Ann Arbor City Council: February 21, 2023

Feb 21, 2023 | City Council

This Ann Arbor City Council meeting was held in person at City Hall. Members of the public can participate in public hearings and public comment either in person or via phone.

Mayor Taylor was absent
CM Briggs was absent
CM Song was absent

Ann Arbor City Council Meeting Summary

APPROVED: A resolution directing a new beginning of collaboration with the University of Michigan for reconstruction of the East Medical Center Drive bridge at an added cost of $2,050,000. The City’s contribution will be $500,000. Construction will be delayed to 2024. (Legistar)

  • This resolution was added to the January 23, 2023 agenda in substitution for a construction contract that would have rehabilitated and widened the East Medical Center Drive bridge in the 2023 construction session. It was postponed twice before approval at this meeting.
  • In discussion on January 23, 2023, City Council added language to the resolution requiring physical barriers as part of the sidewalk design. At the February 21, 2023 meeting, this reference to barriers was removed by friendly amendment. City staff explained that such barriers could only be installed on one side, would not provide additional safety, and would cost over a million dollars to implement.
  • https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2023/02/ann-arbor-oks-compromise-for-michigan-medicine-bridge-widening.html

APPROVED: A grant application to the U.S Department of Energy will ask for funds to support a Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) and design, installation, and testing of microgrids at Bryant, Main Street, and a not-yet-built development to be determined. The federal Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) grant program can award a maximum of $250 million with fifty percent local matching funds. The City department of Sustainability and Innovations Sustainability & Innovations plans to request $40 – $50 million, with the City providing the majority of matching funds with proceeds from a millage approved by voters in November 2022. (Legistar)

APPROVED: An agreement with University of Michigan for $450,000 will support water treatment services. As part of preparation for a new water treatment plant, the City will run a “pilot water treatment plant”: a smaller-scale production system, to test and validate the proposed treatment changes before detailed design and construction of the new facility. The approved agreement is a partnership allows faculty and students from the University of Michigan to provide operational assistance, sampling, laboratory testing, data collection, analysis and reporting services for the pilot plant. (Legistar)

APPROVED: Amendments of the City’s Non-Discrimination ordinance. This ordinance prohibits discrimination based on a number of identities/circumstances such as actual or perceived age, arrest record, color, disability, educational association, ethnicity, etc. As amended, language is to added to include use of a “government issued ID card” to this list. A government-issued ID card is defined in the ordinance: one that may be issued by a federal, state or local government, specifically Washtenaw County. The ordinance prohibits discrimination against someone for use of such cards, except where there is “reasonable grounds” for determining it is counterfeit/improper or where federal/state law or court order requires different identification. (Legistar)

APPROVED: An agreement with Elevate Energy for $300,000 will provide administration and distribution services for a Low-Income Sustainability Grant program. The grant program will support households below 80% Area Median Income (AMI) with up to $10,000 for improvements that support home comfort, safety and efficiency. (Legistar)

APPROVED: An Ordinance amendment to repeal and replace the whole of Chapter 19 (Tax Exemptions for Housing Projects). This Chapter allows property tax exemption for certain low-income housing projects, also known as a PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes). Currently, the chapter allows tax exemptions for affordable housing projects priced at 60% Area Median Income (AMI). The new Chapter allows tax exemption for housing projects priced at 80% AMI. (Legistar)

APPROVED: By resolution, Council approved a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) for the Annex Group, which plans to acquire and develop 2050 Commerce Drive with 250 affordable homes, with an average household income at or below 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI). This project is newly eligible for PILOT due to final approval of the ordinance change in B-1 (see above). The changes in B-1 expand tax exemptions to housing projects for persons and families earning up to 80% of Area Median Income with a project average of 60% of Area Median Income. The housing project will be exempted from all ad valorem property taxes and shall pay an annual service charge in lieu of taxes equal to one dollar ($1.00) for each eligible housing unit in the housing project. (Legistar)

APPROVED: A resolution asking the City’s lobbyist to monitor, advocate for, and support common-sense gun safety legislation, including but not limited to, safe storage laws, universal background checks, extreme risk protection orders, protection for domestic violence survivors, and restoration of local control over firearms on public property. Note: the possession of weapons or firearms in public places is governed by state law. (Legistar)

POSTPONED: Street closures scheduled for April 1, 2023 would have permitted the Monroe Street Fair to take place adjacent to the Hash Bash. For over twenty years, the Fair has traditionally been held in coordination with the Hash Bash, providing restrooms and space for attendees of the Hash Bash to congregate. Last year and this year, the U of M plans to host the Spring Game on the same day. The City’s Fire Chief and Interim Police Chief asked Council to reject the permit for the Monroe Street Fair, because the combination of all three events in close proximity were a safety concern, compromising emergency response time. Council postponed making a decision until the next meeting on March 6, 2023. (Legistar)

A2Council Update Video

A2ELNEL Voting Chart

Ann Arbor City Council Voting Chart for February 21, 2023 Part 1
Ann Arbor City Council Voting Chart for February 21, 2023 Part 2
Ann Arbor City Council Voting Chart for February 21, 2023 Part 3

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