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.

Fiscal Budget for 2016-2017 for the City of Lansing based on a $199.7 million dollars

Public safety, public works dominate Lansing’s city budget

Lansing’s current city spending is focused on public safety and public works, according to city budget documents. Public safety gets over $70,000,000 of funding for both the fire and police department; and public works gets a little under the same amount for roads, sewers and recycling. In the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the city of Lansing budget had a total of $199.7 million dollars to spread out throughout several different departments. Lansing resident Ciara Johnson found the funding for road work very odd. “I find it very ironic that funding to repair roads gets over $18 million, like you said.

Time run's out on meter before owner can return to pay again.

Downtown parking rates subject to a July 1 review

Whether it be a regular weekday or a special event like this most recent St. Patrick’s Day, parking in downtown has proven to be affordable and plentiful. With the implementation of pay -y-plate parking meters in recent years, by the Lansing Parking Services Department, the city continues to make an effort to simplify parking for citizens while effectively eliminating the old-school coin meters. Aside from the high-tech improvements a significant amount of parking lots and garages that offer convenient and economical options. “At times it can be a bit difficult finding a parking spot at one of the meters, but there are also parking lots available with plenty of spaces,” said Mrs. L. Vinson, a state employee.” “I work downtown and pay a monthly fee to have designated parking in a lot with in and out privileges.”

However good the prices or availability may be, there is still one problem that persists.

On Feb. 20 2017, a small group begins to gather outside of City Rescue Mission of Lansing. 
Photo by Taylor Skelton

Where do the homeless go in Holt and Delhi Township?

Sarah Keller became homeless after three months of living in Holt. According to Keller, she moved her family there from Grand Rapids because she received a job offer that she could not pass up. After working at the job for two months, they let her go because they were making cuts. “I was devastated. I was not in a contract so they could fire me whenever they wanted but I figured since they came looking for me and offered me the job I had some job security,” Keller said. Keller and her family had to move to The City Rescue Mission of Lansing for a few weeks until she was able to find another job.

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.