Ypsilanti Citizen News Sidetrack

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 discusses busing before AATA decision

Ypsilanti Farmers Market

Board to discuss service in Ypsilanti at today’s meeting

By Dan DuChene
Sep. 23, 2009    ·    3:08 a.m.


Before the Ann Arbor Transportation Board of Directors meet today, busing in Ypsilanti was a hot topic at City Council Tuesday night.

The board will be meeting at 1 p.m., where they will likely discuss a proposal from the organization’s board planning committee that would preserve funding for routes five, 10 and 11.

Four audience members addressed City Council Tuesday night, which led to a discussion amongst councilmembers about the resolution passed during their last meeting.

Introduced by Councilmember Peter Murdock, D-Ward 3, the resolution suggested a plan to curb the $123,000 shortfall in the city budget to pay for the purchase of service agreement with the AATA to provide service to Ypsilanti. The resolution called for the elimination of route five in the city, as well as the reduction of routes 10 and 11 by one hour in the evening.

Passed 5-1 by City Council, with Mayor Paul Schreiber voting against, the resolution also extended the current purchase of service agreement by 21 months, called for the AATA to use $101,000 of its federal stimulus funding for Ypsilanti service and for Ypsilanti to set aside $218,000 from its budget for funding bus service.

The resolution would bide time for a discussed county-wide bus millage to pass. If the regional solution falls through, the resolution calls for a city millage to be placed in front of voters in Nov. 2010.

After the resolution was passed by City Council, the AATA board committee met and advised the organization’s full board to use $220,000 of its $240,000 unallocated stimulus funds to maintain current service in Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township.

“Be sure to wear a hat,” Beth Bashert, an Ypsilanti resident, said to City Council during audience participation, “because, you’ll need it in your hand.”

Bashert said the city “threw in the towel” by passing its resolution this month. She said the city will now have to accept whatever decision the AATA makes about service in Ypsilanti.

She said she was also upset that no action was taken by City Council earlier, even though the shortfall in funding had been anticipated since the spring.

“It feels like you gambled,” Bashert said. “The people of Ypsilanti may win this round, they may not.”

Kira Berman, trustee for the Ypsilanti Public Schools’ Board of Education, said she was upset with City Council about the lack of communication the city had with the district on the elimination of route five, which she said is important to the school district.

“Students use number five bus,” Berman said. “I’m disappointed that we were not contacted.”

Ypsilanti resident Andrew Clock addressed City Council, concerned with the process in which the resolution was presented and passed by City Council.

The resolution was proposed and passed at a special budget session dedicated to city administration and bus service. Clock said he took issue with the fact that the resolution was not on the city’s posted agenda, and that the meeting was scheduled the day after Labor Day.

Schreiber agreed with Clock, and said City Council should strive to have all proposed resolutions posted in the agenda before the meeting.

Murdock responded to issues brought up by audience members and Schreiber. He said the resolution was not a solitary last minute effort. He said the city had been negotiating with the AATA and other local stakeholders to work out a solution throughout the summer.

He said staff had tried to find additional contributors in the public and private sector to share the city’s costs. However, no agreement had been reached. He said discussions with the AATA had resulted in the organization proposing several service reduction options to the city, part of which was incorporated into the resolution he proposed.

“The options were all there,” Murdock said. “It was time for us to come up with a recommendation for AATA.”

He said the resolution was an attempt to minimize cuts, as it proposed time to work out a more permanent solution for bus funding.

He also pointed out the Sept. 1 City Council meeting, where Schreiber had asked City Council for a resolution to fully fund the AATA purchase of service agreement. Schreiber had made the request during Council business at the end of the meeting. He suggested taking the money out of a $225,000 revolving fund set up by City Council to fund energy improvements in the city.

Murdock also spoke about the idea that Ypsilanti was looking for a handout.

“It wasn’t a plea,” Murdock said.

He said the AATA is “willing to go that extra mile” until a more permanent funding source for busing could be worked out.

“Stimulus money is money we earned too,” Murdock said.

Related articles:
Ypsi bus service could be maintained
City says eliminate bus route

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