Grand Ledge Library undergoing renovations to help fit community needs

By Madison Morse
Living in the Ledge Staff Reporter

After years of saving and carefully well-thought-out plans based on community needs, The Grand Ledge Area District Library will be undergoing a massive renovation to start this spring. “By very prudently saving we saved a percentage that was over our working capital that we needed for many, many years, said Grand Ledge Library Board of Trustees President Joan Kane. “Back in ’08 we tried to do this and had our same architect then realized we didn’t have enough money to do what we needed to do.”

“With the new renovation we will be pushing the entrance out. There will be an elevator that will go up to the club room which is the old 1931 building,” said Kane. “There will be a bathroom upstairs now, which there never has been.

Building permit request approved by Planning Commission

By Katie McCoy
Entirely East Lansing

EAST LANSING – Pablo Majano, planning and zoning community development analyst, requested approval to have the ability to apply for a building permit for Michigan State University Federal Credit Union’s headquarters and other zoning districts to build solar panels on carports at the Planning Commission meeting last Wednesday.  

There are no permits in play but this approval would allow business districts and community retail districts to request building permits for solar panel construction, according to Majano. At the planning commission meeting, Majano said this ordinance is based off another ordinance that allows for solar energy systems to be built carports with appropriate permits

Majano said Ordinance 1357 has been an existing regulation on alternative energy generation systems since 2011. “There are no current proposals for a carport energy system,” said Majano.  “Staff of the planning and zoning committee anticipates a future use of carport energy systems in the two different districts.”

Located on a zoning map of East Lansing, the districts requesting the building permits are located in the northern tier of East Lansing.

Residents optimistic about Holt Road construction project

By Catherine Ferland
Holt Journal staff reporter

Tim and Janice Mullins have lived off of Holt Road for the past 35 years. They have seen decades of construction projects on the troublesome part of Holt Road that sits in front of their home and said that they are hoping that the latest construction project will have lasting effects. Every night after the dust has settled, they come out to see the progress of the project. They stroll around the tractors that have been turned off for the night, takes photos of the graded road and check out the construction on the Ram Trail that is happening at the same time. “The pavement was pretty rough,” Janice Mullins said.

Sidewalk construction underway on Old US. Route 27

By Connor Clark
Bath-DeWitt Connection staff reporter

Sidewalk construction has begun on Old US. Route 27 in-between Northcrest Road and Sheridan Road. This section of sidewalk improvement has been part of a much larger effort in DeWitt Township to make walking safer for pedestrians. Back on March 23, the township’s Board of Trustees approved a deal of about $296,000, in order to repair road cracks and potholes in areas such as Howe Road and Cedar Street. The township also approved plans to make a 10-foot-wide pathway and 5-foot-wide sidewalk addition that will stretch 1.6 miles long.

Capitol renovation nearing completion

By Tyler Austin
Listen Up, Lansing staff reporter

The Capitol Building in downtown Lansing is one of the oldest and most historic buildings in the city. Inside, events like hearings and meetings with the Senate and House of Representatives are held regularly. And similar to many pieces of older architecture, constant upkeep of the space is a necessity. Earlier this year large-scale renovations began on the Michigan Capitol. The Capitol building is currently undergoing a restoration process unlike any other in its past, and has been for the last several months.

Lansing has a lot to say about Proposal 1 before May’s vote

By Asha Dawsey
Listen Up, Lansing

Proposal 1 has generated plenty of controversy throughout the state of Michigan before elections in May 2015 and Lansing has its foot in the conversation as well. The question reads, “A proposal to amend the State Constitution to increase the sales/use tax from 6 percent to 7 percent to replace and supplement reduced revenue to the School Aid Fund and local units of government,” according to the official ballot question release. Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero said, “I’m not terribly enthused about it because I’m not a fan of the sales tax.”

Said Bernero: “It’s not that I disagree with where the money would go. The money would go to roads, school, and local government. Those are all good.

Plans for Central Fire Station continue despite neighborhood controversy

By Samantha VanHoef
The Meridian Times

After years of lawsuits and court rulings, plans for the Central Fire Station construction are moving forward. The Meridian Township project has been on hold since 2012 after residents of the neighboring condominium complex sued the township in hopes of receiving a court order to stop progress on the site. “Now we’re waiting for the Michigan Supreme Court,” Meridian Township Treasurer Julie Brixie said. “The (condominium residents) have appealed the decision, but we have won all the way up and we’re waiting for the Supreme Court to reject it.”

Although there has not been an answer from the Michigan Supreme Court, the project is allowed to move forward because the court order to stop any progress was not granted to the residents of Autumn Park condominiums.

“When I arrived here to be the fire chief in 1998, some of the first things I looked at were equipment, the chain of command and the fire station replacement as one of the top priorities,” Fire Chief Fred Cowper said. “So we now have put a lot of work and effort in making that happen.”

The new Central Fire Station will be at the corner of Okemos Road and Central Park Drive, and includes space for the fire department’s administrative offices, new living areas for firefighters and will be up to “green” standards.

In choosing energy, every source comes with detractors

By ERIC FREEDMAN
Capital News Service
LANSING — Hundreds of wind turbines line the high ridges along both sides of Interstate 80 in western Iowa, the state that leads the nation in corn-based ethanol production. Iowa is also the state that gets the highest proportion of its electricity – about 25 percent – from wind, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Michigan has about 675 operating wind turbines overall, with the largest wind turbine array in Gratiot County north of Lansing. Construction of Consumers Energy’s 62-turbine Cross Winds Energy Park in Tuscola County began last fall and is scheduled for completion this year. As of now, only 1 percent of the state’s electricity is wind-generated, according to federal figures.