Does infrastructure upgrade include Soo Locks? Only Trump knows

By CARL STODDARD
Capital News Service
LANSING — Almost everyone agrees the Soo Locks in the Upper Peninsula need to be upgraded. Modernizing the locks won’t be cheap, however, and so far Congress hasn’t approved funding for the work. But there are signs that might change under the administration of President Trump, who has pledged to repair the country’s aging infrastructure. Congress already has approved construction of a new lock at Sault Ste. Marie but hasn’t approved spending money on the project.

Park, shop and nest in new downtown buildings

By BRIDGET BUSH
Capital News Service
LANSING—Medium-sized cities looking for ways to expand parking in cramped downtowns are turning to mixed-use structures that combine retail and housing with parking. The Holland City Council is considering a proposal from Burton Katzman, an Ann Arbor developer, and Rockford Construction of Grand Rapids, to buy a surface parking lot and replace it with a parking ramp wrapped by apartments. The council agreed to take the proposal under advisement. The city council hosted an open house recently for 10 to 15 developers, residents and merchants to gauge the public’s reaction, said Joel Dye, the director of community and neighborhood services. “Millennials, empty nesters, single people and young professionals without kids” make up the list of potential users, Dye said.

Meridian Township is trying to fix failing infrastructure with limited resources

By Kelly Sheridan
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

In 2016, Meridian Township has several infrastructure projects planned, including road construction, sanitary sewer projects and drain maintenance. Working in tandem with the Ingham County Road Department, and the Ingham County Drain Commissioner, the Public Works Department is trying to improve failing infrastructure with the limited resources it has. Since Meridian Township is a township, it is not responsible for the operations and maintenance of their road and drain system. The government works with the Ingham County Road Department and the Ingham County Drain Commissioner when projects become too big for the township to handle. However, the township is often the first place residents call to get their issues fixed, Chief Engineer Younes Ishraidi said.

Potholes are everywhere. The money to fix them is not.

By Kelly Sheridan
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

Every year when the weather changes from winter to spring, potholes become more and more prevalent. They damage cars and cause serious hazards for many populated roads. In a state that has one of the worst reputations for roads, Meridian Township is no different. For Jeff Liska, the potholes are a burden, but he understands it’s because of where he lives. “The roads are terrible,” the Okemos resident said.

"A lot of pride" in Meridian's new Central Fire Station

By Katie Dudlets
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

OKEMOS — The new Central Fire Station located at the corner of Okemos Road and Central Park Drive comes in a larger context of infrastructure redevelopment for Meridian Township. It has been fully-operational and providing emergency services since January. Fire Chief Fred Cowper believes this move from the antiquated station on Clinton Street to the new one was entirely necessary. “The [Clinton Street] fire station that we closed was built in 1957, and in 1957 there weren’t females in the fire service in our country,” said Cowper. “So it lacked separate bathrooms, showers and dormitories.

Lansing Street in St. Johns soon to see repairs

By Kenedi Robinson
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

ST. JOHNS — The city of St. Johns is beginning a project to redo Lansing Street to make it more traveler-friendly, officials said. According to Dave Kudwa, Community Development Director of St. Johns, this is roughly a $575,000 project due to start somewhere around the end of March.

Lansing Infrastructure: Can Proposal 1 Save It?

By Emma-Jean Bedford
and Ian Wendrow 
Listen Up, Lansing

LANSING-The question on everyone’s mind lately has been: “What’s happening with these roads?” But it’s not just roads that are troublesome. Lansing has recently been dealing with issues related to low residential population, a distinct lack of diverse businesses, and overall deteriorating infrastructure. An effort to address infrastructure funding is currently on the upcoming May 5 ballot, titled Proposal 1. Proposal 1 is a ballot initiative meant to raise funds, mostly for new road work, through changes in taxes. If passed, the House Fiscal Agency, a non-partisan agency within the House of Representatives that analyzes the financial effects of Michigan legislation, estimates that the tax increase would raise about $2.1 billion this fiscal year; of which $1.23 billion would go towards roads, $463.1 million to the state’s general fund, $292.4 million to schools and $89.9 million to local governments.