Late Tuesday night, Ypsilanti City Council approved a $14 million budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.
Twelve residents attended the budget meeting that lasted four and a half hours. The budget is about 16% less than the current fiscal year. The savings come from, among other things, a reduction in spending on city employee overtime and a new. less expensive trash collection contract. City officials caution, everything could change if voters don't approve a 2.3 mill tax request on the August 2nd primary election ballot. Mayor Amanda Edmonds says the money generated through the tax will help the city further pay down bond debt from the ongoing Water Street redevelopment project. The city has been paying about $1.3 million dollars in debt service, annually. Edmonds says if the millage issue fails in August, the city will have to make serious budget cuts that would likely include job layoffs and city service reductions.
City resident Susan Melke attended the meeting. She says she doesn't want to vote for the millage but says it's preferable to having the city fall under control of a state appointed emergency manager or filing for bankruptcy. If approved, the new tax would replace an expiring millage, and city manager Ralph Lange says it will not result in a tax increase for residents.
For more information on the Water Street millage, click here.
— Jorge Avellan is the Ann Arbor beat reporter and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him firstname.lastname@example.org