At its regularly scheduled Monday meeting, the Ann Arbor City Council will consider resolutions regarding city liquor licenses, extensions of wastewater contracts with Scio Township and updates to the city’s document policies under Freedom of Information laws.

Approval of liquor license for Miya restaurant

The Council will hear a resolution requesting the approval of a liquor license for Miya, a Japanese restaurant located at 715 N. University Ave., formerly the site of Sushi.com.

The motion received unanimous approval from the city’s Liquor License Review Committee, which determined that Miya met all state and local requirements to receive such a license under policies of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority.

Among these, Miya was required to demonstrate “measurable contribution to the community” and at least $75,000 worth of investments into developing the property within the last five years.

Though liquor licenses must be approved by the city, they may be bought and sold by commercial ventures once issued. In Ann Arbor, these licenses can fetch as much as $60,000, as they are a major source of development for local businesses.

Extension of Wastewater Treatment Agreement with Scio Township

The Council will hear a resolution to extend agreements between the city and Scio Township that has permitted Scio to use Ann Arbor’s wastewater treatment systems for the last 30 years.

The agreement originally allotted Scio up to 2.05 million gallons of sanitary sewage per day, but Scio has historically used about half of that amount. The resolution therefore also dictates that the contract “should be revised and restated to define the relationships, rights and obligations of the City and Scio Township going forward.”

If approved, the agreement would extend the contract to 2024 and provide an option for extension in 10-year increments to 2044.

The resolution noted that while Scio has expressed interest in continuing the agreement, the township has also secured land for the construction of its own treatment plant.

Revision to Freedom of Information policies

Council will be presented a resolution that would instruct City Administrator Steve Powers to “renew his efforts” to revise and update the city’s policies regarding its public documents.

As a public body, the city must make certain documents available under the Freedom of Information Act. The policies under which these documents would be released have been under revision since early 2013.

Dave Askins, editor of The Ann Arbor Chronicle, which ceased publication in September, provided the Council with detailed feedback regarding proposed changes in March.

Additionally, FOIA revisions at the state level have been under discussion since 2013, though the resolution acknowledges that neither the city nor the state has moved forward in approving any revisions.

The resolution calls for the city’s FOIA policy to increase transparency and for the establishment of FOIA officers for both the city and Council. It also calls for changes to the appeal process and waived fees for media outlets.

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