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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

Ypsilanti voters to decide on millage increase for bus service

Ypsilanti City Council unanimously approved putting a proposal to voters in August that would raise property taxes by 0.98 mills to generate revenue for bus service Tuesday. Photo by Dan DuChene

Ypsilanti City Council unanimously approved putting a proposal to voters in August that would raise property taxes by 0.98 mills to generate revenue for bus service Tuesday.

City Council unanimously approves proposal for August ballot

By Dan DuChene
May. 19, 2010    ·    1:40 p.m.

In August, voters in the city of Ypsilanti will be deciding whether to raise property taxes by 0.98 mills to fund public transportation.

If passed, the proposal would override the Headlee rollback and allow the city to collect a full 20 mills of property taxes from residents and amend the city charter to dedicate that increase solely for the use of public transportation.

The main focus of the proposal is to generate revenue to continue bus service from the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority. The Headlee override is expected to generate $281,429 in 2011, if voters approve the proposal.

City Council approved putting the proposal on the August ballot unanimously during Tuesday night's meeting. The vote came after a public hearing where four residents spoke—none against the proposal.

“I would not be an Ypsilanti resident if it were not for the public transportation service,” said Ypsilanti resident and former city planner Richard Murphy. “It's critical to... provide a stable funding source.”

When City Council agreed to an arrangement with the AATA in Sept. 2009 to fund bus service in Ypsilanti until 2011, it also said it would put forth the ballot proposal if discussions of a county-wide transportation millage did not come to fruition. The agreement had Ypsilanti fund bus service in the city for two years and the AATA use federal grant dollars to make up the city's $123,000 shortfall of the total $264,000 cost for bus service.

If the proposal passes and a county-wide millage is put in place to fund public transportation, than the millage would not be levied unless needed to supplement the millage, which would require approval from City Council.

During audience participation, Resident Beth Bashert said she supported the proposal, but with a mayoral race and three elections for City Council she said it would be hard to find people to organize and execute a campaign effectively by August.

“It's coming up in two and a half months,” Bashert said. “Who is going to run the campaign?

“I don't know who is going to fight for it and it needs a champion,” she said.

Mayor Paul Schreiber agreed that it would be difficult to convince voters to increase property taxes and said it is important to find someone with the time and desire to campaign for the proposal.

Ypsilanti resident Ingrid Koch said she was involved in Keep Ypsi Rolling, a 2006 effort to dedicate existing millage rates for bus service. The measure was unsuccessful, but Koch said she would be campaigning for the new proposal.

Related article:
City Council to discuss local bus millage

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