Owosso being considered for $14.5M funding for new public safety building

Much-needed federal funding could be on the way for what some say is a much-needed new public safety building in Owosso.
Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 7:39 AM EDT
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OWOSSO, Mich. (WNEM) - Much-needed federal funding could be on the way for what some say is a much-needed new public safety building in Owosso.

The city of Owosso is being considered for $14.5 million in federal funding for the construction of a new public safety building.

On Thursday, April 20, the city announced the United States Congress is considering proposals by Senator Gary Peters and Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin for the construction.

The city hired an architecture firm in 2018 to form a public safety master plan strategy. An assessment of the city’s current public safety facility demonstrated the need for major capital improvements and building modifications, the city said.

“It’s a game changer,” Owosso Public Safety Director Kevin Lenkart said. “Our city was very happy about being notified by Representative Slotkin’s office and Senator Peters’ office that between the two of them, we had been allotted $14.5 million through congressional appropriations for the building of a new public safety building.”

The current public safety building has been around since 1969. Lenkart said it’s too small for the number of staff and that there are no facilities for women.

“What it means for our staff and our city personnel just to be able to have a modern facility that’s not 53 years old,” Lenkart said.

Owosso Mayor Rob Teich said the current building was not built for Michigan. He said it has no insulation, which is just one of the reasons he believes it’s time for a new facility.

“This building will be obviously up-to-date technology-wise. The doors will be the proper size, where it’s got the proper width, height, so forth, that we can get bigger trucks and so forth in here. I mean, equipment does change through the years,” Teich said.

Now, Lenkart will wait and hope the federal funding for the new public safety building is approved by Congress as part of its government spending bill for the new fiscal year.

“We do know it’s a long process, but we’re excited for the future. This is a very big deal here for our department and for the city of Owosso,” he said.

If all goes to plan, construction on the new public safety building would begin in 2024.

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