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

Ypsi DDA makes cuts

Dr. Kimberly A. Rice DDS

Funding reduction for TIF projects, parking study approved in budget.

By Dan DuChene
May. 1, 2009    ·    12:59 p.m.

The Ypsilanti Downtown Development Association approved its 2009-2010 budget at a special meeting held April 24.

The adopted budget allocates nearly $18,500 out of the organization’s fund reserve. The move allows the DDA to dip into more than 5 percent of into its $350,000 reserves next year.

The budget was approved by a 6-1 vote, with Jim Nelson voting against. Karen Maurer and David Curtis were absent from the meeting.

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.

To allot for the drop in revenue, the budget also cuts $55,000 from its Tax Increment Financing projects compared to this year.

Vosburg said the DDA receives revenue from two base sources. The first is from a 2-mil property tax collected within the district, which feeds the organization’s operating budget.

The second source is from an established TIF district, which caps the distribution of property tax revenue to other entities such as the library and schools, and diverts the remaining money to the DDA.

Next year, the budget cuts out funding to streetlight banners, holiday decoration replacement and “miscellaneous projects.” In addition, the budget cuts $10,000 from its $30,000 marketing budget.

“We’re not doing any slashing or burning,” Vosburg said. “We’re being wise with our budget.”

One item that will be carried over to next year is a $30,000 study into downtown parking. The study will look into parking trends downtown, and investigate the possibility of the DDA taking over the operations of parking enforcement downtown. The study was budgeted for this year, but was never conducted.

While next year’s budget does not allot for moving the director position to full-time, Vosburg said the board was likely going to pursue the possibility the following year. A full-time DDA director is a recommended step to continue the DDA’s commitment to the Main Street Program.

“The board has definitely indicated they are interested in going full-time in the next finanicial year,” Vosburg said.

Currently, Vosburg spends 25 percent of his time working for the Depot Town Downtown Development Association. In return, the DTDDA provides $18,000 in revenue every year to offset the cost. The YDDA would be out that income if it moved to a fulltime position.

The board decided to allocate $10,000 to this summer’s Cross Roads Music Festival. Curtis had asked the board for a $15,000 contribution at the DDA’s prior meeting. The DDA contributed $10,000 to the event next year.

He said private donations to the event this year have been drying up and the group that hosts the event, the Downtown Association of Ypsilanti, wants to attract larger acts, and thus more people, to the event.

SESI Motors
The Rocket

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