Thursday, May 5, 2022

City to lease a portion of former court building

Romulus residents will soon see a new neighbor, one that will provide a multitude of services to the community.

Members of the Romulus City Council agreed to lease 10,000 square feet of the former 34th District Court building to the Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency beginning May 21. Mayor Robert McCraight made the request for approval of the one-year lease of the court building at 11131 South Wayne Road during the April 25 regular meeting of the council members. 

McCraight told the council members that he felt the lease would be a good fit for the community and would make multiple community services available to Romulus residents.

“They've ballooned in size due to the grant opportunities,” McCraight explained of the agency which provides covert emergency rental assistance, property tax assistance, food support, emergency assistance programs and water remittance help for residents. “So a lot of good opportunities available for our residents and for Wayne Metro,” he added.

Councilwoman Virginia Williams was opposed to the lease of the building and said she would prefer to explore ways to move the city police department into the building. She said she understood that was part of the plan when the new courthouse was approved.

“What happened with that?” she asked.

McCraight responded that moving the police department into the former court building remained the goal of the city but that the city was “still working on funding award approval of grant applications to rebuild our police department. If we are fortunate enough to get grants, phase two would be to move our police department over there. That's why this is only a one-year lease,” he explained. The agency would occupy the western portion of the former court building in an area that can be easily separated from the remainder of the space.

The community action agency will pay $4,166 per month for the portion of the building their staff will use for a total of $50,000 over the term of the lease, McCraight said. The agency will pay a prorated portion of any utilities that cannot be individually metered or calculated. “I believe it is a good plan to get some revenue from a vacant building and provide services for our residents,” McCraight said.

“I would prefer to wait and get our police department in there rather than going with these leases with the Wayne Metro or anyone else,” Williams said.” 

Williams cast the lone no vote on the motion to approve the community service agency lease with the city.