By Kasey Worst
Old Town Lansing Times staff writer
OLD TOWN LANSING – Members of the Lansing City Council Committee on Ways and Means discussed the possibility of a new drain project at a meeting on Friday, March 14, 2014.
The discussion began with a resolution that approved a list of bridges to be sent to the Michigan Department of Transportation that the city believes need repairs, maintenance or replacement. The list was to apply to funding for the 2017 fiscal year.
Carol Wood, chair of the Committee on Ways and Means, said the state only has a limited amount of money to put toward bridges each year. Wood said they would not all receive the funding they requested from the state.
“They might pick one,” Wood said. “They might pick two. They might tell us this time we’re getting no money because the year before they gave us a lot of money for it.”
This resolution passed, and the committee members turned the discussion to a petition to set up a public meeting about a proposed drain project. This project would expand, repair or replace much of the Montgomery Drain System, an area of Lansing including Frandor.
Wood said this plan is also an environmental cleanup effort.
“So this all flows down to the river here,” Wood said. “And because we have a lot of property that has big parking lots and things like that the runoff that goes in these pipes ends up ending up in the river.”
Wood said the Lansing drain commissioner would work to rebuild this system. The plan also involves putting in rain gardens and various water filtering methods.
“So that by the time it gets to the river it won’t be entirely clean, but it will be a lot cleaner than what it is,” Wood said.
Thoughts from Old Town
Members of the Old Town community weighed in on the drain plan. As it is a fairly new proposal with little information known yet, they had mixed opinions.
Kristin Szymusiak, owner of Polka Dots Bead-a-full Boutique, wasn’t sure if the drain proposal would impact Old Town.
“I probably wouldn’t want to spend tax money on it,” Szymusiak said. “I don’t know what impact it would have. I just need to know more information.”
Summer Schriner, owner of Grace Boutique, said business considerations could make her want to go to a meeting about the drain project.
“If it involved tearing things up down here a little bit more than I definitely would go,” Schriner said. “But Frandor is far enough away and there’s enough access roads on both sides that I think worry too much about it.”
Chad Cottom, owner of SPIN Bicycle Shop, said he would want to know more about the project if the meeting was at a time he could go. He thinks this could impact on Old Town.
“It’s all City of Lansing, and I think everyone should be responsible that way,” Cottom said.
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