Lansing Township. Screenshot courtesy of Google Maps.

Lansing Township avoiding further annexation of its land

When you are standing on the steps of the Michigan State Capitol located in Lansing, you might also be standing on a piece of land that used to belong to Lansing Charter Township 170 years ago, according to the Michigan State Capitol Directory. “What is traditionally known as Lansing now was Lansing Township,” Lansing Township Supervisor Dion’trae Hayes said. “If you go back and you look at your history where the capital building was located, Lansing Township had a huge mass of land that over the years has been annexed by the City of Lansing and has been annexed by the City of East Lansing.”

What remains of the township after years of annexation is five contiguous locations, according to the township’s website. The largest section of the township being on the west side of the Greater Lansing area, one section on the southeast side of the region and three on the east side, according to the Charter Township of Lansing’s zoning maps. In order to avoid future annexation, the township has taken the necessary precautions.

A sign warns pedestrians who are using the Lansing River Trail to watch for floods. Photo by Hannah Holliday.

Lansing Township looks to protect watersheds in rainy season

It’s a classic springtime rhyme, “April showers bring May flowers.” But, believe it or not, the rainy month of April can also do more harm than good when it comes to impacting the water quality of Mid-Michigan rivers and watersheds, specifically the Grand River and Red Cedar River which both border Lansing Charter Township. In order to keep water quality safe, Lansing Township is one of 20 jurisdictions that are a member of the Greater Lansing Regional Committee (GLRC) for Stormwater Management which is composed of also the City of Lansing, East Lansing, Meridian and MSU, according to the GRLC’s website. Ruth Kline-Robach a specialist for Michigan State University’s Institute for Water Research explains the impact flooding can have on rivers. “Any time you get a flooding event you have the potential for washing anything, any type of contaminant or pollutant that is sitting on the land into the water, which does absolutely raise water quality concerns,” Kline-Robach said. “So, anything if you think about leaks and drips from our cars, if you think about animal waste on the land’s surface, improperly operating septic systems. When those waters rise including the water level meaning the ground levels rise, you could have potential water quality impact.”

The western portion of the township borders a section of the Grand River watershed which includes the Grand River, according to the Grand River Learning Network.

A car drives down South Waverly Road past a busy intersection located in Lansing Township. Photo by Hannah Holliday.

Accidents happen. Even in Lansing Township

With the further advancement of technology, drivers behind the wheel are now more distracted than ever and even in the small community of Lansing Charter Township, accidents happen. According to the Lansing Township’s Citizens Guide and Performance Dashboard, in 2014, there was a total of 469 non-injury crashes, 128 injury crashes and zero fatal crashes. However, Lansing Township Supervisor Diontrae Hayes said township roads for the most part don’t see a lot of hazardous driving. “In the Lansing area I haven’t seen much of that,” Hayes said in regards to crazy driving. “We do have accidents like every other place but I can’t say with certainty that consistently on x amount of roads here, there are people speeding or driving reckless.

The conference will take place from April 10 through  April 13 and be held at the Lansing Center. 
Photo by Madison Job

Lansing Township to offer “Experience Lansing Township” for guests of Michigan Township Association Conference

 

For the first time in 12 years, the Capital City will be hosting the Michigan Township Association Conference & Expo. This year’s theme is “come together” which will allow the unique talent brought forth by over 1,000 other township officials to collaborate and create success in each of their communities.  

Lansing Township will provide its guests with the “experience Lansing Township” tour through Eastwood Towne Center, said Lansing Township Supervisor Diontrae Hayes. The conference will bring networking opportunities for unity amongst officials all working towards a common goal. According to Julie Pingston, who is the senior vice president and chief operating officer for the Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau, the host hotels will be including a shuttle service from the conference to the hotels.

A vacant lot that used to be known as the premises at 507 Stoner St. in Lansing Township, Mich. The Lansing Township Board of Trustees voted to tear down the property as it posed a safety hazard for the general public. Demolition for the house started on March 8, 2017. Photo by Casey Harrison

Safety issues, property value concerns prompt township to tear down a Stoner Street home

Homeowners on the township’s west side have one less problem to worry about. The Lansing Township Board of Trustees decided on March 7 that a rental property at 507 Stoner St. had to be demolished. According to the Ingham County Treasurer’s Office, the 956-square-foot home was built in the 1930s and had been in delinquency since the summer of 2015. “Buildings in our township are usually torn down because they pose as a safety hazard,” Lansing Township supervisor Diontrae Hayes said.

Lansing Township is 'not the smallest but not the biggest' amongst other townships in Michigan according to Lansing Township Supervisor Diontrae Hayes. 
Photo by Madison Job

Lansing Township “not the smallest but not the biggest”

According to 2015 Census data, Lansing Township has a total of 8,145 people. The township is made up of both urban and suburban islands of about 4.93 square miles of land. Amongst the 1,242 other townships in Michigan, Supervisor Diontrae Hayes of Lansing Township said “it’s not the smallest but not the biggest.” Still, it’s getting bigger in some ways. “Lansing Township is unique with its new construction and new businesses,” Hayes said.

Antonio Baker prepares an iced coffee drink for a customer at Biggby Coffee in Lansing Township. Photo by Hannah Holliday.

Lansing Township’s youth warily watch for changes in health care coverage

Antonio Baker stands behind the counter of Biggby Coffee located on 1701 S. Waverly Road, and prepares an iced coffee drink for a customer. He has few worries while he’s focused on his job. One of them definitely isn’t health care, at least not today. Biggby Coffee is one company that does not offer part time health benefits to its employees, which isn’t uncommon for part-time employees, according to healthcare.gov, “Employers aren’t required to provide health insurance for part-time employees, even if they provide coverage for full-time employees. ”

Therefore, Baker remains a dependent with his health care being covered under his parent’s insurance.

Bath & Body Works employee, Abby Ciesalk poses for a photo as she discusses her employment experience in Lansing Township. Photo by Hannah Holliday.

Working women in Lansing Township drive civilian labor force

Three years ago, Abby Ciesalk was entering her sophomore year at Michigan State University. She was on the job hunt like many students always are and went looking around for applications to fill out. “I’d never worked in retail before but I just needed like a simple part time job to do during school,” Ciesalk said. “So I just applied to places around my area, [Eastwood Towne Center] is like 10 minutes from my apartment, so I kind of applied out of convenience at first.”

She found the perfect job at a Bath & Body Works located within Eastwood Towne Center, a shopping mall in Lansing Township. Flash forward, Ciesalk will be graduating this spring and has continued working in the township for so long because of the people.

A pair of Lansing Township Police cars sit in the parking lot of the Lansing Township Police Department on Michigan Ave. First responders in Lansing Township can be dispatched to emergencies in surrounding jurisdictions outside the township. Photo by Casey Harrison.

Lansing Township first responders, among others in Lansing area, respond to calls outside jurisdiction

Like the other first responders in the greater-Lansing area, Lansing Township Police Officer Matt Birr’s daily routine is different from others in his field of work. The 10-year veteran can spend his 12-hour shift doing a number of things; from patrolling the morning traffic at Waverly East Intermediate School and other surrounding areas in the township, or handling penny thefts and other reports of mischievous behavior to intervening with calls about domestic abuse. “The days tend to go by pretty fast,” Birr said. And due to the fragmentation of Lansing Township, many of the station’s calls from the dispatch center aren’t actually cases where the Lansing Township Police Department has jurisdiction. The east and west sides of the township sandwich the city of Lansing, and the township is just blocks away from Clinton and Eaton counties.

National Weather Service released graphics identifying the areas under a wind advisory. 
Graphic courtesy of National Weather Service

Lansing Township makes recovery from wind storm

The tumultuous windstorm that swept through Michigan on March 8 left Susan Flores feeling as if it was ‘just a normal day.” But her workplace’s neighbors may beg to differ. “The whole strip with Little Caesars, McDonald’s and all the way down to Taco Bell lost power,” said Flores, who works at the Subway located on the corner of Saginaw Highway and Waverly Road. “Our restaurant was okay and it hasn’t impacted us so far … It was just a normal day.”

At the storm’s peak, there were more than 20,000 outages in the area, according to Board of Water & Light.