Water damage prompting debate about the future of Lansing’s City Hall

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 10:04 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2021 at 5:24 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The Lansing City Council held its meeting in a different location Monday night, as water damage continued to plague City Hall. City officials told News 10 this isn’t the first time something like this has happened in the building.

Mayor Andy Schor said he made a proposal earlier this year to either renovate City Hall or move to a different location altogether. Renovations would cost taxpayers millions of dollars, but moving would cost tens of millions of dollars, and some who live in Lansing told News 10 they just want what’s best for their bottom line.

Lansing’s City Hall is still drying up after a water tank burst on the tenth floor, causing damage to three of the floors underneath it.

According to Mayor Schor, aside from the random mishaps like this, the building itself is costing taxpayers a half a million dollars to maintain each year. It begs the question; Should the city stay and continue renovating, or move?

Lansing resident Loretta Stanaway said, “I think that the taxpayers cannot bear the cost at this time.”

Stanaway believes moving has the potential of costing the people of Lansing more money than staying put.

“Unless and until they can do it in a way that doesn’t burden the taxpayer additional taxation, it needs to stay where it is,” she said.

Like Stanaway, Deandre Langston said he simply wants whatever is the most cost effective for the taxpayer.

“If it fits them to move, they should move,” Langston said. “If it helps then they should. But if it’s not helping and it could save money then stay there.”

However, he says it is alarming how much money goes into the maintenance of the building each year.

Langston said, “I would rather it go somewhere else than that. Probably more downsized.”

With the construction of the building finished in 1958, Stanaway believes it still has plenty of life left to live.

Stanaway said, “I’ll tell you what, there’s castles in England that are 300 years old and they’ve been upgraded and renovated and are still in use. There’s no reason a 50-60 year old building should be considered obsolete.”

Mayor Schor says unless the right proposal and location is brought forward, City Hall is likely to stay right here for now.

Until the damage can be fixed in City Hall, City Council meetings will be held at the South Washington Office Complex on the first floor. That’s on Washington Avenue.

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