The state legislature has approved a State of Michigan budget that includes $1 million to help repair Battle Creek’s City Hall façade.
The state budget now goes to the governor for her signature.
“I am proud that this year’s state budget has provided us with the funds we need to keep visitors safe and restore the City Hall to its original glory,” said state Rep. Jim Haadsma of Battle Creek.
Elected leaders Haadsma, state Sen. John Bizon of Battle Creek, and state Rep. Matt Hall of Marshall helped prioritize the funds for Battle Creek, as well as a $2 million state investment in the McCamly Plaza Hotel revitalization project, being led by Battle Creek Unlimited.
“These state funds will go a long way in the vitality and economic development in Battle Creek, as we continue to manage and plan recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said City Manager Rebecca Fleury. “We are thankful our state elected officials have worked so hard to make these critical investments in our city.”
The funding is a great benefit to the city. In the fall of 2017, a large section of the terra cotta façade fell to the ground, damaging a first-floor window and some of City Hall’s bricks. A building assessment showed we must replace the terra cotta pediment corners and more on the building, due to water damage over several decades.
The expense of repairing our 100-plus-year-old, historic building – it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places; the need for a firm that can perform the appropriate restoration; and the COVID-19 pandemic have delayed the project this four years so far.
City leaders recommended that this project receive some of our American Rescue Plan Act funding, and the state will allow us some flexibility as we plan for how best to use those federal funds.