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

Ypsilanti Township to file ‘objections’ against GM

A resolution, passed unanimously at Tuesday evening’s township board meeting, outlined the municipality’s arguments for keeping the Michigan facility open as opposed to GM’s Powertrain Plant located in Toledo, Ohio. Photo by Christine Laughren

A resolution, passed unanimously at Tuesday evening’s township board meeting, outlined the municipality’s arguments for keeping the Michigan facility open as opposed to GM’s Powertrain Plant located in Toledo, Ohio.
Haabs

Board passes resolution opposing plant closing for Friday deadline in Federal Bankruptcy Court

By Christine Laughren
Jun. 17, 2009    ·    12:57 a.m.


Ypsilanti Township intends to file objections with federal bankruptcy courts Friday surrounding General Motors Corporation’s decision to close and sell the Willow Run Transmission Operations Plant.

A resolution, passed unanimously at Tuesday evening’s township board meeting, outlined the municipality’s arguments for keeping the Michigan facility open as opposed to GM’s Powertrain Plant located in Toledo, Ohio.

The township’s legal council Wm. Douglas Winters said he is frustrated there was no dialogue before GMC made a decision June 1 to close the Willow Run plant.

“Give me a chance to be heard, give us a chance to make our case,” he said during the board’s discussion of the resolution.

Willow Run is on a list with six other GM plants in Michigan proposed to be closed in the struggling automotive company’s pending bankruptcy case.

In its resolution the township argues its tax abatements, totaling more than $270 million, helped contribute to its plant having the “highest quality” six-speed transmission in the world.

The township also says the facility is the most cost-effective plant in the GM Powertrain division.

“(Willow Run Transmission Operations Plant) produces all four variances of the six-speed transmission at the lowest cost per unit, saving GM $145 per transmission in comparison to the only other GM six-speed U.S. transmission plant located in Ohio,” the resolution states.

According to township officials, if the Ohio plant cannot support high-capacity production GMC would outsource the production of the transmission to a factory in Mexico or France.

Township Supervisor Brenda Stumbo said she thinks the jobs should stay in America because American taxpayers have a 67 percent stake in the future of the company with the billion dollar bailout awarded with taxpayer money. Winters agreed.

“There has to be some transparency, there has to be some openness as to the decision making process, as to why they close one plant that has double the capacity and twice the machinery,” Winters said. “It’s somewhat hard to look optimistic about the future when you are making bad business decisions in the present.”

The township estimates GMC could save a little more than $2 million a month if the six-speed transmission were produced at Willow Run as opposed to Toledo.

Township officials also showed support of a property split that would separate the 1 million square foot YTO plant from the 4 million square foot four-speed transmission plant. The split could potentially reduce GMC’s tax liabilities by 80 percent.

Wayne County retained Miller Canfield to file objections in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court proceedings in New York. Winters said Ypsilanti Township was asked to join the objection as a “necessary party” to the proceedings and Washtenaw County and Van Buren Township would likely do the same.

Adding “insult to injury,” Winters said GM recently filed a petition with the Michigan Tax Tribunal to have its taxable value in Ypsilanti Township reduced from $166 million to $45 million in preparation of the company shutting its Willow Run facility down.

He said the “bottom line” is there needs to be some discussions with GM as to why it is closing the Willow Run Plant. He said that that’s just the beginning of the discussion that should take place.

“If closing it is what they decide to do what is the plan?” he asked. “Do you do some environmental clean-up, some kind of dialogue other than ‘it’s been nice seeing you but we have to go? ’ ”



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