Ypsilanti City Council has voted unanimously to have the city Assessor create a tax roll for the city-wide Streetlight Special Assessment District, and to file the roll for public examination.
The cost of replacing streetlights with more efficient LEDs will be covered by the $58 every parcel of city land would pay each year for two years. That's a big change from the original proposal, which had residents paying for the replacement and operation of the lights for the next 18-years.
It may not be terribly exciting, but tonight's agenda for the Ypsilanti Community schools Board of Education includes some items important to helping the newly-formed district get the school year started on the right foot.
WEMU's Bob Eccles provides a preview of tonight's session:
The annual Ypsilanti Heritage Festival kicks-off on Friday and the celebration will run through the weekend. It's a perfect time to take a look back at some of the elements that have helped create the identity of this Washtenaw County community.
WEMU's Wendy Wright delves into the rich history and heritage of the City of Ypsilanti. In this 11-minute audio feature, Wendy provides some historical snapshots of people and places that helped forge the identity on Michigan's 2nd oldest city.
Ypsilanti City Council has voted to limit the number of medical marijuana licenses it accepts or renews in a given year. The second and final reading of an ordinance to that effect was approved Tuesday night.
Residents voiced their objections to the Ypsilanti's plan to charge land owners a fee to replace the some of the city's street lights with new LED models at Tuesday night's city council meeting.
Under the proposal, each parcel of land was to be charged a $98 fee for the first year, with the fee steadily declining over the following years to around $70 by 2031. AnnArbor.com says council amended the proposal so that residents would not have to pay to power the streetlights during that period, and instead would pay about $58 a year for just two years.
The most commonly-voiced objections to the plan included its cost, the perceived value attained from the switch, and having to pay an additional fee for something that has previously been payed for by property taxes.
Ypsilanti City Manager Ralph Lange says the city has worked hard to make the project as affordable as possible.
The cost over converting older, less efficient streetlights to LED's over the 2013-14 and 2014-15 fiscal years is estimated at over $555,000. Converting the lights is expected to save the city over $100,000 a year.
Public discussion about the street lights will continue at the at the next council meeting, scheduled for August 20.
The Liberty Square housing development in Ypsilanti township is being torn down.
Ypsilanti Township's blight busters team started legal proceedings against the owners of the Liberty Square development in 2010. the physical condition of the complex was in bad shape and deteriorating rapidly.
Additionally, the Washtenaw county Sheriff's Department was spending a lot of time in the complex, combating illegal activity. Demolition work began Monday on the 21 acre, 17 building complex on Grove near the I-94-Rawsonville Road interchange.
Township Supervisor Brenda Stumbo says the demolition should serve as a reminder to other property owners that Ypsilanti Township won't tolerate blighted properties. Demolition of the entire complex is expected to take about three months.
The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education tonight will consider tweaking the start time for classes at its meeting tonight. The district planned to have each student to spend seven-and-a-half hours in school every day, but it's being proposed to reduce that by fifteen minutes.
Currently, classes at Ypsilanti Community High School are set to begin at 8 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m. Under a proposed change, the high school would let out at 3:15 p.m. instead. Ypsilanti Community Middle School would have the same bell times. Classes in district elementary schools would start at 9:10 a.m. and let out at 4:25 p.m, rather than 4:40 p.m. The school day at Ypsilanti New Tech would run from 7:50 a.m. to 3:05 p.m.
Ypsilanti's Non-Motorized Advisory Committee is working with Eastern Michigan University to help improve awareness of and safety along the Border-to-Border Trail where it runs past the EMU Convocation Center. WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.
Ypsilanti Community Schools Superintendent has some problems with a new proposed evaluation system for public schools teachers and administrators. The Michigan Council for Educator Effectiveness presented the recommendation to Governor Rick Snyder and lawmakers earlier this month. The recommendations could be considered this fall and put in place by 2015.
Ypsilanti Community Schools Superintendent Scott Menzel says performance should be judged on the building level not the performance of individual teachers.