LANSING, Mich. — Lansing city officials say they want the public’s help to improve some of its first responder buildings, so they’re asking residents to vote in favor of a public safety bond proposal totaling $175 million.
Mayor Andy Schor and his team say its time to upgrade some of the city’s first responder buildings.
Troubles with security, proper facilities for firefighters and prisoners and HVAC issues are just some of the problems the city says its facing with its police, fire and court buildings.
“We also have a significant level of gender integration with our male and female firefighters serving under the same facility without having separation from a dorm standpoint," said Lansing Fire Chief Brian Sturdivant.
Sturdivant says women who serve as firefighters have to shower and use the same bathrooms as their male counterparts.
That's just one of many needs they hope to address. Others include, a fire training center and a total replacement of Lansing Fire And Rescue Station 9.
Officials say they would also like to build a public safety complex to house the courts, fire and police but have not chosen a site where it might be built.
“It would pay to make sure that we have a public safety facility that will hold our police in an efficient and effective way, that will have our fire headquarters that will allow us to fix our fire stations. It will also allow us to have a safe place for our courts," said Mayor Schor.
In order to make all this happen, Schor is rolling out the public safety bond proposal that he hopes the City Council will approve and send to the November ballot.
The proposal would cost the average homeowner about $153 per year, and not everyone is a fan of the proposal.
Tony Gant with Nation Outside, an advocacy group for former inmates, says the city needs to do more investing in the community, not public safety.
“We want to make sure that elected leaders think outside the box and think about investing in community as a response to community safety, so there’s less people coming into the jail if we invest right," said Gant.
Mayor Schor was expected to present the proposal to the City Council tonight but instead will make a presentation in the coming weeks.
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Tianna Jenkins & Isabella Martin