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City Hall
151 Martin, P.O. Box 3001
Birmingham, MI 48012 
Ph. 248.530.1800
Fax 248.530.1080
December 2018

Welcome to the December 2018 edition of the Around Town e-Newsletter from the City of Birmingham. We hope you enjoy this e-newsletter and forward it to friends or family who may be interested in the City of Birmingham!
Inside City Hall with Birmingham City Manager, Joe Valentine

Inside City Hall December 2018
Inside City Hall December 2018

Experience the Holidays in Birmingham

It's a magical time of year in Birmingham! Take advantage of the following opportunities this holiday season:

Featuring horse-drawn carriage rides, Santa House and Tree Lighting Ceremony
Nov. 30 - Dec. 2 / Shain Park
Enjoy European food and drinks, gift items, holiday greens, ice sculptures, live reindeer, warming stations, Santa House, horse-drawn carriage rides and live entertainment in Shain Park.
On weekends throughout the holiday season, children are invited to visit the Santa House under the pavilion in Shain Park. Enjoy complimentary horse-drawn carriage rides throughout downtown
Birmingham. View the complete schedule for the Santa House and carriage rides at

Two  Hours of FREE Valet Parking
Enjoy two hours of FREE valet parking at two convenient locations this holiday season! From Saturday, November 24th through Monday, December 24th, shoppers and visitors will enjoy two hours of FREE valet parking at these locations: Hamilton near Ferndale, and South Old Woodward near Merrill. The service is offered Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Enjoy!
Stroll Among Holiday Lights in Birmingham

Downtown Birmingham is a place where people come from near and far to enjoy a picturesque and quaint atmosphere during a truly magical time of year. Birmingham offers a perfect location for shoppers and diners to enjoy a quiet walk through the illuminated tree-lined streets.

White lights adorn nearly 400 trees in downtown Birmingham with nearly 800,000 lights shining throughout town. In addition, the city's 35-foot blue spruce holiday tree boasts an additional 22,000 LED lights. The tree complements the glowing downtown area and creates the perfect scene for a holiday stroll and a festive backdrop for photos.
On weekends throughout the holiday season, children are invited to visit the Santa House under the pavilion in Shain Park. Brand new this year, an illuminated archway will lead the way to Santa's home! Visitors will also enjoy complimentary horse-drawn carriage rides throughout downtown Birmingham. View the complete schedule for the Santa House and carriage rides at
December News from the Birmingham Museum  

What would you want to say or show to people in 2068? Anyone attending Birmingham Public Schools will be given a chance to do just that in the Birmingham Bicentennial Time Capsule! The capsule will be buried in Shain Park and opened on Dec. 1, 2068, Birmingham's 250 th anniversary!

The rules are as follows:
1. Students must identify themselves with their submission-school, first name, age, and class/grade. Deadline: Dec. 31, 2018.
2. Material must be in electronic form, no larger than 10 MB per submission, and filename must have student's school, first name, age, and grade/class in the format: Schoolname_Firstname_age_Grade   (e.g., Beverly_Taylor_7_Grade2  or Groves_Ashton_15_Grade10). Sorry, files over 10 MB cannot be accepted.

Send your time capsule message with required filename format as an attachment to: with "Time Capsule" in email subject line by December 31!

The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and is located at  556 W. Maple Rd . Parking is available in the Chester St. structure on the south side of Maple. Admission is $7.00 for adults, $5.00 for students and seniors, children five and under are free. Please visit us on the web at:  or .
Choose correct mailing address when paying property taxes via online banking portals

The winter property tax payment window is open. The City reminds those taxpayers who pay their taxes online through their bank to select the following mailing address with your tax payment:

P.O. BOX 671732
DETROIT, MI 48267-1732

As you can see, the City's bank is in DETROIT! That is why the Detroit P.O. Box is listed for the payment. The City urges you to confirm that you have the correct P.O Box, City and Zip Code information when associated with your tax payment. If you do not include the correct city or zip code information, your payment may be at risk of not being delivered to the City.

The City also reminds you to please include your 12-digit parcel number 08-XX-XX-XXX-XXX which can be found on your tax bill, as your account number. For more information on tax payment options, please go to
Head to the Ice Arena for a Birmingham Unified Hockey Game

Formed in 1992, the Birmingham Unified Kings is a unified program for the Birmingham School District. Varsity and JV teams are made up of students from Groves and Seaholm high schools.  Home games are played   on Saturday  evenings through February. Learn more at
Still Time for Leaf Collection

All residents may continue to bag leaves and place them in approved containers curbside by 7 A.M. on your trash day now through the week of December 10th. If your street has curbs, check the map below to determine when leaves will be collected from your street. You are guaranteed one collection from the street during your designated weeks. Curbed street leaf collection will end in zone 1 and 2 during the week of December 3-7. We recommend raking your leaves into the street the weekend prior to your designated week.  For more information, visit

Preparations Underway for New Master Plan

The City is set to embark on the creation of a new, comprehensive Master Plan, a tool that will guide the future growth and development of the City.

The Master Plan process will begin in February 2019 and continue for approximately 18 months. One of the primary focuses of the new plan will be the study of residential areas of the City to evaluate existing conditions and enact a vision for the future. Throughout the process, there will be extensive opportunities for the public to participate and provide input through public visioning sessions, a new app, a website, phone interviews and public meetings. Further details will be forthcoming over the coming months.

The current Master Plan was written in 1980. Sub area plans have been completed over the years for some areas of the city, however, a comprehensive update has not been done City wide since 1980. The creation of the updated plan will be spearheaded by the renown Planning and Design consulting firm DPZ Co Design, which prepared the Downtown 2016 Plan that was adopted in 1996.
Preparing for Winter  

For the City's Department of Public Services (DPS) crews, collecting, loading and hauling nearly 5.2 million pounds of leaves from the city is the pre-season warmup for the real game: combating winter weather.
To be ready for winter this year, DPS has stocked nearly 3,000 tons of road salt. In addition, DPS continuously invests in the purchase and maintenance of snow fighting equipment and has sent new snow plow operators to specialized operating training courses to ready them for the season. All of these steps and numerous others, are part of DPS' winter preparation plan as the season nears.
"Our team is ready to answer the call at any hour when snow or ice makes for dangerous travel or hazardous walking conditions," said Lauren Wood, DPS Director. "Winter can be grueling, however, our crews will be rested and ready to respond to whatever Mother Nature has in store for us during the season."
For more information on the City's snow removal plan, go to the city website at .
Understanding the Snow Ordinance

Take measures to ensure you don't find yourself in violation of the ordinance regarding snow removal and snow parking bans. Here are the two most important requirements:
1) You are required to clear snow and ice on sidewalks that abut your property. If the snow stops falling during the day, your sidewalks must be cleared by no more than 12 hours later. If the snow stops falling during the night, all sidewalks must be cleared by 6 p.m. the following day. Sidewalks that are not cleared of snow and ice will be shoveled by the city and the property owner will be fined.
2) When a Snow Emergency is declared, residents must remove their cars from city streets so the snow plows can get through. Cars in violation of this ordinance will be ticketed.
View more information about  snow removal on the  city's web site .
December News from the Baldwin Library    
Idea Lab: Holiday Decorations
Saturday, December 1, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
or Thursday, December 6 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Drop in to make unique holiday decorations using the laser engraver and diecut machine.
Joni on Joni: Interviews and Encounters with Joni Mitchell
Monday, December 3, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Registration required.
Along with special guest Chuck Mitchell, acclaimed music writer Susan Whitall will discuss her new collection of interviews with Joni Mitchell.
Master Your College Essay
Wednesday, December 5, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Writing Coach Ken Droz will give you tips and suggestions on what college admissions departments look for and what traps to avoid.
American Red Cross Blood Drive
Thursday, December 13, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Stop in to give blood and save a life.
The Baldwin Public Library is located at 300 W. Merrill Street in Birmingham. For more information visit  or call (248) 647-1700.  
Thank you for reading Around Town, a monthly e-newsletter from the City of Birmingham.  We hope you find the information timely and useful. Please feel free to forward this e-mail to friends and neighbors who may be interested in Birmingham.