Jones: The public good should be first consideration for Lansing property deals

Davenport University recently offered to make a land swap for the Oliver Towers property that Lansing Community College would like to purchase to increase parking. LCC also offered to buy a nearby parking structure, but that proposal was shelved. Then a local business man wanted to buy the structure as an investment, which would lead to higher costs for LCC. In the meantime, the city has closed the parking structure and is refurbishing it.

State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, issued the following statement today on the controversial Oliver Towers property and the nearby parking structure:

“I urge the Lansing City Council to make the ‘public good’ the first consideration for Oliver Towers and the adjacent property. Lansing Community College is landlocked in the city and needs to expand. If Oliver Towers and the adjacent property are put into a land swap deal then LCC will be harmed. This property should be put up for a fair bidding process. That is the best outcome for the taxpayers.

“The University Center at LCC is partially state funded.  This center allows local students to get a degree from the University of Michigan–Flint and the universities of Western Michigan and Ferris State. The center could be harmed if the nearby parking is lost. LCC leases parking near the towers, and this parking is sorely needed.

“To help with parking, LCC wants to buy the city-owned parking structure that is currently closed while being refurbished. If the city ever decides to sell the structure there should be a fair bidding process. LCC and the taxpayers deserve nothing less.

“As an LCC alum, I want to see it expand and prosper for the public good. If the city of Lansing does not treat LCC fairly in its efforts to increase parking, then the school should consider further expansion into Delta Township at the Westside branch where parking is free.”