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File #: 18-1749    Version: Name: 11/19/18 - Resolution No. 2 Northside STEAM SRTS Sidewalk Gap Project
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 11/19/2018 In control: City Council
On agenda: 1/7/2019 Final action: 1/7/2019
Enactment date: 1/7/2019 Enactment #: R-18-501
Title: Resolution No. 2 - Northside STEAM Safe Routes to School Sidewalk Gap Project - Sidewalk Special Assessment
Attachments: 1. Northside STEAM SRTS Sidewalk Properties.pdf, 2. Northside STEAM SRTS Sidewalk Assessment.pdf, 3. AAPS Letter A2STEAM_Huron City Resolutions 12_03_18.pdf, 4. 181211 STEAM design revisions MemoFinal.pdf, 5. Northside STEAM SRTS Sidewalk AssessmentREV 12.12.18.pdf


Resolution No. 2 - Northside STEAM Safe Routes to School Sidewalk Gap Project - Sidewalk Special Assessment


Attached for your review and approval is a resolution to establish the estimated cost and distribution of costs for new sidewalk to be constructed as part of the Northside STEAM Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Sidewalk Gap Project (Sidewalk Special Assessment District #51).


The Ann Arbor STEAM Safe Routes to School committee received a grant from SRTS Michigan to provide technical assistance in the completion of the SRTS process, development of action plans, and ultimately submitting a grant application. The technical team from Michigan State University led the Ann Arbor STEAM committee through the SRTS process, which included a walking audit, a biking audit, and three public meetings. The Northside STEAM SRTS committee prioritized the infrastructure improvements proposed in the action plans.  These improvements consist primarily of filling gaps in the sidewalk system and constructing ADA-compliant ramps in the neighborhood around the school in order to create a better walking environment for students making their way to the school.


As called for in City Code, the cost for the addition of new sidewalk where none currently exists is borne by the parcels that benefit from the improvements.  Because this is a federal-aid project, approximately $400,000.00 of the construction cost of the sidewalk will be paid by the SRTS Grant. The remainder of the costs will be local share. The City’s ability to use grant funds for this project creates the opportunity for the private property owners impacted by the special assessment to receive the sidewalk improvements at a lower cost.


City staff met with affected property owners in June of 2018 for the Administrative Hearing in the Special Assessment process.  The project background, proposed sidewalk plans, proposed assessment costs, and the special assessment process were discussed at the meeting.  Many residents were opposed to the project, citing the assessment cost, the fear of tree removals (and the potential of decreased property values because of this), and safety concerns (such as the intersection of Barton Dr. and Starwick Dr.)


City staff and the Northside STEAM SRTS committee reconvened after the Administrative Hearing, and reduced the project limits based on priorities.  This resulted in a reduction of preliminary estimated assessments costs from $89/ft to $48/ft.  The sidewalks remaining in the special assessments district include:


                     Brookside between Delafield and Pontiac

                     The northwest quadrant of Barton Dr. & Starwick Dr.

                     Traver Street between John A Woods and Barton Dr.

                     John A Woods Dr. between Pontiac and Pear St.


To further address resident concerns, innovative sidewalk alignments and curb relocation were designed to reduce impacts on affected properties (e.g., limiting tree removals).  Staff added additional signage at the Barton/Starwick intersection and designed improvements that could be constructed with a future capital project.


These improvements were included in the grant application submitted in July 2018. On July 26, 2018, the City received MDOT’s Conditional Commitment to the Safe Routes to School infrastructure project. The official grant award will come when final plans and estimates are submitted and funds are obligated.


Design modifications were shared with each property owner in the special assessment district through mailings, and as a group at a second public meeting held on October 4, 2018.  Feedback from residents at this meeting included the opinion that sidewalks were not needed in the neighborhood, concern over the cost and equity of the special assessment, and concern about the method in which the SRTS committee selected their priority routes. A full meeting summary can be found on the project website at: <>.


Draft plans, specifications, and an engineer’s estimate were submitted to MDOT for preliminary plan review October 8, 2018.


On October 2, 2017 City Council approved Resolution R-17-377 in support of the application for Safe Routes to School funding. On February 20, 2018 City Council approved Resolution No. 1 (R-18-055) to direct the City Administrator to prepare plans and specifications for the project.


By approval of this resolution, City Council would be committing the City to continuing with the grant process. Failure to continue the with the grant process will result in the City being penalized on future Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) competitive grant applications, which includes the Safe Routes to School Program, for a period of at least two years. If the attached Resolution (and subsequent special assessment resolutions) is not approved by City Council, absent an alternative appropriation, the City is likely to scrap the project, which will result in the forfeiture of the grant.


Maintenance Impacts

Routine maintenance, such as snow clearing, will be the responsibility of adjacent property owners. Long-term repairs/replacement of sidewalk slabs adjacent to taxable parcels will be performed by the City, as is currently done under the voter approved sidewalk millage.


Budget/Fiscal Impact: This Northside STEAM SRTS Sidewalk Gap Project is included in the FY19 capital budget. Below are estimated Project Revenues:


SRTS Grant                                                                                                         $ 406,000.00                      

Street, Bridge, and Sidewalk Millage                       $ 570,000.00 

Special Assessment                                                               $   97,000.00

Total Estimated Project Cost                                                  $1,073,000.00



Prepared by:  Nicholas Hutchinson, P.E., City Engineer

Reviewed by:  Craig Hupy, Public Services Area Administrator

Approved by:  Howard Lazarus, City Administrator


Whereas, Plans and specifications are being developed for the Northside STEAM SRTS Sidewalk Gap Project, District #51;


Whereas, In accordance with the City Code, the cost for the addition of new sidewalk is to be borne by the benefitting parcels;


Whereas, A construction estimate and appropriate funding sources have been established;


Whereas, Federal (Safe Routes to school) funds are available to fund a portion of the costs; and


Whereas, City Council approved Resolution R-17-377 in support of the application for Safe Routes to School funding and Resolution No. 1 (R-18-055) to direct the City Administrator to prepare plans and specifications for the project;


RESOLVED, That the City Council determines the cost of said sidewalk improvement, including all incidentals, to be $1,073,000.00, and that of said cost, the sum of $667,000.00 be a local share;


RESOLVED, That, of the local share, $97,000.00 be paid by special assessment upon the properties specially benefited;


RESOLVED, That the following described lots and parcels of land be designated as constituting the special assessment district against which the cost of said improvement shall be assessed: SEE ATTACHED;


RESOLVED, That the City Assessor is hereby directed to prepare a special assessment roll in accordance with the foregoing determinations of the City Council and to file the same, together with his certificate attached thereto, with the City Clerk for presentation to the City Council ; and


RESOLVED, That the City Administrator be authorized to take the necessary administrative actions to implement this resolution.


As Amended and Approved by Ann Arbor City Council on December 17, 2018