News Story

Battle Creek Gives Money To Private Developer, Relies On State To Repair Its Own City Hall

Also finds money to advance diversity, equity and inclusion ideology

In an annual budget adopted last September the state of Michigan gave $1 million to the city of Battle Creek for a city hall façade repair needed since 2017. City officials had previously said they couldn't find money for the repairs, but the new state dollars were authorized soon after Battle Creek learned it would get $30.5 million in federal coronavirus relief and stimulus spending.

The city also plans to give $2.5 million from its renovations budget to a privately owned hotel. Another $360,000 will go to hire a "diversity, equity and inclusion officer" position, to among other things, instruct the city government’s workforce in this ideology.

The city hall repairs will replace a terra cotta corner piece that fell off in 2017, according to the Battle Creek Enquirer. The repairs along with plans to spend $2.5 million for renovations to McCamley Plaza Hotel have been in the works for several years, according to WWMT-TV.

A recent city document states that giving money to the hotel will support local business, build the local workforce and help attract and retain businesses.

The Diversity Equity and Inclusion officer position will cost $110,000, with another $250,000 recommended for related training in “customer service, organizational culture, and diversity, equity and inclusion.” It is not known if position has been filled.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.