The Northside neighborhoods were very support of our Southside neighborhoods when we were dealing with zoning about cell towers in our neighborhood.
WNO is hoping that the Lansing City Council will remove Niowave's personal property tax abatement.
The tax abatement was given to Niowave on the condition that Niowave would fulfill a long-negotiated plan to improve their building facade to fit the character of the neighborhood.
Many believe the Niowave manufacturing facility was built in non-compliance with the residential zoning of the property and was built by mistake and overlooked by city zoning protocols.
Niowave has recently discontinued its efforts to improve the facade as outlined in the original agreement.
Therefore, WNO is polling city council members to determine if they are willing to revoke the personal property tax abatement:
Letter to City Council Members
From Walnut Neighborhood on April 11, 2015: "This email was sent to all Lansing City Council members last night.
So far one non-committal response from Judi Brown-Clarke."
Dear City Council Member,
As you may know, a special meeting for the Committee on Development & Planning has been set for Wednesday April 22, 2015 at the GLHC Neighborhood Empowerment Center at 7 PM.
On October 14, 2013 at both the Committee of the Whole Meeting and the City Council meeting, our neighborhood was assured by the City Council that the agreement that had been worked out between LEAP, EDC, Walnut Neighborhood and Niowave would be fulfilled or Niowave would have their Personal Property Tax Abatement rescinded. The vote from public record is as follows: Yeas: Council Members Boles, Dunbar, Houghton, Jeffries, Quinney, Washington, Wood, Yorko. This vote demonstrated your support for all neighborhoods not only Walnut.
Over the course of our struggle with Niowave we had received eleven letters of support from various neighborhood organizations as well as several other groups who came to City Council to voice their support over the many months it took us to hammer out the agreement approved by Council.
After receiving the final report from LEAP stating that the agreement was not fulfilled, we have patiently waited for the City Council to rescind the PPT Abatement with Niowave as promised. As you are fully aware, the agreement that was voted on by Council was worked out between Walnut Neighborhood Organization, EDC, LEAP and Niowave. Today, WNO was handed an agreement that was negotiated between Council Member Houghton and Mr. Hollister of Niowave and we STRONGLY disagree with the half measures proposed in the resolution.
Our first question is whether you will support the Neighborhoods in Lansing?
If so, then we ask you to vote “no” on the current resolution that was presented to the Committee of Development & Planning by Council Member Houghton.
Secondly, will you support to rescind the Personal Property Tax incentives to Niowave that this Council promised to do back on October 14, 2013?
Please email me back the answers to our questions of whether or not you would support the Lansing neighborhoods in this matter.
Thank you for your service on Lansing City Council.
Responses from City Council Members
"I will be supporting whatever your neighborhood wants. I was not happy when I found out that Councilmember Houghton took it upon herself to negotiate an agreement. She was out of line and that is not within her authority to do so.
I will vote with whatever your neighborhood wants.
I will vote no on the current resolution, if that is what you want.
I will vote to rescind the personal property tax exemption, if that is what the neighborhood wants.
I am absolutely in favor of keeping businesses within Lansing. However, I am not in favor of businesses not being good neighbors.
I hope to see you at the meeting being held regarding this matter on April 22nd."
Lansing City Council - 1st Ward
Carol Wood, At Large.
"As a member of City Council who has been part of this journey from the beginning it saddens me that we are at this place today. I believe after all that the neighborhood has had to endure and the endless negotiations in good faith with Niowave, LEAP, EDC and the City Council which allowed Niowave to have their abatement and would give the neighborhood something that they could live with we are now at this point. We have a half completed promise and new negotiations that did not include the very neighborhood that would have to live with the decision is not acceptable.
In an article from the Detroit Free Press dated October 12, 2014 it states: “Grimm and a group of private investors started Niowave in 2005. They moved the company into the former Walnut Street School building in north Lansing in 2006, added a research facility to the property in 2012 and broke ground on a $79-million isotope production facility near Capital Region International Airport last month. The company employs 70 people and expects to add 90 as operations ramp up at the isotope production facility over the next few years.”
I do not understand how this company can say they don’t have the funds to fulfill their commitment to the neighborhood. I have supported Walnut Neighborhood and the other neighborhoods in the city who stood with you on this issue and will continue to do so."
517 483-4188 office