City Council to discuss state ballot proposal on road funding

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By Anastassios Adamopoulos, Daily Staff Reporter
Published March 12, 2015

The Ann Arbor City Council will meet Monday to discuss a number of topics, including a resolution to support a state ballot proposal for allocation of funds by the Michigan Department of Transportation, the annexation of the Nixon Farm and a report from the Delonis Center.

Ballot Proposal 15-1

City Council will hear a resolution to support of State Ballot Proposal 15-1, a part of a proposal to improve Michigan’s roads passed earlier this year by the state legislature.

Because the proposal includes amending the state sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent, which changes the state constitution, it requires a statewide vote that will occur May 5. If passed, among other changes it will allow funds to be allocated to the counties of Michigan for a variety of infrastructure-related improvements.

According to the Transportation Revenue Sales Tax Ballot Proposal, Washtenaw County will receive an estimated $21,402,244 for the 2016 fiscal year, $25,339,238 for the 2017 fiscal year and $29,276,232 for the 2018 fiscal year and beyond.

Of these funds, Ann Arbor would receive $9,193,546 for the fiscal year of 2016, $10,851,563 for the 2017 fiscal year and $12,509,579 for the 2018 fiscal year and beyond.

Along with the sales tax increase, the ballot proposal would increase the fuel tax and modify tax credits and school funding, among other changes.

The earned income tax credit will rise from 6 percent to 20 percent of the federal credit amount and eligibility for these credits will increase. Additionally there would be a $300 million annual increase for the School Aid Fund, $100 million more for revenue sharing and more funding for community colleges. Universities will no longer receive funding from School Aid monies, but Snyder has said the difference will be made up from other sources.

In Ann Arbor, the funds for the proposal are slated for used on a variety of projects in the city like fixing roads. The state gas taxes will also be used for transportation.

The legislation text notes that 24 percent of the City of Ann Arbor’s streets are classified as in poor condition.

Nixon Farm Annexation

Council will hear two related resolutions: one resolution calls for the annexation of the Nixon Farm North, a 69-acre area and the other for the Nixon Farm South, a 41-acre area.

Should City Council adopt the resolutions, the city of Ann Arbor would take on the designated areas of the Nixon Farms from the Ann Arbor Township. Each resolution requires eight votes to pass.

The resolutions note that the City Planning Commission proposed the annexation at a meeting held Oct. 21, 2014.

Delonis Center

City Council will also hear an interim report on the winter expansion of the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County at the Delonis Center. The Warming Center expanded its operations to full-time hours from November to March.

According to the report that will be presented to Council, the shelter required that all occupants register through the Housing Access of Washtenaw County and go through a screening test.

The report notes that through Feb. 27, 2015, 488 unique individuals were screened at the Delonis Center and referred to the Warming Center.

Subsequently, 367 people used the Warming Center 1, Warming Center 2 or the Rotating Shelter.

Council will also hear about the challenges the Delonis Center faced that included reluctance of some people to go to the Warming Center and the refusal by some to go through the screening process.