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

Bus funding eyed in Ypsilanti

Dawn Gabay, interim executive director for the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, at the Ypsilanti City Council meeting Tuesday night, where the members discussed a $118,000 raise in cost for bus service in the city. Photo by Dan DuChene

Dawn Gabay, interim executive director for the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, at the Ypsilanti City Council meeting Tuesday night, where the members discussed a $118,000 raise in cost for bus service in the city.

Council to consider options as AATA cost rises

By Dan DuChene
May. 20, 2009    ·    3:12 a.m.

Updated 3:40 p.m.

Ypsilanti City Council discussed the future of bussing in the city Tuesday, as the purchase-of-service agreement that provides service has increased in price.

The city had budgeted to fully fund bus service provided by the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority this year, a cost it had budgeted at nearly $160,000. The AATA has risen that cost to nearly $281,000.

Dawn Gabay, interim executive director for AATA, said the organization’s board had decided to pass along all of its operating costs to the municipalities to share. She said AATA used to charge only for the direct costs of fuel and labor.

To make up for the $118,000 shortfall, City Manager Ed Koryzno said the city could lower its contribution to the AATA through decreased service or it could raise the budgeted allotment by finding the funding elsewhere.

Last month, council discussed ways it could stave off cuts to public safety due to a $463,000 shortfall in next year’s budget from tax revenue declines. However, he said the unexpected $1.5 million in unanticipated revenue from this year’s budget could temporarily cover the bussing cost.

Mayor Paul Schreiber said he supports increasing the funding to pay the full amount of the AATA increase. He said cutting routes could impact surrounding townships. He also mentioned the proposed rail stop in Depot Town, and how cutting service “sends a bad message.

“I don’t like the idea here of cutting routes,” he said at the meeting. “I think this is a matter of priority.”

Councilmember Bill Nickels, D-Ward 2, said keeping the funding constant while making reductions elsewhere in the budget does show the city’s high priority on bus transportation.

“When the bottom line is looked at, what are we going to cut to fully fund this?” Councilmember Michael Bodary, D-Ward 2, said. “I cannot see us losing any more public safety.”

Among other options, councilmembers discussed opening discussions with St. Joseph’s Hospital and Eastern Michigan University to share in covering the increase in cost, as well as restructuring existing routes to make them more efficient and cost effective.

Routes three and five were mentioned as potential cuts due to higher operating costs and proximity to other existing routes. To see a map of AATA service in Ypsilanti, click here.

“We’re just kind of nibbling around the edges and we’ve been here before,” Councilmember Peter Murdock, D-Ward 3, said.

Murdock pointed to a discussion at a City Council meeting more than three years ago where AATA representatives and councilmembers had discussed promoting a county millage to fund the bus service throughout the region. Since the meeting, City Council had paid only half of the cost-of-service until this year, when it agreed to fully fund the cost.

“I don’t see any movement on that,” he said at Tuesday’s meeting. “And, here we are, nibbling around the edges again.”

Gabay said, “Our board continues to discuss that.”

She said the AATA wants to get the timing of a millage right, to increase the possibility of the measure passing.

“We’re out of time,” Murdock said. “It would be difficult to pass, but it’s absolutely necessary.”

Councilmember Lois Richardson, D-Ward 1, said the best time would have been when gas prices were above $4 a gallon, as voters might have been more in favor of passing a measure to promote and increase mass transportation.

“I think we missed that window of opportunity,” she said.

Council also discussed the possibility of moving forward with options as an eastern Washtenaw County region.

The AATA bus contract runs from September to October. Council agreed to explore options before coming to a decision at the meeting. Koryzno said he would follow up on City Council’s recommendations and make a report.

AATA representatives said their organization would discuss the matter further and could come back to City Council with options to decide on.

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