Millage funds for public transportation in Ypsilanti are maxed out, Ypsilanti City Council member Peter Murdock said.
“We are trying to create a regional system with the people who want to create a regional system in Washtenaw County, so that we can continue to provide the service in Ypsilanti that we need,” Murdock said.
If the city doesn’t find another source of income for services, drastic cuts could ensue. Alternative funding is being looked at, but as of now it is unclear what that will look like.
Mayor Pro Tem Lois Richardson sat in for Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
The meeting opened with a presentation by Pauline A. Bigby from the Ypsilanti District Library to promote the Ypsilanti Community African-American Read-In.
The event is in its ninth year and will take place Feb. 10 at the 5577 Whittaker Road location from 2-4 p.m. This year’s theme is Readers are Heroes and will feature graphic novel artists.
“We are very excited about it. If you haven’t attended before, this is the year to come,” Bigby said.
Mark Kettner, a certified public accountant for Rehmann Robson in Jackson, gave the city financial audit presentation.
Highlights from the presentation included:
• The assets of the city exceeded its liabilities at the close of the most recent fiscal year by about $20.9 million (net assets). This amount is net of a deficit of more than $7 million in unrestricted net assets. The city has no business-type activities and therefore reports only governmental activities in its government-wide financial statements.
• The government’s total net assets decreased by $556,742.
• As of the close of the current fiscal year, the city’s governmental funds reported combined ending fund balances of more than $19.6 million, a decrease of about $1 million in comparison to the prior year. Approximately 20 percent of this total amount, or more than $3.9 million is available for spending at the government’s discretion (unassigned fund balance).
• At the end of the current fiscal year, unassigned fund balance for the general fund was more than $3.9 million or 28.4 percent of total general fund expenditures and other financing uses.
• The city’s total bonded debt decreased by more than $3.1 million during the current fiscal year. There were no new bonds issued during the year.
Council approved, after a public hearing, Resolution No. 2013-010—an Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act application submitted by Sidetrack-Frenchie’s, located at 54 and 56 E. Cross St. in Depot Town, for renovations of the second and third floors of both properties as well as the first floor of the recently purchased property, Bird Brain at 52 E. Cross St.
City planner Teresa Gillotti gave a brief overview of the application.
“The owners are expecting to create 40 new jobs within the first 24 months, as a result of the second and third-story renovation,” she said.
Linda French, owner of the property, said, “Thank you for allowing us to continue to invest in the city of Ypsilanti.”
Council member Brian Robb said the council received the resolution for the new snow removal ordinance, but according to city attorney John Barr, it is still under review.
Robb also requested a press release policy be adopted for council to receive city news before it is heard on WEMU 89.1 FM.
“I’d really like to hear it first. I don’t really want to hear it on the radio,” he said.
City Manager Ralph Lange publically thanked Eastern Michigan University for its Martin Luther King Day event.
“It was just unbelievably good,” he said. “I appreciate that and it was great to be there.”
Council approved resolutions:
• Resolution No. 2013-013, approving Certified Local Government grant agreement between the city and Michigan State Housing Development Authority for rehabilitation of the Terry Bakery sign.
• Resolution No. 2013-014, approving transfer of $26,870 of overfunding to new Municipal Employees’ Retirement System group for Non-Union employees.
• Resolution No. 2013-015, approving amendment to the Service Contract (CR#42934) between Washtenaw County and The City of Ypsilanti dated July 16, 2012.
• Resolution No. 2013-016, supporting FEMA grant application for fire inspection services.
• Resolution No. 2013-017, approving appointments to boards and commissions.
For a full reading of the city financial audit and all resolutions visit: www.cityofypsilanti.com.
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