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Ypsilanti was in the news a lot today.I had no less than twenty-two people send me an article in USA Today titled “Auto Woes Manufacture City’s Decline.” I don’t even know twenty-two people. Anyway. The article wasn’t something the Chamber of Commerce or the Ypsilanti Visitor’s Bureau will be advertising any time soon, but it was a fair look at what effects the lagging Michigan economy is having on small towns like Ypsilanti.
There were a few notable quotes from area celebrities in the article. Said current mayor Cheryl Farmer, “We’re broke. We’re cut to the bone. There’s no place else to cut that really won’t be felt,” Everyone knows about Ypsilanti’s budget troubles, but you can’t deny those words don’t have the same meaning as they did before the City announced they doubled their budget reserve to $1.6M. I have to admit quotes like that make me feel less guilty about stiffing the Salvation Army bell ringer at Christmas when I passed him after buying a couple iPods. I was tapped out. iPods don’t grow on trees.
The only other thing that struck me odd was the comment about how the closing the ACH LLC plant (formerly Visteon) will cost the City $800K in tax revenue. If people say that enough, just maybe it will come true. The truth of the matter is that ACH LLC owns almost fifty-two acres along Factory Street. They pay more than $2M in property taxes. Of that $2M, $880K goes to the City. When the plant does close, the City will lose the personal property taxes they collect on the more than $100M in equipment housed there, but ACH LLC will still pay property taxes. The City will only lose around $460K when the place shuts down. If you don’t believe me, you can always read what the City Manager says. $460K is a lot of cake, but it’s not $800K and we should really stop reporting that number unless of course we believe the residents of Ypsilanti need to suffer a little. [ed. note: If you don’t get that little reference, wait for the audio.]
The other bit of gossip that was newsworthy today was that the Ypsilanti Police caught a murderer. The down-side of this news, however, was there was a murder in Ypsilanti last night. If it’s possible to spin this news in a good way, at least it was a crime of passion murder and we shouldn’t be worried for our safety. It does mean that Ypsi Crime needs to come up with another color for a marker. I had used all black for the assault / burglary that occurred in Normal Park, but this is quite a bit worse than that was.
Finally, speaking of a string of unsolved criminal sexual assaults, the Ypsilanti Police have a strong suspect in the series of attacks dating back to March of this year. Kudos to the YPD.
Sometimes slow news days aren’t so bad.
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