‘Welcome to City Hall; please pardon our dust’


Photo by Charity B. Smith. A receptionist is positioned at the front entry to the building where the new city hall and police station are located, to assist residents in finding the new offices and lend a hand to disabled visitors while handicapped assistance devices such as ramps and elevators are under construction.

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK — City Hall and the Police Department have found a new temporary home at 16630 Southfield Road, alongside the Ford Breadboard Lab.

The building is the former location for Stautzenberger Institute. The new location is a welcome change for city officials and residents, who have been dealing with a very dilapidated building, that was prone to flooding, for more then a decade.

“We are really appreciative and grateful,” Treasurer Maureen Armstrong said.

“I think it is very good for morale,” Treasury Clerk Emily Wallent said.

“Oh, wow! This is nice,” exclaimed resident Mary Bachleda, “I just came here for the first time today. It is beautiful. It is so roomy and welcoming. Everyone has a smile.”

“It works well as a temporary location as it is right next door,” Interim City Administrator Mark Kibby said. “Residences still can come to the same area they were used to coming to. It is just one driveway sooner.

Kibby said the move was originally scheduled for last December but due to construction issues, it was postponed to June 8.

There was still construction ongoing at the new location.

The council chambers are still under going construction, so meetings are still held at the old location.
The elevators were not operational, and are not anticipated to be fixed until July 9.

A new staircase and ramp also are in the plans. In the meantime, a person is stationed at a desk on the main level who’s job is to assist the handicapped with their dealings with City Hall or police.

“It’s like anything else. We have some growing pains,” Kibby said.

The Police Department has only partially moved. The Detective Bureau and the Records Department are fully functioning in the new facility; however, the jail and police task force are still working out of the old facility, and subject to flooding, until a contract is completed with the city of Dearborn to house Allen Park prisoners.

The ultimate fate of the old facility, at 16850 Southfield Road, is to be determined.

“My guess is that it will be demolished and redeveloped,” Kibby said. Multiple plans and offers have been submitted, but the city council has yet to decide on anything.

“Our goal is to get Allen Park back to what it was like 15 to 20 years ago,” Kibby said. “It is a great community. It really is.”

(Charity B. Smith can be reached at charitybsmith@yahoo.com.)