Video: Ypsilanti City Council October 21, 2008 (Update1)

October 24, 2008 by  
Filed under News, Video

Part 1
Part 2

The big story from tonight’s Ypsilanti City Council meeting was the approval by city council for funding for AATA service. The City approved an nearly $70,000 increase in annual funding for AATA topping out at over $257,000 per year.

Presentation on Aerotropolis Corporation

Marsha L. Ennis, Aerotropolis Project Manager says Aerotropolis could create 60,000 new jobs. Ennis discussed a 10-bill package before the House in Lansing to change state economic development programs to assist Aerotropolis in attracting new business ventures. Ennis is thinking that Aerotropolis would use Local District Financing Authority (LDFA). A $50,000 annual fee would be paid for local governments though Ypsilanti would be exempt as they are part of the founding board.

Council approves on second reading the rezoning of the Hudson Motors/Automotive Heritage Museum.

Audience Participation. Lisa Walters and Lisa Zuber spoke in a tribute to John Gawlas as this is his last meeting before the next election. Beth Bashert also spoke to thank Gawlas for his willingness to take it on the chin for the city. Mayor’s remarks. Mayor Paul Schreiber (Dem) also thanked Gawlas for his service.

Minutes of Oct 3, 2008 were approved with one change.

Consent Agenda was approved with no discussion.
1. Resolution No. 2008-215, approving the Downtown Development Authority Blueprints Plan.
2. Resolution No. 2008-216, approving Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Cost Agreement for Traffic Signal Control M17 (Washtenaw Ave.) at Hamilton St.
3. Resolution No. 2008-217, approving Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Cost Agreement for Traffic Signal Control M17 (Huron St.) at Michigan Ave.
4. Resolution No. 2008-218, approving Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Cost Agreement for Traffic Signal Control M17 (Washtenaw Ave.) at Oakwood St.
5. Resolution No. 2008-219, approving Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Cost Agreement for Traffic Signal Control US 12 BR (Huron St.) at Catherine St.
6. Resolution No. 2008-220, approving Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Cost Agreement for Traffic Signal Control US 12 BR, M17 (Michigan Ave.) at
Washington St.
7. Resolution No. 2008-221, approving an agreement with Washtenaw County Community Development, Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) for
the City of Ypsilanti Sidewalk Ramp Replacement Program.
8. Resolution No. 2008-230, approving a contract with Ypsilanti Restoration, LLC for site work and wood repairs at the Ypsilanti Freighthouse.

Council approved the Aerotropolis Interlocal agreement. Bill Nickels (Dem, Ward 2) said the formation of the Aerotropolis was much like the formation of our country but without giving up local right like the states gave up their rights. Schreiber said Aerotrpolis was complicated and difficult to understand. No other discussion and the resolution was approved unanimously.

Next on the agenda was a series of resolutions outlining policies and procedures for granting tax abatements. Assistant City manager April McGrath introduced the presenters. Teresa Gilotti and Courtney Miller then presented the policies, process and fees for any future tax abatements.

This is a stunning new and sweeping policy. The new policy puts forth that any business locating in a property that is receiving a tax abatement must also pay a living wage. So this could apply to any home business. It isn’t clear if this requirement is only during the abatement period or for the life of the building. After the meeting we asked Ms. Gillotti if we misunderstood the policy and she said we did not but this was not a change but a a continuation of the existing Living Wage Law. Requiring a tenant that is not receiving the benefit of the tax abatement to pay prevailing wage would be a huge change in how the law is applied in Ypsilanti. City Manager Ed Koryzno said that he did not read the policy in the same way it was presented and would look in to the matter. YpsiNews will report back once the issue of tax abatements and living wage is clarified.

AATA funding was approved by council by a unanimous vote. Lois Richardson (Dem, Ward 1) renewed her request for how much funding AATA receives for providing service. The City manager said he was unable to get that information from AATA. Yet why didn’t the manager or City respond earlier rather than waiting until the night of the vote. Funding to AATA goes up by 39% over last year.

The City renews their request for full funding for fire service from the State. A letter will be sent.

Council proposed business
Richardson thanked Gawlas and Filipiak for their service on Council.
Brian Filipiak (Dem, Ward 3) brought up the savings of using LED for traffic signals. Filipiak also gave his swan song speech.
Robb asked about MERS investments and possible new costs from the general fund. Robb brought up the College of Business parking lot. Asked for fines for illegal dumping in downtown dumpsters.
Gawlas said goodbye and thanks. Sorry about the flowers, we did not put them there.
Nickels said thanks for Filipak and Gawlas as well.
Trudy Swanson (Dem, Ward 1) said goodbye to Gawlas and Filipiak saying Filipiak reminds him of a old teenager and that she will miss the 30 minute speeches from Gawlas.

Communications from the Mayor. Thanked Gawlas and Filipiak for their service.

Communications from City Manager Ed Koryzno. He has arranged for a guest speaker for the first council meeting after the election to talk about place. More thanks to Gawlas and Filipiak.

Audience Participation. Kevin Hill spoke about left turns on Michigan Avenue. Steve Pierce asked the council to support the request for public parking at the EMU structure downtown.

Mayor Schreiber said the EMU parking request should be pursued in a cautious manor.

Council adjourned at 9:55p.

Update1: November 3, 2008 12:14a Corrected the spelling of Teresa Gilloti’s name. Changed Prevailing Wage to Living Wage. The laws are different. Both errors were in reporting.

The City has also told YpsiNews the Living Wage ordinance would only apply to the recipient of the tax abatement. Tenants and residents working or living in properties receiving tax abatements would not be subject to the the Living Wage Ordinance. The City said they were incorrect in the information they presented to City Council about the Living Wage ordinance and the impact on tax abatements.

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