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Mayor Schor requests drain project delay

Posted at 6:48 PM, May 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-28 06:53:47-04

LANSING, Mich. — Cities all over Michigan are making painful cuts just to balance their budgets--so imagine how they feel about getting a bill for millions of dollars for a drain project.

Crews have been working on the project behind the Frandor Shopping Center for about seven months, but Lansing Mayor Andy Schor and others want the project paused due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The goal of the project is to significantly reduce more than 50,000 pounds of pollution that's going into the Red Cedar River each year.

"We will not skimp on the outcome of this project just because one thing might be a little uncomfortable in terms of financing or whatever," said Patrick Lindemann, Ingham County drain commissioner.

But that's not why Lansing, Lansing Township, East Lansing and the Chamber of Commerce want the delay. Their problem is the nearly $35 million price tag at a time when they're cutting jobs and services to balance their budgets.

"We want to see the water clean. We want to see the drain clean, but this is a very challenging time to pay for it and we'd like to see that delayed a little bit," Mayor Schor said.

However, Lindemann said a delay will only make it more expensive.

"In two years, you can add 25 to 35% higher just in construction costs alone. Now is the time to build it. In fact, we probably should've built it about five or six years ago."

Lindeman said he plans on meeting with bidders in the next few weeks and there is the option of scaling back the project.

One suggestion to cut costs is to drop plants to beautify the area where the drain work will be done.

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