Conan Smith

Lisa Barry

The Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan has unveiled its new master plan for a rapid public transportation system.

The proposal calls for expanding rail and bus systems and connecting Washtenaw, Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne Counties.

I talked with the Executive Director of Metro Matters and Washtenaw County Commissioner Conan Smith about what this could mean for the community.


Washtenaw County
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Hiring a new county administrator could take significantly longer than expected.

 


City of Ypsilanti

 

The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners will vote Wednesday night on a proposal to merge local conventions and visitors bureaus into one county-wide entity. The merger has been a contentious issue, especially in Ypsilanti.


Washtenaw County businesses may be able to get energy efficiency upgrades without paying for them upfront. 

The County Commissioners later this month will hold a public hearing on a proposed property assessed clean energy or PACE program. 

County Commissioner Conan Smith says he hopes energy saving upgrades can be made soon.  He says if the County Commissioners approve the PACE program this month, plans should be in the pipeline by spring and construction underway during 2014.

Ann Arbor already has a PACE program but their effort includes a pool of public funds, the county's plan will only use private dollars.  Smith says the two programs are complimentary and businesses in Ann Arbor will be able to choose which program best meets their needs.

The Washtenaw County budget is in much better shape through the second fiscal quarter than originally projected.

As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the question now under debate is how best to use the additional money.