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Ann Arbor City Council votes to establish new department for economic development

Ann Arbor City Council meets on April 2, 2024.
Kevin Meerschaert
89.1 WEMU
Ann Arbor City Council meets on April 2, 2024.

The City of Ann Arbor has established an Office of Economic Development with a focus on expanding the development of housing for all income levels.

The creation of the OED was part of recommendations presented to the City Council in December in what was billed as a “New Approach to Economic Development.” The report looked into how the city could be more effective at pursing economic initiatives.

City Council member Jen Eyer says creating such a department is long overdue.

“This is something that Ann Arbor has not had. We have not even had someone within city staff whose job it is to focus on economic development. So, this is a huge step forward for us.”

Deputy City Administrator John Fournier says while the Office of Economic Development can reach many potential businesses, the prime focus will be housing development, which is nearing a crisis point for many people in Ann Arbor.

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News Reporter and Host Kevin Meerschaert was a student reporter at WEMU in the early 90s. After another 30 years in the public radio business and stops in Indiana, Maryland, Florida, and New Mexico, Kevin is back to where it all began.
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