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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

DDA approves reserve dollars for Cross Street improvement

The plan for Depot Town improvements to Cross Street include updating sidewalks and curb ramps, beautifying and adding crosswalks, installing pedestrian gates at the railroad tracks and extending entrances to parking lots. Photo by Ypsilanti DDA

The plan for Depot Town improvements to Cross Street include updating sidewalks and curb ramps, beautifying and adding crosswalks, installing pedestrian gates at the railroad tracks and extending entrances to parking lots.

Board covers match funds after DTCDC pulls project support

By David Gomez
Mar. 24, 2010    ·    5:58 a.m.

The Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority approved pulling $57,500 from its reserve funds to cover the local match for the planned Cross Street improvement project.

The shortfall in the match came as the Depot Town Community Development Corporation pulled its anticipated $46,406 contribution to the local match, as the scope of work is not what the organization had approved to support.

Estimated to cost more than $1 million, the beautification project would be funded by a federal grant that covers 60 percent of the budget.

Nearly 40 percent of the remaining $410,000 in local funding will covered by the Michigan Department of Transportation, leaving $257,000 to be paid by local organizations.

In February, City Council agreed to cover up to $170,000 of the local match. The DDA anticipated spending $30,000 on the project and the DTCDC agreed to cover the remaining cost so long as the scope of work it approved was being implemented.

Six options were being discussed in the early stages of the plan, all designed to offer pedestrian safety and beautification elements from Depot Town to the water tower along Cross Street. The DTCDC approved two options, neither of which are the plan being considered for implementation.

The main differences in the plan now being considered for implementation and the plans approved by the DTCDC are the current plan does not including adding to the median on Cross Street in Depot Town and it calls for fewer bump-outs than the other two plans.

In a resolution presented by the DDA’s Design Committee, the board approved using reserve funds held by the DDA to increase the match of funds to the Cross Streetscape Grant Thursday.

Mayor Paul Schreiber said in the future, requests to use reserve funds should come after the DDA Board has its budget completed. He said all projects should be prioritized before the board starts deciding what to do with reserve funds.

“As we’re considering this motion we should consider what our priorities are,” Schreiber said. “Six months down the road, when the city has made some cuts and people are really feeling it, people might ask why is the city doing this, why are they not investing in other things, or our infrastructure?”

The resolution was passed and as a result the East Cross Tax Increment Financing fund will contribute an additional $23,000 in matching funds from the East Cross TIF reserve balance to the streetscape project. The West Cross TIF will also contribute an additional $34,500 in matching funds from the West Cross TIF reserve balance to be used for the streetscape project.

Later in the meeting, the board approved an unrelated resolution concerning the DTCDC proposed by the DDA's Organization Committee, which denied a $5,000 payment from the DDA to the DTCDC.

When the DTCDC had control over scheduling and maintenance of Riverside and Frog Island parks, the former Depot Town DDA had agreed to pay the organization $5,000 a year for three years to help with the effort, of which it had made two payments.

The resolution was proposed by the committee because the DTCDC no longer has those responsibilities. The committee said it did not want to continue paying for services that would no longer benefit the DDA districts.

The resolution was approved but it also suggested that the DTCDC submit a new request for funding from the DDA at a later date.

Related articles:
Ypsi DDA Design Committee moves on projects
Non-profit loses parks agreement with city

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