Ypsilanti Citizen News Lincoln Schools

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

Bike path to connect on Whittaker Road

The bike path along Whittaker Road currently stops near the district library. Stakes mark out the boundary of the county's right-of-way, which may be used to connect the bike path if one property owner does not agree to sell an easement to the township. Photo by Mark Tower

The bike path along Whittaker Road currently stops near the district library. Stakes mark out the boundary of the county's right-of-way, which may be used to connect the bike path if one property owner does not agree to sell an easement to the township.
Haabs

County road commission offers its right-of-way to complete project

By Mark Tower
May. 6, 2010    ·    3:12 p.m.


The bike path planned alongside improvements to the intersection of Whittaker and Stony Creek Roads in Ypsilanti Township may be completed after all, since the Washtenaw County Road Commission has agreed to let the township build on its right-of-way.

During its April meeting, the township's board of trustees declined to purchase three property easements near the intersection to connect the under-construction roundabout to existing trail ending at the Ypsilanti District Library on Whittaker Road. The reason given by trustees who opposed those purchases was that it made no sense to buy easements of two properties if the third cannot be acquired.

Two of the properties needed to complete this path are owned by Trustee Dee Sizemore, who abstained from voting on April 20 and at Wednesday's meeting because of the conflict of interest. Sizemore had agreed to sell the easements for her properties on 5459 and 5487 Whittaker Road, each valued at $2,200.

The township had more difficulty with the property at 5517 Whittaker Road. The husband of that property owner previously told the Citizen he did not want to sell the easement because he feared the trail would increase crime and littering near his home. The easement for that property, larger in area than the other two, was valued at $3,100.

With the county road commission's agreement to let the trail shift nearer to the curb, in the county's right-of-way, as it passes that home, township trustees voted unanimously at a specially-scheduled meeting Wednesday night to go ahead with the purchases of the easements.

Township Treasurer Larry Doe said the third property owner would still have the chance to sell the easement, since the road commission only agreed to let them build on the right-of-way if the property owner refused to sell.

Trustee Mike Martin asked why the county right-of-way wasn't being used for all three property crossings, since the township then would not need to purchase any easements.

Residential Services Director Jeff Allen said the federal funds paying for the project would not cover any length of path inside the right-of-way, meaning the township would need to foot the bill for the 200-foot-long path across Evans' property if he decides not to sell.

“It's not ideal,” Allen said of curving the path and using the right-of-way, “but if it's what we have to do, it's what we have to do.”

The cost to the township of building that stretch of path at its own expense, he said, could vary from $3,000 to $8,000, depending on if they can bid the project out with other bike path construction this summer. The opportunity is still there to buy an easement from the property owner, Allen said, which is what the township would prefer.

When contacted Thursday by the Citizen, the resident at 5517 Whittaker Road declined to comment publicly about the possibility of selling the easement to the township.

Sandy Andresen, chair of the township's park commission, said the ideal bike path would not be one hugging the curb of a busy street, but at least it would be complete, connecting the roundabout and shopping areas on Whittaker Road to neighborhoods further south.

“If we had waited for all the easements, where would we be on the trails on Textile or Hitchingham,” she said to the trustees. “At least now it is going to all be connected. The library is a critical place to access.”

Andresen said the park commission, at the request of the board of trustees, is currently doing a non-motorized pathway study for the township, which she expects will be complete next month. This plan, aimed at helping pedestrians more easily get around the community, will then be considered by the park commission before coming before the township board.

Related article:
Bike path may dead-end at Whittaker Road



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