City Council to revisit administrator budget at Monday's meeting

Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 9:08pm

City Council Cheat Sheet Infographic

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Emily Schumer

Administrator’s Fiscal Year Budget for 2017, discuss approval of a site plan for a new high-rise located at 603 E. Huron St. and approve many street closings for local events such the Ann Arbor Summer Festival Top of the Park.

The council is also set to review approvals for construction costs of more than $7,000,000 in city improvement projects, such as a water service line replacement project, an Observatory Street improvement project and a 2016 street resurfacing project.

New student-oriented high-rise

A site plan for a new 12-story student housing building located at 603 E. Huron St. will be discussed at Monday’s meeting. The building, which is planned to be next to Campus Inn, is one of many student housing developments slated to be constructed around the downtown area in the coming years.

The site consideration comes three years after Foundry Lofts, a student housing building located only a block away from this new site, was approved for construction in May of 2013 by a close 6-5 council vote. The erection of Foundry Lofts resulted in resident outrage, and another City Council resolution to limit the height of future buildings along the north side of Huron Street to 120 feet.

If approved, the building would add 125 units to the existing local student housing market in Ann Arbor.

Adjusted City Administrator budget

The city will review a budget proposal presentation Monday for the city administrator’s fiscal year 2017, coming at the heels of the search for someone to fill the new administrator position. The council is set to officially consider the recommended budget May 16.

The presentation is slated to outline a city administrator focus on sustainability for the coming year. It also will detail how the council’s adherence to policy guidelines has resulted in a “sound financial position” for the city’s Fiscal Year 2016.

According to a memo released by the City Administrator’s Office, the amount of money going to various one-time requests, recurring requests and public service related funds will increase from the original fiscal year 2016-2017 plan.

In the memo, Interim City Administrator Tom Crawford described the budget as well-planned and well-executed.

“City employees and City Council over the past decade have built a solid financial foundation,”Crawford said. “This foundation has been essential to the city providing the

Local events leading to street closures

Multiple local events needing street closure will be subject to approval at the meeting, such as the approval of the Dexter-Ann Arbor Run set to take place on June 5, which would require the closure of the north end of Main Street for the finish line.

Along with the potential June 5 street closure, a large portion of Main Street will be closed on May 8, pending council approval, for the Ann Arbor Goddess 5K to benefit the Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance. Besides Main Street, East Liberty Street between Main and Maynard streets will be closed for the 5K as well.

The council will also vote to approve street closure for Ann Arbor’s summer festival, Top of the Park. The festival would close East Washington Street between South Thayer and Fletcher streets from June 10 through July 3, 2016.

Construction costs

The council will vote on eight different resolutions involving an approval of money release to different projects, many of which will cost more than $1,000,000 in city funding.

One project, a water line service replacement, will cost more than $500,000 and aims to improve local water pipelines that may be in need of replacement due to years of wear.

Another project set to be voted on will require $1,288,808.51 to pay a local construction company for repair work on Observatory Street, which holds many of the University of Michigan’s Hill Neighborhood dorms.

The most expensive project to be voted on during Monday’s meeting is the local 2016 street resurfacing project, which is the city’s large-scale street improvement effort. Major streets that would undergo improvements from these funds, such as pothole and drainage repair, include parts of Dexter Avenue, Eisenhower Parkway, Green Road, Huron River Drive and Packard Road.

Appointments and Confirmations

The confirmation of University alum Joshua Bosman as a new member of the Taxicab Board will also be brought before the council. The Taxicab Board is responsible for overseeing the function of taxicabs operated in within the city, and is a group comprised of both residents and a City Council representative.  

“I’ve always wanted to be more involved in the political process, especially somewhere like Ann Arbor where it is municipal enough to matter,” Bosman said in an interview. “I felt like it would be a good decision for me as a recent graduate.”

Also up for consideration is John Torgersen, a current database administrator for the University of Michigan, as a new member of the Cable Communications Commission.