Ann Arbor making preparations for greenway park at 721 N. Main
Ryan J. Stanton | AnnArbor.com
The city has been talking for years about transforming the old maintenance yard behind the Ann Arbor Community Center into a green open space with trails.
"Tonight's resolution is the next step in our community's realization of a greenway," said Bob Galardi, president of the Allen Creek Greenway Conservancy. "It serves as a transition from the city supporting the concept of a greenway to committing to breaking ground."
City of Ann Arbor
With a contingency built in, the demolition could cost up to $34,779.
The city received grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to pay for 75 percent of the cost to demolish two city-owned storage structures.
The city is still seeking grant funding to help cover the larger $1.2 million project to create a greenway park at 721 N. Main. Stormwater features, native plantings and interpretive signage are proposed.
The city has applied for grants from the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission ($150,000), the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund ($300,000), and the Transportation Alternatives Program through the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments/Michigan Department of Transportation ($600,000). Another $150,000 would come from the city's stormwater fund.
To date, the city has been able to secure the Washtenaw County parks grant for $150,000, contingent upon successful receipt of the $300,000 state grant. The city is expected to know later this fall whether it will get the other grants.
The state trust fund grant requires a council-approved resolution indicating the city will fund the project if other grants do not materialize, and so the City Council voted Monday night to appropriate general fund reserves up to $750,000 to meet that requirement.
"For years people have talked about this," said Council Member Mike Anglin, D-5th Ward. "This is the first time the city is willing to commit a good sum of money. Before it was only resolutions."
The two structures being demolished are located in the floodway of the Allen Creek. One measures 50 feet by 116 feet and was once used by the city for road salt storage. The second measures 36 feet by 200.5 feet and was once used for large vehicle storage.
The larger maintenance garage at 721 N. Main is located outside the floodway (but still in the floodplain) and is not part of the demolition work, so it will remain in place.
According to a description provided by Jerry Hancock, the city's stormwater and floodplain programs coordinator, the demolition work includes the removal of the two structures and their foundations and the asphalt surface between them, and removal and disconnection of two stormwater inlets and stormwater piping that was intentionally connected to the sanitary system.
Site restoration work will follow. All disturbed areas will be graded out with topsoil applied and then seeded and mulched to establish native prairie vegetation.
Galardi said the 721 N. Main project will benefit the community in many ways. He said it begins to address downtown green space issues, serves as an important component of the North Main entrance to the city and enables the first elements to the Allen Creek Greenway.
"The overall implementation of the Allen Creek Greenway will help address safety issues by separating bicyclists, walkers, joggers and inline skaters from vehicular traffic," he said.
"The greenway will also provide safe connection to the Border-to-Border Trail and access to the Cascades and Argo Pond."
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at email@example.com or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's email newsletters.