(Photo courtesy Darrell Harden / darrellharden.com)
Ypsilanti City Manager told City Council in a letter dated December 2, 2008, that the city attorney has asked the manufacturer of the new aerial fire truck to take back the truck and return the cash. In the letter, City Manager Ed Koryzno told council:
Update regarding Aerial Fire Truck: The City Attorney has sent correspondence to KME, the manufacturer of the truck, and requested they take back the truck and provide us with our cash. As of this date, we are still awaiting a response on what action they plan to take.
The truck had a rocky start. After ordering the truck, the City learned it would not clear the doors at the city’s only fire station. The city paid nearly $30,000 to modify the station house so the truck would fit.
The trucks manufacturer, KME, was over 6 months late in delivering the truck requiring the city council to modify the purchase agreement to allow late delivery and avoid penalties.
The truck was finally delivered nearly a year ago. Fire officials said the truck was not usable until April 2008, nearly four months after delivery. Even after entering service in April, because of continued problems, the city says the truck has not “serviceable for thirty consecutive days since delivery December 21, 2007.”
In October 2008, the city manager told council:
Aerial Fire Truck Update: We have had issues with the new fire truck and Chief Ichesco reports that the KME Aerial Platform (Tower-1) returned to service on October 1, 2008, with several defects that will require returning the truck to KME’s service provider R & R Fire Apparatus Repair. Tower 1 has not been serviceable for thirty consecutive days since delivery December 21, 2007. In fact, staff could not use the truck until April of 2008. Staff experienced multiple computer control and micro switch failures, engine control failure, and including the wrong coolant in the system causing a shut down. We gave KME 30 days from October 1, 2008 to correct all defects, make the truck serviceable, and comply with the agreement. If the truck cannot be corrected within the 30 days, we expect KME to take possession of the truck and return the $820,000 to the City so that we may find another truck. We rely on Ann Arbor Fire (first priority) and Pittsfield Fire Department ( second priority) for coverage during down time. Ann Arbor would respond based on dispatch information and Pittsfield response is mutual requiring confirmation prior to activation.
Sources at Washtenaw County have told YpsiNews that plans for an Aldi Foods grocery store, Burger King, and a 1-story strip mall on Michigan Avenue are being finalized for the struggling Water Street project.
Aldi already has stores in Canton Township and Westland.
Burger King is expected to relocate from their store on East Michigan in Ypsilanti Township. No other tenants have been discussed.
The Water Street property had been divided into several smaller parcels for sale with the hope that it could attract interest in the project. Terms of the sale and the size of the parcel purchased have not been disclosed.
Water Street is 38 acres along US-12/Michigan Avenue and the Huron River in Downtown Ypsilanti. The City owes nearly $18 million on the project and has spent some $30 million of taxpayer money to acquire the property. The City has estimated they would need $80 million in development to payback the bonds used to purchase and clean-up Water Street.