PITTSFIELD TWP: Gas Prices, Uber Cutting into Transit Numbers; Hardship Guidelines for Taxes Set

 01/29/2016 - 15:58
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Bill DeGroot from the Ann Arbor Area Transit Authority updated the township on The Ride's service. Ridership numbers are down thanks to Uber and low gas prices. Photo by Jim Pruitt

The Pittsfield Township Board heard a quarterly update from The Ride about local routes. Many routes are suffering lower ridership numbers just as the service is preparing to expand routes and levels of service.

Much of the blame can be attributed to lower gas prices and services such as Uber. Ann Arbor (Washtenaw County) market prices stood at $1.68 per gallon as of Jan. 29. That’s 37 cents a gallon lower than a year ago, and about $1.60 per gallon lower than it was two years ago. When The Ride was setting records for ridership, gas was selling for $4.25 per gallon, Bill DeGroot, AAATA financial analyst and planner, said.

While accurate numbers are not available locally, Uber and similar services has cut into public transit by 51 percent in New York City, DeGroot said. But the local impact on cab companies is being felt with the demise of the Yellow Car Company, he said. The Ride has had some difficulty getting everything ready but now that the buses are in, they should be equipped by the middle of next month.

A big rollout is being planned for May 1 for several routes affecting the township in May.

News and notes for Pittsfield Township 

Police made 88 arrests in December, down from 114 in November. The police responded to 1,306 calls for service, down from 1,339 a month prior. The police reported 129 Class A crimes in December, down from 140 in November.

The Fire Department had 221 calls, up from 211 in November.

New Hardship Guidelines Set

The board approved hardship guidelines and set income standards as well. For a single person, the township standard is $18,770, while the federal standard is $11,770.

The chart is seen here:

Number of people residing  -Pittsfield standards - Federal standards

  • 2 persons 25,360 15,930
  • 3 persons 31,900 20,090
  • 4 persons 38,560 24,250
  • 5 persons 45,150 28,410
  • 6 persons 51,750 32,570
  • 7 persons 56,540 36,730
  • 8 persons 58,930 40,890
  • Each additional 6,000 4,160

The Board of Review will have to approve all applications. For applications and information, contact the township office.

The Board of Review will have the following meeting schedule: 1-3 p.m. March 8: Organizational meeting/Election of Chairperson 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m.: Public Hearings 9 a.m. to noon March 15: Public Hearings 2-5 p.m., 6-9 p.m. March 16 Public Hearings 2 p.m. March 17, Deliberations. Written appeals from resident taxpayers will be given equal weight and status with personal appearances, and will be accepted if received before 5 p.m. March 17.

The supervisor and clerk were authorized to enter into an agreement with Guardian Tracking, LLC to provide a hosted/web-based employee performance evaluation system/database at an annual cost of $1,469, subject to the township attorney’s approval.

The township treasurer reported healthy activity in regard to tax payments while the office was closed for the holidays. The office was closed Dec. 24-Jan. 1 and reopened Jan. 4. During the closure, most payments came via the Postal Service and the drop box. Other payment types were as follows: TCF, 52 payments Bank of Ann Ann Arbor, 39 payments Online payments, 77.

The township board approved the annexation of a parcel by the city of Ann Arbor. The vacant property is at 2250 Ann Arbor Saline Road and is wholly owned by the Mirafzali Family LLC.

Israel Won't Seek Re-Election

Township Clerk Alan Israel announced he will not be seeking re-election.

“I have been in local government service for 40-plus years upon completion of this term I will have held elective office for 20-plus years,” Israel stated in a letter released Jan. 13. “In the interest of complete transparency I’m announcing that I will not seek re-election this year. I believe strongly as your elected representative, once I made the decision not to seek re-election that I have an obligation to inform the community of that decision."

Board Honors Historic District Committees

The board approved a resolution honoring the work of two Historical District Study committees. The committees were for the Sutherland-Wilson and Harwood Heritage Farm committees. Historic districts were created for both properties.