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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

City Council begins budget proceedings

Ypsilanti City Manager Ed Koryzno delivers his budget presentation to City Council Thursday night. The proceedings will continue throughout the month until Council votes on the matter in June. Photo by Dan DuChene

Ypsilanti City Manager Ed Koryzno delivers his budget presentation to City Council Thursday night. The proceedings will continue throughout the month until Council votes on the matter in June.

Declining revenue attributed to falling taxable value

By Dan DuChene
May. 7, 2010    ·    1:02 p.m.

Ypsilanti City Council began the process of approving next year’s budget with a presentation from City Manager Ed Koryzno Thursday.

After departmental presentations throughout the month, City Council will vote on the entire $14 million budget during two meetings in June.

Koryzno began his presentation Thursday by highlighting the declining revenue the city has been facing for several years, both from state-aid and local property taxes. He said the city expects taxable value to decrease by 10.38 percent next fiscal year (2010-2011), adding up to a decline of taxable value of more than 30 percent in the past four years.

In his presentation, Koryzno said the most money the city had received in state-shared revenue was nearly $4 million in the 2001-2002 fiscal year. He said the lowest amount will be in the 2011-2012 fiscal year, at less than the current level of $2.5 million.

Next year’s budget predicts the city will take in $13.95 million in revenue, $880,000 less than what had been originally budgeted this year and nearly $700,000 less than the revenue predicted this year after the budget was amended to show further revenue declines. Koryzno predicted a further decline of more than $207,000 in fiscal year 2011-2012.

The city was able to exceed costs by more than $41,000 this year due to cutting costs by more than $236,000. More cuts are anticipated next year, with the city being able to exceed costs by nearly $825,000 through lowering costs by nearly $1.5 million.

With approximately 55 percent of the city’s costs going to the fire and police departments, most of the cuts are expected to come out of public safety. Five police officer positions are expected to be eliminated, six firefighters could be laid off, the vacant lieutenant position will not be filled and an additional officer will be transferred to the Livingston and Washtenaw Narcotics Enforcement Team (LAWNET) and funded by drug forfeiture dollars.

However, other departments face cuts as well. City Hall employees will have a 5 percent reduction in pay through 13 furlough days, where the administrative departments in the city will close and employees will not come into work. These employees will also have their healthcare premium co-pay increased. Finally, two part-time finance positions will be eliminated.

Additionally, City Council will take a 5 percent decrease in compensation and the city expects the Downtown Development Authority to pay for services it provides to the districts.

Koryzno highlighted the staffing reductions that the city has faced by pointing out the most full-time-employees the city had was 139.75 in fiscal year 2002-2003. The number is expected to be at its lowest next year, with 91.38 full-time employees.

During the presentation, Koryzno said the city hopes to increase millages levied by a total of 0.6722. He said increasing costs in the police and pension, 2001 street improvement and 2003 street improvement bond funds would require the city to increase the taxes collected in each millage. The budget proposes raising the police and pension millage by nearly 0.19, the 2001 street improvement bond millage by 0.27 and the 2003 street improvement bond millage by 0.21.

City Council will hear budget presentations from specific departments Tuesday and Thursday next week, and May 18 if more time is necessary. The first reading of the ordinance to pass the budget is scheduled for June 1, with the second reading scheduled for June 15.

Related article:
City eyes 11 layoffs in public safety

SESI Motors

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