Ypsi to play role in DTE programs

DTE Account Manager Tim Miller presents to Ypsilanti City Council Tuesday.

The City of Ypsilanti will be the first city to participate in two DTE Energy programs that will potentially save the city $23,000 annually in streetlight energy costs.

DTE Account Manager Tim Miller and Regional Manager Paul Ganz gave a presentation to City Council Feb. 5 pertaining to approval of Resolution No. 2013-026.

The presentation described the programs to be implemented: Series circuit conversion and mercury vapor to LED conversion.

Both programs will free the city of labor costs, but the final project cost will be approximately $52,576.

In addition to lowering energy cost, public safety is also a concern. Councilman Daniel Vogt expressed interest in whether the new lighting would provide the same or more illumination than what already exists.

Miller assured the council the new lighting would be comparable.
A special assessment district presentation, pursuant to Resolution No. 2013-030, is expected at the Feb. 19 council meeting to assess electricity cost for the city and its residents.

Eastern Michigan University will likely play a large monetary role in the new lighting conversion, given the numerous fixtures on campus, Ypsilanti City Manager Ralph Lange said.

Resolutions discussed and approved by council included:

Resolution No. 2013-025 presenting City Council goals for this year.

Resolution No. 2013-026 to approve proposed agreement with DTE for streetlight conversions.

Resolution No. 2013-027 to approve the employee non-union benefit plan.

Resolution No. 2013-028 to approve the amended deficit elimination plan.

Resolution No. 2013-029 to approve actuarial services for other post-employment benefits.

Resolution No. 2013-030 to authorize commencement of a special assessment project to determine feasibility and value of creating a streetlight special assessment district.

Resolution No. 2013-032 to support the City of Ann Arbor’s efforts to change the Regional Transit Authority legislation or to have Washtenaw County removed from the RTA.

In other council news:

Ypsilanti firefighter Ken Hobbs addressed the council in relation to the city’s current goal for the fire and police departments. He said the Ypsilanti Fire Department will continue to maintain outstanding public service by continuing to meet the demands of the community.

However, Hobbs said his concern is the available manpower: He said when he started in the department there were 33 firefighters and that number is now 15.

Hobbs said the city is currently exploring options for fire and police services—one being cross-training between departments, which the fire department is not in favor of.

He urged the council to consider other options, such as adequate staffing to help eliminate current overtime or merging with the Ann Arbor Fire Department.

Ypsilanti mayor Paul Schreiber said he appreciated Hobbs’ comments.

The proposed public safety model is a hybrid model that would have police officers cross-trained to work as firefighters
Schreiber said it’s a tough issue for the council, and there has been a lot of discussion about it. He hopes people can approach it with open minds and understand the city is trying to deliver service to the community with the funding it has at its disposal.

For a full reading of all resolutions visit www.CityofYpsilanti.com.

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