LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Some state lawmakers are raising questions on why the Michigan State Police are moving from a brand new building in downtown Lansing to a new location outside of the Capitol city.
6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick says the department is defending the move, but others want more facts behind the decision.
The Michigan state police headquarters moved into the building five years ago after a tremendous controversy.
Over the Granholm administration’s decision to move the state cops from East Lansing into the $48 million facility.
Insiders report some of the 400 employees including the state police director didn’t much like the building.
Some of the employees had to pay as much as $70 a month for parking nearby, not to mention the non-resident city income tax they had to pay to Lansing city hall.
That will be eliminated when they move to this complex outside of the city over the next 20 months.
The state police have crime labs, training facilities and other buildings out here they can use and there are no flood plain problems that were associated with this facility downtown.
Lawmakers knew nothing about this impending move.
“Now it sounds like we’re going to spend a lot of money to abandon this new facility that we spend so much moving on. So it’s a little troubling to me. I need to get the details on why that building is no longer suitable and built at great expense to suit its needs,” said state representative Jeff Irwin, (d), Ann Arbor.
Likewise this lawmaker once chairs the state police budget and he wants more justification other than not paying the income tax or for parking.
“Those are good motivating factors but it has to go deeper than that because there was a lot of hub bub about that building,” said state senator Peter Macgregor (r), west Michigan.
Reporter: “You’re wondering if this passes the smell test?”
Senator Macgregor: “Exactly. I hate to pass judgment without all the facts in front of me.”
This senator tried to kill the Granholm project five years ago.
“It’s absolutely a good move. It should have happened years ago. We had it stopped three times, but unfortunately Jennifer Granholm got her boondoggle and now we see we did not need it,” said state senator Rick Jones (r), Grand Ledge.
Reporter: “This is good for taxpayers?”
Senator Jones: “It looks like a good deal to me.”