Ypsilanti City Manager Ralph Lange's proposed 2014-15 and 2015-16 budgets include $3 million for the fire department.
Some of that money would be used to repair and department's leaky roof. The plan is to install solar panels on the roof as the repairs are completed. It's estimated the panels could save the city $20-thousand a year in electricity costs.
Grants and other funding will be sought to replace aging extrication gear and buy a new fire truck.
Solar Ypsi is close to kicking off another season of work trying to expand the use of solar power in Ypsilanti.
Solar Ypsi founder Dave Strenski says their first project will be to install solar panels on the roof of the Freighthouse in Depot Town. After that, they'll turn their attention to the building that houses the city's fire department.
"They need a new roof," Strenski says, "and so we want to try and figure out if they can integrate solar with that."
The city of Ypsilanti has used a grant received in January to hire three more fire fighters.
The $800,000 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, or SAFER grant has helped the city hire five dire fighters this year. It had been seven years since any new hires were financially possible.
The most recent additions to the Ypsilanti Fire Department include Justin Massey, who graduated from Eastern Michigan University this past winter and has worked part-time with the city of Riverview's fire department.