City of Birmingham
Around Town E-Newsletter
May
Around Town
E-Newsletter
Welcome to the Around Town e-Newsletter from the City of Birmingham. During uncertain times, we hope you enjoy this special edition containing information and resources pertaining to COVID-19. Thank you for your support and please forward this newsletter along to friends and family.
Around Town| May
Inside City Hall with Birmingham City Manager,
Joe Valentine
Receive the latest updates from Birmingham in this month's edition of Inside City Hall with Birmingham City Manager, Joe Valentine.
COVID-19 Information & Looking Ahead
COVID-19 Webpage
Visit the City’s  COVID-19 webpage  at  www.bhamgov.org/virusprevention  for a plethora of information from trusted resources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State of Michigan, the Oakland County Health Division and more. City officials are working to gather as much information as possible to assist the community in fighting and responding to the COVID-19 virus. The site also lists community resources for parents and seniors, crisis hotlines, places of worship offering support services and more.

Citywide Email System
During the ‘Stay Home Stay Safe’ order it is even more important to remain connected to our community. Birmingham residents are strongly encouraged to sign-up for the  citywide email system  at  www.bhamgov.org/citywideemail . Subscribers receive weekly messages from the Mayor with the latest updates pertaining to COVID-19. The email service allows the City to target specific neighborhoods for messaging and keep everyone updated on what’s happening in this rapidly changing environment.

COVID-19 Hotline
Residents may use the City's  COVID-19 hotline  for information about City and County COVID-19 resources by calling 248-530-1805 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. To assist the elderly, quarantined and immunocompromised individuals, the hotline can be used for services such as bringing refuse containers to and from the curb, welfare checks or delivery of batteries, first-aid items, diapers, formula, etc

Restaurants Open for Take-out
Many of your favorite Birmingham restaurants offer take-out or delivery. View a complete list of restaurants offering take-out at  www.bhamgov.org .

City Meetings
Upcoming regularly scheduled City meetings for the City of Birmingham will be conducted virtually (online and/or by phone) through May 12 (or longer depending upon upcoming Executive Orders) due to health concerns surrounding COVID-19 under the Governor of Michigan’s Executive Order 2020-48. Learn how to participate in these meetings at  www.bhamgov.org/participate  and  download virtual meeting Zoom instructions here . Please note the  City Commission Budget Hearing  originally scheduled for Saturday, May 9 has been rescheduled for Saturday, June 6 at 8:30 a.m. The budget hearing location will accommodate for social distancing and is yet to be determined.

City Services
City offices continue to service the public, however the Municipal Building and Department of Public Services are not open to the public. 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.

Events Update
-Department of Public Services (DPS) Open House:  The DPS Open House has been postponed. A new date has not yet been determined.

-Birmingham Farmers Market:  The Birmingham Farmers Market will kick off its 18th season on Sunday, May 3, 2020, however it will have a much different look and feel. The drive-through market will feature only farmers and vendors who grow their own products, and it will be open from 9 a.m. - noon on Sundays beginning in May. Cars will drive through Public Parking Lot 6 with exact change to pick up baskets of fresh produce that will be placed into their vehicles. Produce available on May 3 will include:  apples, potatoes, onions, eggs, lettuce, kale, spinach, asparagus and more.  Visit  www.AllinBirmingham.com/FarmersMarket  for details.

- Birmingham Ice Show:  The Birmingham Ice Show has been cancelled.

- Art Birmingham -  The Art Birmingham art fair has been tentatively postponed until   August 22 & 23. Learn more at  https://bbartcenter.org/bbac/art-birmingham/ .

-Birmingham Hometown Parade:  The Celebrate Birmingham Hometown parade has been postponed. A new date has not yet been determined.

- Memorial Day Service:  Depending on circumstances surrounding COVID-19, the annual Memorial Day Service is tentatively scheduled for Monday, May 25 at 10:00 a.m. in Shain Park pending state requirements for public events. Keep an eye on  www.bhamgov.org/calendar.php  for updates.

- Birmingham Village Fair:  The Birmingham Village Fair has been tentatively postponed until July 9 - 12. Learn more on the  Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber's website .
Maple Reconstruction
The City is continuing its program to improve downtown infrastructure with the Maple Road project, which began on April 27. As with the Old Woodward project, Maple Road will get entirely new underground infrastructure, streetlighting and electrical systems. While the City understands there is never a good time to complete a project of this nature, this critical infrastructure project will address some of the oldest infrastructure in the City and utilizes a $705,000 grant secured through MDOT. The process to secure federal funds and develop plans for the reconstruction of Maple Road began years ago. Moving forward with the project now ensures the City can utilize the grant while lowering project costs and ensuring we can address this aging infrastructure quickly. Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-69 has extended the closure of bars, restaurants (with the exception of curbside pickup), theatres, gyms and others through May 28. Crews will be working hard to get as much done as possible throughout May and the months ahead. 

When complete, the Maple Road Reconstruction Project will enhance the aesthetics and functionality of downtown Birmingham and improve overall walkability. Mirroring Old Woodward, the finished project will feature improved landscaping and on-street parking, granite bench seating and cell phone charging stations.

The City of Birmingham continues to observe Michigan’s “shelter in place” guidelines, and initiatives are underway to support the business community when they reopen in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, residents can continue to support businesses. Many retailers are offering retail‐to‐go remote sales of products for delivery or pick‐up. Contact your favorite retailer (view contact info at www.AllinBirmingham.com/shop ) t o check on participation. And, please continue to support Birmingham restaurants offering take-out. A full list of restaurant options is available on the City’s website at www.bhamgov.org .

To stay current on all the latest information regarding this project, sign up for the Maple Road
Reconstruction Constant Contact groups at http://bit.ly/bhamnews .
Prepare for Emergencies with File of Life
Medical emergencies can happen anytime, and the Birmingham Fire Department wants you to be prepared. The department is offering residents the File of Life: a single document containing critical information including medical history, emergency contacts and medications. This resource allows first responders to immediately begin treatment, notify loved ones and pass vital data on to physicians at the emergency room. Birmingham first responders are trained to find this resource on the front of your refrigerator, giving paramedics more time to treat patients on arrival. It is an absolute asset to emergency preparedness and peace of mind. Residents may pick up a File of Life in a clear envelope under a canopy in front of Fire Station 1 (Adams Station) or in the front lobby at Station 2. For residents who are elderly, quarantined or immunocompromised, please call 248-530-1805 to request a File of Life.
BSD to Recognize Hometown Heroes
The Birmingham Shopping District (BSD) is proud of the way Birmingham residents and workers have stepped up in these unprecedented times. Plans are underway to honor our Birmingham Hometown Heroes throughout downtown Birmingham.

Please nominate your hero by completing the Birmingham Hometown Hero form today. The BSD will notify heroes who are selected. Heroes’ photos will be displayed along Maple Road this summer.

We know heroes come in all shapes and sizes and play many different roles. We would like to recognize those who have made a difference in your life or the lives of those around them during the COVID-19 pandemic. This might be a nurse, doctor or other first responder or a teacher or neighbor who has become a community cheerleader. All nominees must either live or work in Birmingham.
Fire Hydrant Flow Testing
Starting May 4th, the Birmingham Fire Department and the Department of Public Services will conduct the annual flow testing of the City's hydrants. Flow testing is a critical infrastructure project that ensures the safety of residents by providing the flow pressure and volume of water that is expected from each hydrant. Additionally, it reveals hydrants with mechanical problems. Flow testing is one of the ways the City ensures hydrants are operable and give the proper water flow when needed.

Please note flow testing may cause water in the immediate area to appear rust colored. The City gives a few days warning to the areas that will be tested by placing signs at crossroad intersections. If you experience rust colored water, here's helpful information:

1. This condition DOES NOT pose a health problem.
2. Normal running of COLD water in your home will soon clear up the problem. DO NOT USE HOT WATER. This will prevent rusty water from entering the hot water tank.
3. If the rusty water affects your laundry, you may purchase "oxalic acid", or commercial products for taking rust out of clothes, from local grocery, drug or hardware stores. Follow the product instructions for rewashing the clothes and the rust will be removed.

The Fire Department and Department of Public Services conducts flow testing in May, Monday through Thursday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Download the flow testing map to view areas to be flowed. The areas shaded in gray will be tested in 2020; the white area without shading will be tested in 2021. Flow testing should be complete by the end of May.

The Birmingham Fire Department and the Department of Public Services appreciate your patience as they work to ensure the safety of Birmingham's residents. For more information, please contact the City at 248-530- 1805.
Things to do during 'Stay Home Stay Safe' Order
Downtown Sculpture Tour & Brochure
Did you know the City is home t o 15 a rt sculptures? Download a Downtown Sculpture Tour & Brochure map and discover them today. Make a list of your top three favorite sculptures and compare lists with friends and family.

City Sculpture Coloring Pages
The City of Birmingham encourages those of all ages to color city sculptures using coloring pages provided by the Public Arts Board. Download the coloring pages on the City's website . Snap a picture of your completed page and send it to socialmedia@bhamgov.org with the artist’s name and age (and any other artist information you’d like posted). Submissions may be featured on the City’s social media accounts. Learn more about the sculptures and artists in the City's Art in Public Spaces pamphlet here .

City Sculpture Sketches 
For those who prefer to start with a blank canvas, feel free to draw our City sculptures and submit a photo of your artwork to socialmedia@bhamgov.org with your name (and any other artist information you’d like posted). Submissions may be featured on the City’s social media accounts. Find sculpture photos for drawing inspiration on the City's Art in Public Spaces Pinterest page .

Birmingham Architecture Amateur Photography Contest
Calling all photographers! Join our architecture photography contest. Details are as follows:
Rules : Photograph must be taken within Birmingham City Limits. Anything architecture goes, from small details (gable decorations, windows, masonry work, etc.) to entire buildings! Entries must include name, email, date photograph was taken, and the address of the subject in the photograph. Original photographs only.
Submission : Submit one photograph per person for consideration to: ndupuis@bhamgov.org . Entries must be submitted by June 1st, 2020. Please include “2020 Architecture Photography Contest” in the Subject Line. Winning Entries: The winning photograph will be featured on the homepage of the City's website.

Mill Pond Historic Walking Tour        
There are many historic sites within the City of Birmingham. Have you visited them recently? Download a Mill Pond Neighborhood Historic Walking Tour here .

DIA at Home
DIA staff members have been working hard to increase digital content and activities for all ages that can be accessed from home. Follow these links to learn more: For Seniors  , Art Access , Community Partnerships  , School Field Trip from Home & Learning Resources 

Write or Draw for Seniors
Many seniors are lonely and you can brighten their day by writing them a letter or drawing a picture. Next Senior Center has generously offered to deliver letters and drawings to seniors in need. Simply mail your letter or drawing to: Next Senior Services, Attn: Letter for Seniors, 2121 Midvale, Birmingham, MI 48009.
Submit City Payments Online
It's easy to make City payments online, and the service is especially beneficial during the COVID-19 ‘Stay Home Stay Safe’ order. Visit  www.bhamgov.org/paymybill  to submit the following online payments: Water Bills, Invoices and Special Assessments. You may call 855-780-5989 to pay by phone.

You may also submit payments by mail for  Invoices and Special Assessments  to: 
City of Birmingham, Treasury Department, 151 Martin St., P.O. Box 3001, Birmingham, MI 48012-3001

You may also submit payments by mail for  Water Bills  to: 
City of Birmingham - Water, P.O. Box 671756,  Detroit,  MI 48267-1756 
Scam Warning: Federal Stimulus Checks
The Attorney General’s office is reminding anyone who receives a text, email or phone call from someone claiming to be from the government with a check for them — DO NOT FALL FOR IT.

These fake phishing scams will likely ask for a person’s bank account information and insist $1,000 or more will be deposited directly into his or her bank account. Personal information should not be given to anyone unless the provider of that information is absolutely certain of the identity of the person requesting it. For the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding the federal stimulus payment and specific disbursement details, only visit the IRS website below. 
Golf - Park & Play
The Governor's Executive Order 2020-59 enables the community to engage in outdoor recreational activity— including golf! We're pleased to announce Lincoln Hills Golf Course and Springdale Golf Course are open daily from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

To support public health and adhere to physical distancing, the City has established safety initiatives that align with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations. A “Park & Play” model, created by the National Golf Course Owners Association, is in place at both courses. Walking only, tee times are required. We hope to see you on the green soon!
An Update From the Clerk's Office
In light of the shelter in place order we are currently operating under, if you are not registered to vote in the City of Birmingham and are a Birmingham resident who wishes to vote in either or both the August and November 2020 elections, the Clerk’s Office strongly suggests that you register to vote online by visiting www.michigan.gov/vote .

Both our office and the Secretary of State offices are currently closed to the public and may be for an as yet undetermined time. So the electronic voter registration is the most expedient way for residents to register to vote given the current situation. You can also check to see if you are already registered to vote and find out where your precinct is located. If you have recently registered to vote and would like to be placed on our Permanent Absent Voter list, please contact our office using the contact information below.

You can also access the Birmingham City Clerk’s page on the city’s website by visiting www.bhamgov.org/voting for additional information. You can contact the Clerk’s Office by phone at 248-530-1880 or by email at elections@bhamgov.org .

In the coming weeks, our office will be mailing out information to voters who currently are not on our Permanent Absent Voter list to provide an easy way to add your name to that list. Voters on that list receive an application for an Absent Voter ballot for every election held in the City of Birmingham. The application must be completed and signed by the voter, and returned to the Clerk’s Office. Once received, the Clerk’s Office will mail the Absent Voter ballot to the voter for a convenient way to cast your votes on Election Day .
Pet Care & Safety Reminders for Walking Around Town
The City of Birmingham has several pet regulations designed to keep pets and people safe, especially during these uncertain times. Here are some useful reminders:

  • All dogs must be on a chain or leash and under reasonable control of some person at all times. A dog cannot go beyond the premises of its owner unless restrained by a chain or leash and under reasonable control.
  • All dogs and cats four months old or over must have a license. All dogs and cats shall be immunized against rabies, prior to issuance of a license. Licenses are issued by the City Clerk's Office at City Hall.
  • Owners cannot allow animals to deposit fecal matter in any place other than the premises where the animal is harbored or kept, unless it is immediately collected and removed.
  • If a person is walking an animal on property they do not own, whether public or private, they must have an appropriate device for the collection of fecal matter in their immediate possession and an appropriate depository for the transmission of fecal matter to the premises where the animal is harbored or kept.
  • No person shall harbor or keep any dog which, by loud or frequent or habitual barking, yelping or howling, causes a serious annoyance to the neighborhood, or to people passing on the street.

Also, please remember dog waste should be collected with a bag and disposed of in your garbage container, not your yard waste bin. If you have questions regarding the Animal Ordinance you may call the Police Department at 248.530.1889 or the City Clerk's office at 248.530.1880.
From the Planning Dept.
Birmingham Green
May is National Historic Preservation month! Along with helping preserve the environment, historical preservation preserves character, roots, and stories that span generations. Birmingham’s stock of historic places ranges from two nationally registered historic sites, to nearly 80 locally designated resources, to an abundance of eligible buildings anxious to be discovered.

It has been said, at its best, preservation engages the past in a conversation with the present over a mutual concern for the future (William Murtagh). With Birmingham’s walkable and inviting community, it is possible to have intimate interactions with the City’s rich past. To celebrate National Historic Preservation Month, we urge you to engage in that history in whatever way you can. Participate in upcoming webinars from the Michigan Historic Preservation Network , read about the John W. Hunter House , create walking or cycling route around historical resources , or research your own house and its potential for historical significance. Are you particularly passionate about historical preservation? Check out the numerous vacancies on the Historic District Commission and/or Historic District Study Committee!
Chipper Service & Rubbish Reminders
To ensure clear and safe streets that are free of debris and to prevent flooding, the City is providing chipper service for large branches by request only. Until further notice please submit your request by contacting the Department of Public Services (DPS) at 248.530.1700 or dps@bhamgov.org . Leave your name, address and phone number, and allow time for it to be scheduled.

Staying at home has upended our schedules and many of us are getting used to new routines. Please remember to bring all refuse containers to the curb by 7 a.m. on your designated pickup day. Your pickup time may change each week, so it's important that all trash, yard waste and recycling is out by 7 a.m. Not sure which day your trash is collected? Make sure to review the trash collection map available via the below link.
May News from The Birmingham Museum
Birmingham Museum Expanding Virtual Presence and Programs

The museum is meeting the need for more virtual access to lectures, exhibits, and educational content by producing programs that can be experienced online. Enhancements include

In addition, the museum will be producing new projects to help the community while people are at home and students are receiving remote learning from their schools. Partnerships with the Birmingham Public Schools, Next, and Bloomfield Cable Television will include upcoming new programming such as:

  • An eight-part video series on the historic John West Hunter House and the settlement of Birmingham to meet the 2nd grade curriculum standards for at-home students
  • Weekly recorded video lectures from the popular joint Birmingham Museum/Baldwin Public Library adult lecture series on topics of local historic interest
  • Production of new virtual lectures for cable broadcast and online access

While the museum is closed to the public, we are available for research requests and artifact donations can still be made. Contact us at 248-530-1682 or museum@bhamgov.org while you are staying safe at home.
May News from The Baldwin Library
For the health and safety of our community, the Baldwin Public Library will remain closed to the public until further notice. Visit www.baldwinlib.org for the latest updates.

While we’re closed, we’re offering the following virtual programs:

  • Zoom Virtual Book Clubs – We offer six different book clubs that meet each month on Zoom. Check out the events calendar and email the host to join the discussion.
  • Video Story Times – five new story times videos with subtitles are posted each week so that parents and children can sign along with the songs and fingerplays and follow along with the stories. Story times are best for children ages birth to 2nd grade.
  • Sign up for a Library card
  • See all the ways you can use the Library from home.
Respond to the 2020 Census

Be counted, Birmingham! Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Census Bureau has extended the response deadline to October 31, 2020. You may fill out your census form by mail, phone, or online at https://my2020census.gov/ . The information collected by the U.S. Census Bureau is used to produce apportionment counts, inform redistricting decisions, and guide federal spending so it is important that each and every resident is counted. 

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