Ypsilanti City Council covers a few EMU related matters

The Ypsilanti City Council’s meeting on Tuesday covered only a few matters directly affecting the Eastern Michigan University community.

The meeting began with a working session update on the prospect of the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Department building a recreation center on Michigan Avenue.

Members of the EMU Community have been considered by earlier studies as potential users of the building, and of the border-to-border trail that would run along the Huron River at the west edge of the site.

The building is proposed for the northwest corner of the Water Street site, immediately across the Huron River east of the block containing City Hall.

Coy Vaughan, associate director of WCPARC, reported on plans which include setting up a Steering and Advisory Committees, on assistance coming from University of Michigan students and faculty and on the mechanics of obtaining a bond.

Vaughan said a bond couldn’t extend beyond the 10 years of the existing WCPARC millage. Vaughan also said the Ann Arbor YMCA continues to participate in planning the nature and management of the building, and architects are working on the location and footprint of the building.

Vaughan said if the process works well, construction could start in 2015.
Vaughan replied the county intends to keep the costs as affordable as the Meri Lou Murray center on Washtenaw Avenue in Ann Arbor.

Senior Planner Theresa Gillotti described the route along the Huron River through Ypsilanti for the border-to-border trail, which will accommodate pedestrians and bicycles. Later in the meeting, Council approved applying for a $300,000 grant from the State. Washtenaw County will also apply for $292,000 as part of the City-County partnership to build the trail.

Gillotti also described the state of cleaning up the pollution on the Water Street site, which is nearly complete. She believes that site design can avoid the remaining pollution, although a spot of heavy metal contamination may require treatment. Gillotti described the use of newly planted trees to draw contaminants out of the soil.

The Ypsilanti District Library’s community relations officer, Donna DeButts, summarized the YDL’s 2011 Community Report, emphasizing the services and programs at the YDL-Michigan Avenue site across the street from the College of Business. The library’s main building is at 5577 Whittaker Road.

Other business included matters related to rezoning in the Downtown Development Authority area and on Norris Street, adopting Federal Emergency Management Agency Flood Insurance Rate Map and management of the Ypsilanti Housing Commission.

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