In the News

“Ann Arbor Votes”

Ann Arbor Votes is a local voter resource website.  It is a project of The CivCity Initiative, a nonpartisan nonprofit working to build a more informed, engaged community.  Click on the link below to find out details about Jane’s performance on City Council, including the resolutions and ordinances she has sponsored in her six years on Council and a list of the committees she serves on.  The site has links to a number of articles in the Ann Arbor News in which her views and votes are described. annarborvotes.org/jane-lumm/

LWV Candidate Forum for Ann Arbor Ward 2

Click on this link to view Jane’s recent appearance at the League of Women Voters Candidate Forum.

A New Train Station for Ann Arbor?

Jane is known for her questions about city spending, fiscal responsibility, using your tax dollars wisely, and pushing City Hall for transparency on key issues. Here’s an example.

ANN ARBOR NEWS

Posted on MLive September 12, 2017 at 1:30 PM

$80M cost estimate for Ann Arbor train station project questioned

By Ryan Stanton, ryanstanton@mlive.com

ANN ARBOR, MI – Ann Arbor’s chief financial officer says the city doesn’t have the money to do all it wants to do.

In addition to being unable to set aside enough funding to maintain existing assets such as street lights, park facilities and fire stations, he says there’s insufficient funding to invest in new capital improvements.

Projects on the city’s wish list that CFO Tom Crawford highlighted during a City Council revenue discussion Monday night, Sept. 11, include improvements along street corridors such as State, Main and Huron, new fire stations, affordable and workforce housing initiatives, climate and energy initiatives, a proposed $55 million urban trail, and an $80 million train station and parking deck project that would require an estimated $16 million local contribution.

That prompted Council Member Jane Lumm, an independent from the 2nd Ward, to ask: “When did that become an $80 million project?”

The city has been exploring options for a new Amtrak train station to replace the one on Depot Street for more than a decade, and the city is still going through an environmental assessment process with the state and federal government to determine the best location — either on Depot Street or along Fuller Road in Fuller Park in front of the University of Michigan Hospital.

The city’s capital improvement plan includes an estimated cost of $65 million for the train station and related parking deck construction, plus another $2.6 million for final design.

Lumm said she wanted to know when it went from being a $65 million project to an $80 million project.

“This is not intended to be a project update,” Crawford said, responding to Lumm’s question about the $80 million figure in his presentation. “I just grabbed something that I saw and threw it in.”

“Is there anything new to report on the timing of the release of the train station EA?” Lumm asked, referring to the environmental assessment report, which was expected to be under public review by now.

Crawford said he didn’t have an update, but City Administrator Howard Lazarus said he spoke with the Federal Railroad Administration on Monday and the city’s environmental assessment package is with the FRA leadership. He said the FRA has some questions and is seeking clarifications and it could be released soon.

“If everything goes like it should, I would hope that that document will be available for public review next week, but, as we know, schedule estimates on the train station have been notoriously unreliable,” Lazarus said. “But I think we’re pretty close to the end.”

Asked by Lumm whether federal funding for the project is continuing, Lazarus said the city is going to need to seek new sources of funding for design and construction once the environmental assessment and preliminary engineering is done.

The city still assumes 80 percent of the money would come from the federal government, with a 20 percent local match.