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October 22, 2008 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2008-10-22

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The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 - 7A

From Page 1A
were initially displaced by the fire,
with the exception of those who
lived in the actual room, returned
to their rooms last night.
LSA freshman Lindsay Brentin,
who lives in Fisher Hall and stayed
in Markley during the break, said
she heard the fire alarms and
immediately opened her door to
see what was happening.
From Page 1A
ing tax subsidies for the project
stretched on for several hours. The
final vote on the resolutions did
not come until after midnight.
Ina6-4vote,the Councilapproved
up to $8.87 million in tax reimburse-
ments to the developers to subsidize
construction and site cleanup. The
exact amount of the payment will
depend on cleanup costs.
John Byl, a lawyer for the project's
developers, said the next step is to
subsidies so construction can begin.
The Council also rejected in a
5-5 vote an an amendment that
would have reduced the subsidy to
about $4.2 million.
City Council member Ronald
Suarez (D-Ward 1) did not attend
the meeting.
Dan Ketelaar and Ron Hughes,
the project's developers, applied for
the subsidy under the Brownfield
Redevelopment Act. The act pro-
vides tax incentives for projects that
"redevelop a contaminated,blighted
" or functionally obsolete property."
During the meeting, Robert Car-
son, a representative for the devel-
opers, said reducing the subsidy
from $8.87 million to $4.2 million
would jeopardize the development
as proposed.
Matthew Naud, environmental
coordinator for Ann Arbor, said
the soil at the 601 Forest site, on
the corner of South University
Avenue and South Forest Street,
is polluted with dry-cleaner fluid
and petroleum, which would qual-
ify the site as contaminated.
The developers have argued the
site is "functionally obsolete," or
economicallyunviable,because the
Bagel Factory, one of the buildings
now standing on the site, has been
vacant for years. But City Council
member Mike Anglin (D-Ward 5)

"I looked down the hallway and
there was water coming out from
underthe girl's door," Brentin said.
Brentin and her roommate let
LSA freshman Karleigh Kroll,
whose room suffered water dam-
age, keep things in their room until
the cleaning crew finished its work.
The sprinklers only went off in
the room where the fire started, but
large amounts of water seeped under
the door, rolling down the stairwell
and damaging rooms on multiple
levels of the hall, Kroll said.
said the site's proximity to campus
and the business district on South
University suggests otherwise.
"We are one block from one of
the greatest universities in the
world," Anglin said. "This -is not a
depressed site."
The developers' Brownfield
proposal covers two categories of
costs: environmental cleanup and
site preparation, which include
demolishing the current build-
ings at the site and infrastructure
improvements such as installing
sewer and water lines.
During the public comment
period of Monday's meeting, no
one spoke against the complex,
but several opponents were barred
from speaking because procedural
rules prohibit the same person
from speaking more than once
under the same public hearing.
The public hearing forthe 601 For-
est project was extended multiple
times since the Council first con-
sidered the project 10 months ago.
Several Ann Arbor residents
opposed the use of Brownfield
subsidies for the developer. They
questioned whether the site was
polluted enough"to qualify for the
Brownfield program and if the
city was fiscally healthy enough to
grant the subsidy.
LSA junior and Ann Arbor
native Yousef Rabhi said the devel-
opers' proposed pollution cleanup
effort would not work.
"The contamination has leaked
underneath the adjacent road, and
the adjacent properties," Rabhi
said. "What they're proposing is
to clean up this isolated site, but
cleaning up the isolated site will
not solve the problem."
The public comments were fol-
lowed by a contentious debate
amongthe council members.
City Council member Stephen
Kunselman (D-Ward 3) said there
are many ongoing high-rise con-
struction projects that would have

"The bigthingforme is all my text-
books," she said. "They were on the
Kroll slept in a friend's room on
the 3rd floor last night but said she
her room around5 p.m. tonight.
Logan said five of the six dis-
placed students stayed with friends
at other locations. The sixth student
made arrangements with the Dean
of Students Office to stay in another
residence hall until the damage is
qualified for Brownfield subsidies
but did not apply.
"We are unfairly subsidizing
luxury student housing, when
other projectsdid notrequire these
tax subsidies even though they
were eligible," Kunselman said.
City Council member Leigh
Greden (D-Ward 3) argued that
approving the Brownfield funds
would not cost the city anything
and was necessary to bring invest-
ment dollars into Ann Arbor.
"The only thing we're talking
about here is reimbursing a devel-
oper for expenses using the tax
dollars generated from develop-
ment on that site," he said.
Mayor John Hieftje proposed
the amendment to the Brownfield
resolution as a compromise. The
failed amendment would have cut
the subsidy by more than half to
only cover environmental cleanup,
not infrastructure improvements.
Peter Nagourney, co-chair ofthe
North Burns Park Neighborhood
Association, said, "I think giving
them the Brownfield money for
inevitable infrastructure develop-
ment would have been a bad idea.
"I was in support of the amend-
ment," he said in an interview.
Hughes said the $8.87 million
subsidy was necessary for the
14-story plan.
Hieftje and Greden said the city
had very little power to compel the
601Forest developers to do anything
above or beyond satisfying existing
city ordinances. Because the origi-
nal 21 and 25-story plans had met
zoning requirements, there would
have been very little legal ground
for the Council to deny any version
of the proposed development.
"We have limited ability to tell
people what to do with their land,"
Greden said. "When they meet the
codes, it's ultimately their land."
Ketelaar said the proposal was
"simply not going to make every-
one happy."

Michigan State hockey player
hospitalized after large brawl

Football players may
have taken part
said yesterday they continue to
investigate a fight that puta Michi-
gan State University hockey player
in the hospital.
Coaches of the Michigan State
football and hockey teams said the
athletic department is cooperating
with the investigation. The fight
early Sunday at an off-campus house
may have left three people with bro-
ken bones, police said.
Hockey defenseman A.J. Sturges
of Madison, Wis. was injured in the
incident, hockey coach Rick Comley
confirmed yesterday.
Police said a student-athlete was
hospitalized with a broken jaw and
From Page 1A
Ilitch is a former president of
Ilitch Holdings, the company that
manages Little Caesar Enterprises,
the Detroit Red Wings, the Detroit
Tigers, and Olympia Entertain-
ment. She says that role gave her
experience in working with large
organizations and large budgets
comparable to those of a large pub-
lic university.
Ilitch ran for a spot on the board
two years ago, but dropped out of
the race before her nomination was
confirmed by the Michigan Demo-
cratic Party.
Ilitch has spent the most of the
nine candidates running for two
spots on the board. According to
campaign finance reports, She's
spent just over $35,000 on her cam-
paign - about $12,500 more than
the second highest spender, Repub-
lican John LaFond.
The Michigan Democratic Party
endorsed Ilitch last month, along
with incumbent regent, Democrat
Larry Deitch.
MDP spokeswoman Liz Kerr said
the support for Ilitch is largely due
to her focus on keeping tuition rates
"It's really important to us that
we have regents in place that under-
stand that we have to keep college

possibly other head injuries during
the fight, but they did not release his
name. Sparrow Hospital officials
said yesterday that Sturges had been
released from the hospital.
The university and East Lansing
police have notreleased thenames of
others who may have been involved,
but police say the incident involved
both athletes and people outside the
school's athletic program.
East Lansing police say no arrests
have been made.
Michigan State football Coach
Mark Dantonio called the incident
"disappointing" during his Tuesday
press conference.
"My only statement would be is
that we're cooperating with author-
ities," Dantonio said.
Comley told reporters: "There's
not a problem between the football
affordable," Kerr said. "We need
ing to make education affordable to
Michigan students. She understands
that this is key to economic develop-
ment here in Michigan and turning
our economy around."
Ilitch's campaign has been boost-
ed by endorsements by several prom-
inent union groups, including United
Auto Workers, the University's Lec-
turers' Employee Organization,
Michigan Professional Firefighters
Union, Michigan Education Associa-
tion, American Federation of Teach-
ers, and Michigan AFL-CIO.'
Kirsten Herold, vice president of
LEO, said the union endorsed Ilitch
because ofher concern with keeping
education affordable and accessible
for students of all economic levels
and because ofher knowledge of the
union issues like job security, health
care costs and wages.
"As an employer, she and her fam-
ily have a very good track record of
relations with the various unions in
their workplaces," Herold wrote in
an e-mail. "She knows what it is like
to work with unions towards a com-
mon goal." -
Ilitch said she also wants to focus
on the University's accessibility,
increasing financial aid and finding
ways to ease the burden of student
loans post-graduation.
While her area of focus is helping
students with their finances dur-

program and the hockey program.
There was an incident involving a
party, multiple students, not just
athletes. It's unfortunate but I think
it'll be sorted out, and the police
are dealing with it and everybody's
The incident came just a week
after a University of Michigan
hockey player, Steve Kampfer, was
injured in a possible assault in Ann
Police and the universityhave not
named Kampfer but his mothertold
The Ann Arbor News he was injured
in an assault.
The Michigan athletic depart-
ment has said Kampfer was injured
in an off-the-ice incident.
No arrests have been made in the
case but police have said they have
a suspect.
ing their time in school, Ilitch said
she also wants to aid them in the
transition from college to career. If
elected, she said she'd be interested
in helping graduates find jobs in the
state by partnering them with men-
tors or established organizations.
"Our economy is changing," Ilitch
said. "We're moving from a manu-
facturing-based economy to a knowl-
edge-basedeconomy.We're at areally
critical point where we have to con-
tinue to investin education and invest
in our kids in order to have a strong
economy and be able to compete. To
me, this is time well spent."
Don Lee, chief marketing man-
ager at Clark Hill PLC, a law firm
in Detroit where Ilitch works, had
high praise for her.
"She's superwoman," he said. In
his time working with Ilitch, Lee
said her skills as "a problem solver
with a creative twist" have most
impressed him.
Lee said the firm recruited Ilitch
a few years ago because of her
unique business perspective, her
involvement with service projects
and her connection to many differ-
ent industries and people.
"The University would be lucky
to have her in that role," Lee said.
"I believe she can really be a differ-
ence-maker. I trust her and I know
that she works hard and is really
passionate.When she gets involved,
watch out."

i' 1

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