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Beline Obeid

Two bond tours this week

Brad Lindberg Staff Writer

July 27, 2017
CITY OF GROSSE POINTE — Two more tours of municipal facilities are scheduled before next month’s special bond election.

In the election Tuesday, Aug. 8, City of Grosse Pointe voters have the final say to issue up to $12.96 million in municipal bonds to relocate public safety headquarters and public works facilities from the city hall complex on Maumee.

City officials propose moving and enlarging public safety operations, including the fire house, to the corner of Mack and St. Clair.

Public works is slated to move behind Ace Hardware on Mack in Detroit between Radnor and Canyon. The area has more space than existing facilities.

“The DPW and public safety structures are woefully outdated,” said Councilman John Stempfle.

“We have a great opportunity to upgrade facilities that have been needed for quite a while,” added Councilman Andrew Turnbull.

If approved, existing public safety headquarters retains the municipal court, but also will see increased usage for public meetings, according to city officials.

Likewise, the existing public works office, garage and storage yard will become a parking lot.

To help voters decide, two more tours and informational meetings of existing facilities are scheduled in addition to three held last month:

7 p.m. Thursday, July 27, and

10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 29.

Payback on the bonds equates to a 1.7-mil property tax increase for 22 years, according to City Manager Peter Dame.

The figure translates into a tax payment of $212.50 annually for the owner of a median-value house with a taxable value of $250,000, he added.

“It’s hard to walk away from those tours and say nothing needs to be done,” Dame said.

“We think it’s going to be a big improvement for city services,” said Councilman Chris Walsh. “This has the opportunity to be a win-win solution for both people who work for the city and residents who are beneficiaries of their service.”

The DPW lot in Detroit would be exempt from property taxes, as it is now, due to being owned by St. John Hospital & Medical Center, according to Dame.

Also, City employees are subject to paying Detroit income taxes for the percentage of time they work in Detroit.

“Since they obviously would spend most of their time in Grosse Pointe, it isn’t really an issue,” Dame said by email. “The City’s DPW employees have long suffered from inferior conditions in a building that does not meet worker standards.”

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