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

YFD could charge for services

City Council met Thurdsay night instead of Tuesday due to the spring elections held this week. Photo by Dan DuChene

City Council met Thurdsay night instead of Tuesday due to the spring elections held this week.
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City Council approves ordinance to collect from insurance companies

By Dan DuChene
May. 8, 2009    ·    9:55 a.m.


The Ypsilanti Fire Department could start collecting revenue for its services rendered in the community.

Ypsilanti City Council unanimously approved an ordinance that would allow the department to charge fees based on the service calls it performs.

The ordinance had been tabled on its first reading last month. The city's Director of Administrative Services April McGrath said no public hearing was held on this reading of the ordinance because it was held before its first reading.

City Council will have to vote on the ordinance one more time before it can go into effect.

Staff at the meeting said the intent of the ordinance is to recover the cost of performing services from insurance companies. A report provided to City Council said the measure could generate $36,000 to $72,000 a year.

Ypsilanti Fire Chief Jon Ichesco said the aim of the policy would be directed mostly at responses to motor vehicle accidents, but could include fires started by illegal activity or responding to gas lines broken accidentally by contractors.

The policy City Council adopted defines an incident as medical first responder run, an accident—whether by car or plane, a response or rescue resulting from a downed wire or broken gas line, an occurrence related to alcohol abuse or a false claim.

The policy states, “A response to a natural disaster, an act of God or a fire that occurred naturally and that is not the result of any identifiable fault—in that the fire was not intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or negligently started—is not considered an incident for purposes of this division.”

A responsible party, according the policy, is the individual, organization or parents of a juvenile “that creates the need for a response.” Ichesco said a fee will not be charged against a person because they had made the call, so long as they are not responsible for creating the necessity of the call.

“Many cities have this type of ordinance,” City Attorney John Barr said at the meeting.

“What happens in these cases is the homeowners have insurance,” he said. “Without an ordinance, we can not collect on revenue.”

Barr said the ordinance will not affect insurance rates in the city, including home or auto.

Though he agreed the coverage of what is billable in the ordinance is broad, Ichesco said the enforcement of what fees are actually collected will be more narrowly defined when City Council chooses a third-party billing company. The service, which is commission-based, is expected to be bid out once the resolution is adopted.

Ichesco said he would like to see the policy in place by the end of the summer.

The fee structure laid out by the ordinance corresponds to the staff and equipment needed to respond to a call. A firefighter would cost $36 an hour, an officer or inspector would cost $43 an hour, a support vehicle would be $150 an hour and an aerial truck or fire engine would cost $450 an hour.

According to documentation provided to City Council, a “minor” car accident could cost $221, and a “major” car accident could cost $1,160.

Councilmember Brian Robb, D-Ward 3, expressed concern that the cost of these fees could get expensive for someone who is uninsured. Councilmember Lois Richardson asked about a fire set accidentally by an old woman in her home.

Ichesco said he wouldn’t consider those billable scenarios. After the meeting he said these specifics would be ironed out when the billing company is selected, and the enforcement parameters are set.

“I probably wouldn’t bill someone if they couldn’t afford it,” Ichesco said.



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