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

DDA looks to increase spending

More than 50 acts have signed on to be a part of the 2009 Crossroads music series in downtown Ypsilanti. The festival is scheduled to run every Friday evening from June 5 to August 28 on Washington Street between Pearl Street and East Michigan Avenue. Photo by ypsicrossroads.org

More than 50 acts have signed on to be a part of the 2009 Crossroads music series in downtown Ypsilanti. The festival is scheduled to run every Friday evening from June 5 to August 28 on Washington Street between Pearl Street and East Michigan Avenue.

Budget meeting to discuss impact on reserves

By Dan DuChene
Apr. 21, 2009    ·    10:56 a.m.

Updated Apr. 22, 2009 - 3:53 p.m.

The Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority will be meeting Friday to discuss and possibly approve the organization’s budget.

A decision on the budget was tabled at Thursday’s meeting because not all of the members were there, and the group wanted to think about some new possible budget expenditures.

Brian Vosburg, the DDA Director, said the organization would not have to dip into its fund reserves this year, but there is an anticipated reduction in revenue next year.

He said an expected 3.8 percent increase in revenue turned into a 2 percent decrease after property tax assessments were appealed and overturned. The presented budget called for pulling 25 percent, or $108,000, to cover expenditures.

Regardless of the revenue decrease, the DDA has $69,000 in bond money to create a list of improvements to the North Huron, South Huron and North Adams lots.

More than $27,000 of that money could be set aside for the North Adams Lot. A $14,700 project to resurface the lot is planned, as well as a $13,000 project to remove the paymaster and install individual parking meters at all the spaces.

Vosburg said the meters are being provided free of charge from the Ann Arbor DDA. The Ypsilanti DDA would just pay to post the meters. Revenue could be generated off the project as the DDA will attempt to sell the paymaster machine.

“Why not fix the paymaster,” said local developer and DDA board member Stewart Beal.

Mayor Paul Schreiber said the problem is not that the machine is broken, but that “people have learned to jam the paymaster.”

He said parking in the entire lot becomes free when people jam the machine.

The other lots are planned to be repaired and there are lighting project planned for the various lots as well.

Aside from repairing lots, the group discussed putting aside $60,000 to look into completely taking over parking enforcement from the Ypsilanti Police Department. Vosburg said the move could generate revenue for the organization, but he didn’t know how much.

“Preliminary discussions indicate this does make sense,” he said.

Schreiber pointed to the DDA’s $125,000 unattributed balance during the meeting. He said the amount made up 25 to 30 percent of the DDA budget, where the city only requires a 10 percent undesignated balance.

“We’ve got some room,” he said.

Schreiber said the city could investigate acquiring the North Washington Lot behind the bus station on Pearl Street. He mentioned the DDA could take up plowing and shoveling snow independent from the city. He also mentioned hiring security in the North Washington Lot.

The most discussed issue Schreiber brought up was hiring a full-time director for the DDA. Currently 25 percent of Vosburg’s time is spent with the Depot Town DDA. But, to move forward with Ypsilanti’s commitment to the Main Street Program, a full-time director is needed.

The move could cost the DDA $18,000 a year, due to increased costs and the lack of revenue from the DTDDA providing funding for a quarter of the director’s time.

“I just don’t think it’s prudent to spend 25 percent of your reserves in one year,” Beal said.

Schreiber said, “That wouldn’t be ideal from a financial standpoint. But, if it’s what we’ve got to do, it’s what we’ve got to do.”

Crossroads Music Festival
After the budget discussion, Pub 13 owner and DDA member David Curtis brought up the subject of the Crossroads Music Festival.

The summer-long concert series was started by the Downtown Association of Ypsilanti in 2006 as a way to bring more people to a family-friendly activity downtown. The concerts are performed every Friday night during the summer.

“It’s a signature event for the downtown area,” Curtis, who is also a member of the DAY, said.

Curtis said the DAY is looking to increase the funding from the DDA by $5,000 from last year to put on the event. The increase would bring the new total to $15,000.

It was worked out at the meeting that the event costs $20,000 to put on. Curtis said the money is needed because the normal private donations that have helped sustain the even have started to dry up.

However, it was mentioned that the DAY was able to cut the cost of the event by $20,000 from its first year by purchasing the stage.

The group also hopes to use the funding to recruit bigger names to play, which would bring more people to the event. He said the best attended concert brought 1,300 people downtown in one evening.

In a reported submitted by the DAY, the group stated it is looking to cut the contribution from the DDA next year in half, and eliminate it entirely by 2011, through increased fundraising and sponsorship drives.

One option mentioned was to split the contribution between two payments. The DDA still has $14,600 left in its marketing budget this year. The rest would come out of next year’s marketing budget, which starts in June.

The group decided to bring this up the matter up at the budget meeting Friday.

Related articles:
Crossroads Festival looking to draw bigger crowd
DDA votes to remain Michigan Main Street Associate

Ypsilanti Historical Society
Roots Jamboree
The Rocket

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