Ypsilanti Citizen News ]]>

City Council approves all mayor's re-appointments
By Dan DuChene
Jun. 16, 2010   ·   3:42 a.m.

Jone Coleman, president of downtown business LookInTheAttic, shares his thoughts with City Council about the discussion and procedure taken to pass mayoral re-appointments, which he was being considered for the Downtown Development Authority.

After much procedure, Ypsilanti City Council approved six mayoral re-appointments to city boards and committees Tuesday, including the two postponed from earlier...read more

Council postpones two reappointments
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   4:57 p.m.

Two of Ypsilanti's volunteer board members were not reappointed on schedule Tuesday night, owing to a 4-2 vote by City Council to delay the appointments until...read more

Downtown properties to be rehabilitated
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   10:40 a.m.

The three properties located at 120, 122 and 124 West Michigan Avenue in downtown Ypsilanti will soon be rebuilt into commercial and office space and loft apartments, thanks to a planned $1.7 million investment by developers.

Three recently-vacated properties in downtown Ypsilanti, two of them condemned, will soon be renovated owing to recent purchase by a local development company and...read more

Ypsilanti Township authorizes litigation against Liberty Square
By Mark Tower
May. 28, 2010   ·   6:53 p.m.

Many of the homes in the Liberty Square complex on Grove Street in Ypsilanti Township are already boarded and ready for foreclosure sale. All 151 units, some of which are still occupied, will be condemned Tuesday, Ypsilanti Township has resolved.

Residents living in the Liberty Square complex of townhouses will see a sticker appear on their homes Tuesday, when the Ypsilanti Township Building Department places...read more

Ford plant granted tax exemption by township
By Mark Tower
May. 24, 2010   ·   5:44 p.m.

Ford Motor Company's Rawsonville Plan, located at the intersection of Textile and Bridge Roads in Ypsilanti Township, will soon be the new home for production of Ford's Electric Focus batteries, formerly produced in Mexico.

New machines and equipment will soon be wheeled into Ford's Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti Township as it begins manufacturing a line of batteries for the new global...read more

Big plans for Riverside

Crews began dissembling the decking on the dock Monday morning after the ground breaking ceremony.  
Photo by Christine Laughren

Crews began dissembling the decking on the dock Monday morning after the ground breaking ceremony.
Krispy Krunchy Chicken

Construction of new dock and gazebo begun

By Christine Laughren
Oct. 22, 2008    ·    12:21 p.m.

A year into its inception the Depot Town Community Development Corporation has made several strides to improve Ypsilanti’s Riverside and Frog Island Parks.

Now, the organization is working on its biggest project to date – a new dock and gazebo in Riverside Park to replace the old dilapidated structure. Demolition of the current structure, which hangs over the Huron River, began this week with help from Washtenaw Community College’s Construction Institute. The group will replace old beams, decking and railing by the end of the fall season and the roof of the new gazebo is scheduled to be installed in the spring.

“Personally for me, it’s an important project because it’s our first major project we’ve done,” CDC Director Erik Dotzauer said. “It really will provide a lot of value to the community and after we complete this project we see it as a really good venue.”

For some time the decking of the dock has been covered with pieces of plywood in places where boards have become unstable. However, the plywood began to warp and curl up causing a tripping hazard to anyone who ventured onto the structure. Dotzauer said the dock, as well as other elements in the park, has suffered from some deferred maintenance.

“It’s been in really bad shape because the city has essentially had to put a Band-Aid on it because they just don’t have the money to fix it,” the director said.

For the Riverside Park dock project the CDC has collaborated with the City of Ypsilanti, WCC and Eastern Michigan University. Dotzauer said along with the Construction Institute aiding in the demolition and construction of the project the group has also provided time and compiled a second engineering study.

Cristy Lindemann, department chair for WCC’s Construction Institute, said members of the CDC approached her about a year ago when the corporation was formed, as one of its major goals was to collaborate with local organizations and universities. Lindemann said the collaboration is giving the students great on-the-job experience.

“One, they are getting the experience of working with water,” she said. “Second, it’s a good experience because it’s something that’s going to be there for the community for a long time.”

EMU also made a financial contribution for the first engineering design and the city is contributing $15,000 toward building materials. The City’s contribution fulfills recreation requirements outlined in a grant the City received two years ago to put lights in Riverside Park.

The CDC is an offshoot of the Depot Town Downtown Development Association. Its primary focus as stated in its executive summary 2008 through 2026 is to “explore avenues for identifying and securing resources for revitalizing, maintaining and sustaining a healthy park system as a featured attraction to its historic destination community.”

Along with the Riverside Park dock project, the CDC has big plans for other improvements to Riverside and Frog Island Parks.

High-speed wireless installed in the spring
Dotzauer said the organization has been speaking with Steve Pierce, co-founder of Wireless Ypsi, about bringing wireless to both parks by the spring. Wireless Ypsi is a free wireless system already covering most of Downtown and Depot Town Ypsilanti and Dotzauer said having wireless in the parks will help connect the Downtown and Depot Town networks.

“We think having high-speed wireless in both parks will help to reach out to younger kids,” Dotzauer said.

Ypsi bike-powered movie project
Another project the CDC has been looking into is a bike-powered movie night in Riverside Park. Dotzauer said the project, the brainchild of local Ypsilanti resident Mark Maynard, sparked his interest right away. Over several discussions with members of the community the idea evolved into eight people peddling to produce the necessary power it would take power a full-length feature.

Dotzauer and Maynard submitted for a $2,000 grant from the Arts Alliance but did not receive the grant money which would have acquired the generators, the DC-AC inverter, the audio broadcast unit, and everything else we need to begin production of the infrastructure.

“We’ve started to look at other avenues for bicycle night in the park,” Dotzauer said. “It looks like a relatively low cost project, and that’s one of the things we’re really, really pushing providing support to make it happen.”

New Band Shell
Finally, Dotzauer said the CDC would like to have a new venue in the parks for concerts and other performances.

“Our vision is to not just have a band shell for concerts but make a facility that would accommodate the entire community,” he said. “With the location of the parks in the city, we feel we could really create a nice place for concerts and plays as well as other events.” However, Dotzauer said the band shell project is still a few years from reality.

SESI Motors

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