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"Library Lot" Panel Discussion Held In Ann Arbor

Over 130 people attended a panel discussion held at the downtown Ann Arbor Public Library branch Thursday night.  Proposal A, which will appear on the November 6th ballot in the City of Ann Arbor, was the topic of discussion.  89.1 WEMU's Jorge Avellan attended and has the story.

If approved, Proposal A would give the green light to build an urban park and civic center on the city owned property known as theLibrary Lot.  Those who oppose it say there is no funding for the proposed project.  But Will Hathaway from the Ann Arbor Central Park Ballot Commiteeclaims there is funding available.  

"Actually, we're in a very sort of ironically enviable position for a park, because located in the downtown, we can draw on the funds of the Downtown Development Authority," said Hathaway.

EDITOR'S NOTE 10/26/2018 12:45pm PC: After this article was published, a statement was made by Joan Lowenstein, a DDA official, on the WEMU Facebook page which indicates that the DDA would not, in fact, fund a project such as this.  

Jessica A.S. Letaw from the group "Yes In My Backyard" was among the speakers who spoke against the proposal.  While she's in favor of building a high-rise development on the property, Letaw says that's not what the proposal is about.

"What we are voting on is, do we want to restrict our elected officials and our staff from being able to make their own decisions about how to dispose of public land?  And that's not to say that we should have a blank check for disposing of it," said Letaw.

A Chicago developer is interested in buying the Library Lot from the city for $10 million.  The panel discussion was hosted by the League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor AreaNon-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support.  Make your donation to WEMU todayto keep your community NPR station thriving.

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— Jorge Avellan is a reporter for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him javellan@emich.edu

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