PPNA Happenings

Happenings, history and news of the Prospect Park Neighborhood and Ypsilanti

Neighborhood Information Letter 3-13-09

Posted by ppna on March 13, 2009

Hello Neighbors,

Here are a few things you should know and/or do.

DON’T PUT OUT YARD WASTE — Until your trash day beginning APRIL 6th — Let’s not make this Yard Waste Gate, you have been given notice. There was an ordinance passed against Yard Waste too.

POSSIBLE GARDEN DAY? — Would you be interested in a multi neighborhood Garden Day? We could have activities for kids, information sessions, gardening classes, perineal exchange, plant sale, etc. Contact me if you think this is a good idea. prospectparkneighborhood@comcast.net

Are Moving and Planning on Renting Your Home? — Be advised that if you rent a home in the city of Ypsilanti you need to contact the building department before doing so. They have a form for you to fill out and I believe you need to have it inspected.

PROSPECT PARK SUMMIT #2 – Wednesday April 1st (I believe 7pm) Once again folks are invited to come share their feelings about Prospect Park and offer suggestions of ways to improve the park but more importantly show your support for the park. This meeting is a joint meeting of the PPNA, EPPNA, HESNA, and Miles Street. We will be walking the park as we discuss. Bring your kids since they are primary users of the park and their opinions matter too.

Community Emergency Response Team Training – As a member of the Ypsilanti Citizen Police Academy I can tell you how nice these classes are. My guess is that the C.E.R.T. training course will be very worthwhile. Information can be found below.

Home Weatherization Money Coming to the County — I am an advocate of sealing homes and making them use less energy. The numbers are stagering and you’d be surprised at how much money you can save with minimal investment. In a lot of older homes a few tubes of caulk will save as much energy as new windows. Information on FREE weatherization can be found below (low income isn’t what it used to be).

Art Classes at the ‘What is That Gallery — look below for information. If you haven’t been to the gallery YOU NEED TO CHECK IT OUT. The owners are fantastic community people, the art is great and varied, and the exhibits change often

_______________________________________________________________________________

What is That Gallery, Art Classes!

Friends,
We are looking ahead to our next session of classes here at the What is That Gallery in downtown Ypsilanti. We have adult and youth classes in a variety of subjects including acrylic, watercolor, ceramics and much more. This 6 week session runs from April 13-May 23. I am attaching a flyer for this session, please feel free to print out as many as you need. I’m also including a registration form for your easy access. If you register by April 3, you will save $6/session!

We are excited to be bringing art education to down town Ypsi. Thanks for your help in getting the word out to those who will benefit.

For a detailed listing of all classes, times and prices please check out our blog at http://www.whatisthatgallery.blogspot.com

Thanks and feel free to call or email with any questions.

Peace,

Jaclyn Morrow
Education Director
What is That, a Gallery of Fine Art and Craft
734-485-0113
130 W Michigan Ave, Ypsi

_______________________________________________________________________

County Gets $4.1 Million Weatherization Grant
Stimulus funds to aid 600 low-income homes in Washtenaw
By Mary Morgan
March 10, 2009

Washtenaw County’s weatherization program, which typically serves about
100 homes annually out of a $350,000 budget, is getting $4.1 million
over the next 18 months from the 2009 federal stimulus package. That
amount will allow the program to weatherize 600 homes – and lower
utility bills – for low- to moderate-income families during that period.
To ramp up for this influx of federal funding, the program will be
hiring staff for the duration of the grant, which runs from April 1,
2009 through Sept. 30, 2010. Aaron Kraft, program coordinator, said
there are two full-time employees now (including him), plus a private
contractor who does inspections. Kraft expects they’ll need seven
full-time staff in the office to handle outreach and applications, four
more inspectors and double the number of general contractors that they
use to work on these projects.

In addition to the increased number of houses they’ll be able to serve,
the amount that can be spent per house has roughly doubled, Kraft said.
Not including administrative costs, about $4,500 will be available for
each home. The program covers houses, mobile homes, townhomes and
condominiums, but not usually apartments in large complexes, Kraft said.
Those funds pay for an energy audit/home inspection, which reveals ways
in which a home’s energy efficiency can be improved. That includes a
“blower door” test to depressurize the house – basically, taking a
powerful fan and sucking out the air to exaggerate the effects of air
leakage through cracks around doors and windows. They’ll also do a meter
reading on the refrigerator – if it’s an energy hog, the program might
pay to replace it with a more efficient model.

For many homes, Kraft said, installing insulation in the attic, walls
and foundation “gets the most bang for your buck.” They replace all
light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, but they don’t often replace
windows – that’s often beyond the program’s budget, and it’s not where
you’ll see the most energy savings, he said, calling that a myth
generated by Wallside Windows.

The inspection also looks at general health and safety issues, like
whether there are adequate smoke detectors. They’ll also check to make
sure there’s no carbon monoxide emissions from a faulty furnace or hot
water heater.

Federal guidelines, based on poverty levels, have changed for income
eligibility, Kraft said, so more people qualify for the weatherization
program. You automatically qualify for assistance if you’re receiving
Michigan bridge cards (formerly known as food stamps), or if you receive
supplemental security income (SSI). Priority is given to the disabled,
elderly and families below 125% of the federal poverty level, Kraft
said.

Beyond that, you qualify if you fall at or below these annual income
levels:
1-person household: $21,660
2-person household: $29,140
3-person household: $36,620
4-person household: $44,100
5-person household: $51,580
6-person household: $59,060
7-person household: $66,540
8-person household: $74,020
(For each additional person, add $7,480)
Income is calculated going back the previous 90 days, so if someone was
making more than these levels but has been laid off recently, they might
qualify.

The grant is part of a much larger amount expected for Washtenaw County
from federal stimulus bills passed in 2008 and earlier this year. Other
federal funding, such as $3 million for the purchase and rehab of
foreclosed property, was discussed at the March 4 Board of Commissioners
meeting, where some county staff members mentioned the weatherization
funds and pointed The Chronicle to Kraft.

Much of the federal funding hasn’t been allocated with specific dollar
amounts, so in that way the weatherization program is ahead of the game.
The funds flow from the U.S. Department of Energy, and are administered
locally via the county’s Employment Training and Community Services
(ETCS) department out of its Harriet Street office in Ypsilanti.
Handling such a dramatic increase will be challenging, Kraft said. In
the past, they’ve relied on word of mouth and local nonprofits or
community organizations to make referrals. Or people might be made aware
of the program when they call the county’s 2-1-1 information line.
They’ll probably change their approach to outreach, he said, in order to
get more people enrolled.

So what if the program doesn’t spend all the funds?

“Oh … not an option,” Kraft said.

If you think you qualify or would like more information, call the
weatherization program 734.544.2948.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Press Release

CERT PROGRAM

The Ann Arbor Police Department/Office of Emergency Management in conjunction with the Washtenaw County Office of Emergency Management is now accepting applications for the Washtenaw County C.E.R.T. Team (Community Emergency Response Team) Training.

The (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.

To become a CERT member, you will have to take the CERT training. Applications for Washtenaw County residents are now being accepted at the Ann Arbor Police Department or on the Police webpage.

This training course will run every Thursday night from April 5th to May 14th from 6:30 – 9:30 pm with the final exercise and graduation on the morning May 16th . The course is a combination of classroom sessions and hands-on training in scene assessment, fire safety, emergency medical response, team organization, disaster medical operations, and light search and rescue. The course will also provide information on topics such as, local threats, hazards, county and city emergency management initiatives and incident command and terrorism.

Attendance at all classes is required for certificate of completion.

Citizens interested in participating in this course should call Crime Prevention Specialist Adele El-Ayoubi, ICPS, with the Ann Arbor Police Department at 734-994-8775 or log on to the City website at http://www.a2gov.org . The C.E.R.T. Training Course Application deadline is Friday, March 20th , 2009 at 5:00 pm at the Ann Arbor Police Department. All applicants agree to a background investigation and will be notified if they have been accepted into the course. Seating is limited, so please submit your application as early as possible.

If you have already completed a CERT course in your workplace, reside within Washtenaw County, and are interested in join the Washtenaw County Team, please look for instructions at our website.

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