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Highlights from March Milan City Council

The Milan Village Apartments on Hurd Street may be under new ownership soon, as the Milan City Council passed the necessary provisions to allow The Woda Group, Inc. of Westerville, Ohio to take over the apartments as a “HUD” development (Housing and Urban Development).
Woda currently owns and operates the McCalla Green apartments on Canfield in Milan.
Craig Patterson, representing Woda, attended two Milan City Council meetings to explain the project.
According to Patterson, Woda will spend about $5 million on construction and moving costs if it purchases the property. He said construction would begin in 2018.
Several residents of Milan Village Apartments attended the city council meeting, worried they might become homeless if the present owner sells to Woda.
“We will honor the commitments by previous ownership,” he declared.
“There is a full relocation plan under the HUD guidelines.”
One building will be vacated temporarily, with residents going to another site in Milan, paying the same HUD rent as before. Woda will pay moving expenses, Patterson explained. “There are other properties in Milan with HUD vouchers,” he stated.
All the buildings, containing 36 apartment units, will be completely rehabbed, with new kitchen and bathroom cabinets, and upgraded insulation.
Units on the first floor will be redesigned for wheelchairs, he added.
The apartments were built in 1979, according to Jade Smith, Milan City Administrator.
The Milan City Council gave Woda the green light by passing an ordinance creating a PILOT, or “Payment in Lieu of Taxes.” The PILOT provides for a payment to the city from Woda of $15,000 per year, instead of taxes.
The city council also passed an agreement with Woda requiring it to pay the city $12,000 per year for police, fire, and ambulance services.
 In other action, the city passed two ordinances meant to address deteriorated or dangerous buildings. One ordinance provided for fire officials, building officials, or zoning officials to enforce blight laws. The other allows the city to board up or otherwise address blighted buildings, including both commercial and residential.
Milan’s municipal attorney, Jesse O’Jack of Ypsilanti, submitted both ordinances for consideration by the City Council. “These are modeled on Michigan state law, based on the housing code,” O’Jack remarked.
Police Chief Donald Tillery introduced his new police officer, Brandon Brothers, to the City Council. He said Brothers is a graduate of the Washtenaw County Community College Police Academy. He is also a graduate of Milan High School, Tillery added.
Several residents of Milan Crossing came to ask about their paving plans. Jade Smith explained that owners are paying based on square footage of their properties. Mayor Michael Armitage stated that owners of both Milan Crossing I and II are all contributing to the cost of paving and streetlights.
Martha Churchill is a member of the Milan City Council.

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