Jaycees’ proposal provides insight into city hall negotiations

Sunday Times Newspapers

WYANDOTTE — The Wyandotte Jaycees proposed its use of the old city hall building for a haunted house, but city councilors expressed their reservations because of ongoing negotiations for the sale of building.

The service organization was searching for a building in the city slated for demolition, Wyandotte Jaycees President John Dehring said. The club expressed interest in the building for its 37th haunted house fundraising event.

The proposal for the Jaycees’ use of the building was part of a resolution to allow a public garage sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday to sell off the remaining office supplies and equipment from the building to plan its demolition at a later date. The council approved the garage sale and the motion for the building’s demolition, but delayed its decision on the haunted house to consider other alternatives.

The council had concerns with changes being made to the building including changing the building’s sprinkler system, and decorations on the building’s interior and exterior. Dehring said the club has come up with its own sprinkler system that can be kitted together for easy installation and removal and was created with specifications from the city engineer’s office and the fire chief.

“Restoring the condition of interior would be a little difficult, but nothing is impossible,” Dehring said in reference to the council’s concerns. “But it comes down to our floorplan, and how we use the space inside the building.”

Councilman Daniel Galeski said the haunted house may not be in the best interest of the city because of the current negotiations for use of the site. He said the necessary changes made by the Jaycees could affect the property’s value and other options should be made available to the club.

“Since (the site) is currently in negotiations, should we proceed with the haunted house at this time? Probably not,” Galeski said during the July 22 council meeting. “I support the Jaycees 200 percent. They are wonderful people, but this request is unreasonable right now.”

The council forwarded the information to the the city engineer’s office, so a list of available buildings could be made and decided upon. Dehring said he was open to considering other locations.

The period of exclusive negotiation with MJC Construction Management Inc. for the sale, demolition and proposed replacement of the 3131 Biddle Ave. property expires Aug. 20. City Engineer Mark Kowalewski said the city has not received the final guidelines from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority for grant money being used for the building’s demolition, and the market study needs to be completed by the Macomb-based company, but he hopes to have both finished soon.

The council May 26 accepted an MJC proposal for a four-story, modern-style building featuring an underground parking garage, first floor commercial space, second and third story loft, with penthouses on the top level.

(Gabriel Goodwin can be reached at ggoodwin@bewickpublications.com.)