January Around Town E-Newsletter
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Birmingham Welcomes New City Manager, Thomas Markus

The City of Birmingham is pleased to re-welcome Thomas Markus as Birmingham City Manager from January 1, 2021 through June 30, 2023. Markus is very familiar with the City, as he previously served as Birmingham City Manager from May 1989 through November 2010.

Markus is a graduate of the Harvard University JFK School of Government and has more than four decades of City Manager experience, serving in seven cities in five different states. The main focus of his education has been in management, finance, and planning disciplines. He has extensive experience in land-use planning, budgeting, advancing strategic plans, project administration, community goals, infrastructure replacement and repair, and more.

Markus will work on many initiatives currently underway, such as the Citywide Master Plan for 2040, implementing the Parks & Recreation bond and numerous infrastructure projects. The City invites the community to join in wishing Markus a warm welcome back!
City Meetings and Services
City Meetings
Upcoming regularly scheduled City meetings will be conducted virtually (online and/or by phone) through March 31, 2021 due to health concerns surrounding COVID-19 and Public Act 254 of 2020. Learn how to participate in these meetings at www.bhamgov.org/participate and download virtual meeting Zoom instructions here. Visit www.bhamgov.org/calendar to view all January meetings.
Free Parking in Structures Extended thru March 31
Free parking in the City's five municipal structures has been extended through March 31, 2021! Hand sanitizer stations are located throughout the structures, downtown area and city parks. Free and convenient Five-Minute "Buy & Fly" reserved parking spaces are also located throughout the City for curbside pick-ups and quick trips.

City Services
City offices continue to service the public, however the Municipal Building and Department of Public Services remain closed. Forms and payments may be submitted 24/7 via the drop box located behind City Hall or using the new drop box located near the driveway entrance off of Henrietta. Documents such as building permit applications and plans can be picked up at the Police Department entrance on the east side of City Hall and dropped off in the new Community Development drop box located behind the building. As part of the City's operational relief efforts, most City forms, applications and payment submissions are also available at www.bhamgov.org/formsandpayments. Residents are encouraged to contact any department requiring assistance via phone or email. Visit www.bhamgov.org/contacts to view a list of departmental contact numbers for services needed. 
Learn about the Ice Arena Renovation/Addition Project at January Meetings

Bids for the Ice Sports Arena Renovation/Addition Project have been received and are being reviewed at this time. Learn and ask questions about the project at the virtual Parks & Recreation Board meeting on Tuesday, January 5 at 6:30 p.m., and at the City Commission Meeting on Monday, January 11 at 7:30 p.m. Learn how to participate in both meetings via Zoom at www.bhamgov.org/participate.
Birmingham Restaurant Week

Birmingham's favorite dining event is almost here! Birmingham Restaurant Week will be held January 25 - February 7, 2021. Treat yourself to delicious and creative menus for lunch and dinner during this popular event. 

Visit www.AllinBirmingham.com/RestaurantWeek for participating restaurants and event menus coming soon. Bon appétit!
Residents Making a Difference

Birmingham is full of amazing residents, and we're recognizing them with a brand new feature called 'Residents Making a Difference'. Each month, one resident will be featured in this newsletter and via the City's social media channels. You're encouraged to nominate someone making a positive impact in the community. We want to recognize healthcare workers, a special teacher, or even small acts of kindness from friends and neighbors.

Thank you for helping us recognize the special people in our community.
NEW Outdoor Activities Coming Soon at Lincoln Hills Golf Course
Get your snow gear ready! Brand new outdoor activities will soon be available at Lincoln Hills Golf Course. In addition to winter sports offerings such as sledding, cross country skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing, brand new offerings are in the works for some family fun in the snow! Offerings may include snow painting, snow bowling, a winter snow walk and more. Each month, we are hoping to host a Saturday event for these activities. Pending an adequate snow base, public recreational opportunities will be available between 10 AM - 5 PM. Call the Lincoln Hills Clubhouse at 248.530.1670 prior to arrival, as offerings are weather permitting. Keep an eye out for launch dates and more details coming soon! Enjoy additional sledding opportunities at Booth Park and The Birmingham Museum.
Apply Now for Open Boards & Committees
Would you like to get more involved and make a difference in your community? There's no better time than now to get involved in a wide range of available boards and committees in Birmingham. You may be interested in the museum, art, or transportation - wherever you look, we've got a place where you can make a difference. For a complete list of openings and requirements for each board please visit the City's website
It's easy to apply. Download the  online application  today, and email, fax, mail or submit it to the drop box outside of City Hall. For more information, you may also contact the Clerk's Office at (248) 530-1880.
Winter Driving Safety Tips From the Police Department
  • Now is the time to get your vehicle serviced, check for recalls and inflate your tires. Be sure it's in great shape as we enter another unpredictable winter season.
  • It’s great practice to keep your gas tank full in case you get stuck behind an accident or shut-down.
  • Plan your trip ahead of time; know your route and give yourself extra time to get to your destination safely.
  • Equip your vehicle with an ice scraper, jumper cables, flashlight, blanket, water, and snacks.
  • Don’t put your vehicle in drive until the windows are defrosted and your front and rear lights are free of ice and snow.
  • Always wear your seat belt, stay alert, and leave extra room in between you and the vehicle ahead of you.
  • Lastly, please respect our snow plows. Stay far behind them or use extra caution when passing.
City Clerk's Office Update on Passports and Forms

While City Hall remains closed, we encourage residents to utilize our online forms and payment options on the website. All of our applications for licenses and permits are available at www.bhamgov.org/formsandpayments. Residents may use our drop box (located in the parking lot behind City Hall) to turn in any forms. During this time, we will not be processing passport applications and recommend visiting www.travel.state.gov  to find open passport facilities.
Progress Continues on Lead Service Line Replacement Program

The City of Birmingham is well ahead of schedule in meeting the state-mandated deadline for replacing lead and copper water-service lines. The City is wrapping up water testing in more than 700 homes serviced by lead or copper lines, and the Lead Service Line Replacement (LSLR) Program is underway. Under Michigan law, Birmingham must replace at least 7% of all lead-service lines every year for the next 20 years. We expect to remove all lead and copper service lines in our community far in advance of that deadline.  In 2020, nearly 100 service replacements were completed, and the City plans to replace at least another 100 in 2021. The process will continue throughout the year, and replacements are already scheduled in January and February. Please remember that Birmingham’s drinking water is safe. This program brings us into full compliance with Michigan regulations and ensures that any property with lead service lines will have their lead service lines replaced. Learn more at www.bhamgov.org/leadtesting.
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 website.
Birmingham Green
As the importance of public space has grown during this pandemic, City parks have truly shown their worth. Aside from being a strong piece of the City’s natural infrastructure, parks have become a valuable place to recreate, congregate and reflect during socially distant times. The American Planning Association views access to public parks as a right, not a privilege and believes that all people, regardless of income level, ethnicity, gender, ability, or age, should have equal access to public parks. In Birmingham, the park system is accessible to 83% of the properties within a ¼ mile of a park and 99% of the properties within a ½ mile of a park. The commitment to high-caliber public space and the quantitative environmental and health benefits that stem from their accessibility are paramount to the success of Birmingham moving well into the future. 

Christmas Tree Collection
Christmas trees are being collected through Friday, January 15. A separate service is used for disposal of holiday trees, so collection will not necessarily be at the same time your rubbish is picked up. The trees are ground into wood chips for recycling, so please remove all lights, ornaments, stands, etc. If you used a bag to contain the needles while removing the tree from your house, please remove it and dispose of it in your regular garbage. For more information call the Birmingham Department of Public Services (DPS) at (248) 530-1700.
Museum Friends’ Taylor Grave Monument Project Receives Over The Top Funding; Additional Funds to Be Used for Greenwood Cemetery Preservation

The $4700 project to erect a marker for George and Eliza Taylor has exceeded its goal by a mile,
you could say. More than $15,000 has been raised thus far from all over the country, and
donations are still coming in. George and Eliza Taylor were formerly enslaved people who fled to Michigan, ultimately settling in Birmingham as farmers. In 1893, the couple purchased a home in the quiet village of Birmingham, the first African American property owners here. They were highly regarded in the community, where they lived to advanced age, dying in 1901 and 1902. They were buried in Greenwood Cemetery but did not receive a marker, and they were forgotten until last year when Friends of the Birmingham Museum board member George Getschman discovered their story.

Since then, the outpouring of support has been truly amazing, as people from all over the country sought to contribute to the project to erect a monument for their graves. The Friends will be working with the Birmingham Museum and the Piety Hill Chapter of the
Daughters of the American Revolution to install the marker this summer, when hopefully a
public ceremony can be held. The additional funds will go into an account to help preserve
Greenwood Cemetery, which was founded in 1825 and is one of the oldest public cemeteries in

The Birmingham Museum is currently closed to the public, but staff are here to help with your questions. Contact us at 248-530-1928 or museum@bhamgov.org. Check us out on Facebook,
Instagram, Twitter, as well as Youtube!
January News from The Baldwin Library
Learn Connect Discover January Issue: Now Available
Read the January issue of Baldwin’s newsletter online.

Librarian Recommended Reads
Miss getting reading suggestions from your BPL librarians? Complete the information on the form at www.baldwinlib.org/bookpicks and we will email you personalized recommendations.

Winter Fun
Tuesday, January 19
Wear your warmest pajamas as you join Ms. Syntha and Ms. Rosemary in a story time celebrating winter. Register at www.baldwinlib.org/calendar to receive the video and craft supplies on the day of the program.

African American Art at the DIA
Tuesday, January 26 at 7:00 p.m.                                                                                 
Join docent Kathleen McBroom on a virtual tour of African American creative works of art from the DIA collections. Register at www.baldwinlib.org/calendar.

The Baldwin Public Library is located at 300 W. Merrill Street in Birmingham. For more information visit www.baldwinlib.org or call (248) 647-1700. Visit www.baldwinlib.org/reopening to view current information on the Library's hours and services.
January News from Next
Looking for ways to stay active and connected during the cold January days? Look no further than to Next and their calendar full of activities geared toward local 50-plus residents. Under strict CDC guidelines, Next successfully reopened in July and have been offering the community many opportunities to safely engage ever since!

Next socially distanced offerings include fitness, art, enrichment and a wonderful Thursday Evening Speaker Series. Most of these classes are offered in person and via Zoom so you can pick the format that works best for you.

Please visit the Next website for the most up to date information at www.BirminghamNext.org or stop in for a tour. Next is located at 2121 Midvale, Birmingham, MI 48009. Phone: (248) 203-5270.
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.
151 Martin St. P.O. Box 3001 Birmingham, MI 48012
Office Hours: Mon-Fri 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tel: (248) 530-1800