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

Council eyes snow ordinance

Snow removal enforcement was encouraged by City Council after repeated complaints some property owners do not shovel. The old Motor Wheel facility, above, was on that list of repeat offenders. Photo by Citizen File

Snow removal enforcement was encouraged by City Council after repeated complaints some property owners do not shovel. The old Motor Wheel facility, above, was on that list of repeat offenders.

Changes to fees, process approved in Ypsilanti

By Dan DuChene
Oct. 21, 2009    ·    11:30 a.m.

Before the winter weather arrives in Ypsilanti, City Council took on the snow removal ordinance for discussion Tuesday.

The discussion, which took place at the regular meeting Tuesday night, comes after a boondoggle in last winter’s first enforcement of the ordinance.

In February, the city issued $85 invoices to 340 residents after they allegedly had not adequately removed snow from their sidewalks following a snowfall in January. An ordinance passed by City Council in Dec. 2008 gave residents 48 hours to remove snow and ice from sidewalks after a storm.

At the time, city staff said notices were given out after the 48 hours of the snowfall. If the snow and ice had not been removed within 18 hours of the notice, then it was removed through contractor A.M. Services. The $85 fine issued by the city included $48 for administrative costs and $35 for the snow abatement costs.

After fielding several complaints at City Hall and Council meetings, staff launched an investigation into the matter. A month later, April McGrath, Ypsilanti administrative services manager, found that notices had not been given to all residents and she issued an apology.

In the end, the city never collected the fines and Ron Monroe, the city’s ordinance enforcer, resigned from his post at the city.

City Council looked at two resolutions Tuesday night, the first dealt with fees collected from violating the ordinance. The second dealt with the process of enforcing the snow abatement ordinance.

The civil infraction fines initially considered by City Council were $50 for the first offense, $75 for the second offense and $100 for every offense thereafter. This would have been an increase from $15 for every residential violation and $25 for every commercial violation.

In addition, an administrative services fee of $50 was considered for when snow is abated by the city.

City Council discussed the changes to the fines the same time they discussed the process of enforcement this year. Building Department Manager Frank Daniels issued a standard operating procedure for City Council to consider.

The procedure started with a complaint issued, or a property to be found in violation of the ordinance. The ordinance states snow and ice must be removed from sidewalks within 48 hours of the last snowfall.

“Following each snowfall, staff will begin patrolling the city for properties that have not properly removed snow/ice from public sidewalks,” Daniels said in his letter to City Council.

He said properties found in violation of the ordinance will be given a notice, stating the property will be re-inspected after 18 hours. If the snow or ice is not removed within that time, the city will schedule the property for abatement.

He said the contractor will take photos before and after work has been completed at a property and city staff will inspect work once it has been completed. It was discussed at the meeting that the civil infraction fines would be issued at the time of abatement.

City Councilmember Peter Murdock, D-Ward 3, suggested lowering the fines and issuing the civil infraction at the first inspection after 48 hours of the first snowfall. Then the abatement would be an additional cost if snow is not removed 18 hours after the civil infraction.

Councilmember Brian Robb, D-Ward 3, agreed with Murdock’s statement. The two said residents would likely remove the snow quicker with an infraction and would not cost the city time and energy involved with coordinating abatements.

Murdock amended the fees to $15 for the first offense, $50 for the second offense and $100 for every offense there after.

The amendment and resolution were adopted unanimously by City Council, as was the administrative fee.

Assistant City Attorney Karl Barr said he would review the ordinance to see if the changes proposed by Council would require an amendment to the language.

The existing language does provide for the issuing of a civil infraction if snow or ice is not removed within 48 hours.

Related Article:
City waives snow removal fees

Ypsilanti Historical Society

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