal encouraging extensive street reconstruction and resurfacing projects.

The report proposes expenditures amounting $7.1 million for annual street resurfacing and $3.7 million for major reconstructions for both years, with another $7.4 million for street and right of way maintenance.

Several major and smaller local streets are up for resurfacing in 2015, including the stretch of Packard Street between State Street and Stadium Boulevard and State Street from Eisenhower Parkway to I-94.

Councilmember Julie Grand (D–Ward 3) said undergoing multiple projects at the same time could be problematic.

City Engineer Nick Hutchinson said Ann Arbor plans to take precautions to let residents know about upcoming projects.

“There will be notices to traffic control as the projects approach,” he said. “(With) some of the major projects on more major streets with higher traffic volumes, we will do what we can to get actual signs out in advance of the construction to let people know what's coming so that it doesn't just surprise them one day...”

A significant portion of the budget is dedicated to fleet and facilities expenditures, which amount to more than $1.2 million and $272,500 for the 2016 and 2017 fiscal year, respectively.

These expenditures include fire station renovations, program rehabilitations and elevator replacements as well as repair and remediation of city-owned property at 415. W. Washington, estimated to cost $300,000.

The staff proposes a second renovation the City Council Chambers in the 2016 fiscal year at an estimated to cost of $140,000.

City Council will vote to adopt the budget for the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years on May 18.