Lansing shows reasons for public safety bond

Lansing is asking voters to approve $175 million bond for new police and fire stations
The city is asking voters to pass a bond to replace buildings built 70 years ago.
Published: Oct. 21, 2022 at 7:01 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - We’re getting a look at some of the conditions Lansing’s first responders are working in every day.

The city is asking voters to pass a bond to replace buildings built in the 1950′s and 1960′s with new ones on South Washington Avenue, near the old McLaren Hospital.

The $175 million bond would move Fire Station 9 and bring the entire police department under one roof.

Background: $175M public safety bond will raise property taxes in Lansing if passed in November

Voters said they have mixed feelings about their taxes going up to pay for the new buildings.

“The conditions in our facilities where our first responders work and sometimes live are in really bad shape,” said mayor Andy Schor.

Portable air conditioners, caving ceilings, asbestos in the roofs, and only men’s restrooms. That’s just some of the issues city leaders put on display Friday in an attempt to build support for the $175 million public safety bond.

“For the things that are being built new, it’s cheaper to do that. Plus with the police station, we’ve been renting. You’re basically throwing away money,” Schor said.

He said these problems aren’t new, in fact, several police chiefs asked for the improvements but the city put it off. Schor said it won’t be long before these buildings won’t work and the price tag is even higher.

“You can’t really change a fire station where the doors aren’t tall enough to get the newest fire truck in without it costing a lot of money,” said Schor.

If voters say yes, there would be a new police station to headquarters and the operations center under one roof.

The district courts currently in city hall would also move and a new fire station 9 would be on the same property.

The bond would cost about an extra $200 a year for people who own a home with a taxable value of $50,000 dollars.

People who live near the current station 9 near Cedar and Holmes streets said they have mixed feelings about paying more.

“If it a need of a new station, I’m all for it. If they just want to move just to move it, I think it’s uncalled for,” said a woman who didn’t want to be identified.

The woman said it would be hard to see the station move.

“I would like to see it stay in the neighborhood if it needs to be renovated,” she said.

The proposal also includes renovations to fire stations 1, 2, and 8.

The city said if the bond is approved, construction would start next August.

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