FLINT, MI — The city has proposed leasing a former bank building on the grounds of the Hallwood Plaza shopping center and making it a satellite customer service center.
Located on the northwest edge of the city, near Clio and Pierson roads, the center would allow residents to pay water bills and other fees in person without traveling to City Hall and would provide access to Flint’s public health office, according to a resolution that has been sent to the City Council for consideration.
The council was scheduled to discuss the potential pilot project during a committee meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 4, but they lost a quorum of members before considering it.
Paperwork sent to the council says leasing the building, a former Huntington Bank branch, would cost $78,000 annually and that operating the center after utilities, insurance, rent and other costs would be less than $108,000 per year.
Funding is proposed to come from Flint’s share of a national opioid settlement, according to the city.
“It’s important for city services to be accessible to Flint residents, and the Northside Customer Service Center would allow the city of Flint to provide services directly to residents at an easy drive-through and walk-up location,” Mayor Sheldon Neeley said in a statement to MLive-The Flint Journal.
“Residents will be able to pay bills and access important public health resources like Narcan, water filters, and referrals to service providers. This location will also include a police mini-station where residents can access public safety services,” Neeley’s statement says. “We realize that coming downtown to City Hall can be inconvenient and difficult for residents with mobility challenges. Parking on the street and walking a significant distance inside city hall isn’t possible for everyone, and this drive-through location will eliminate that barrier to access.”
Neeley said the city is proposing to evaluate the operation during its first year before making a longer-term investment.
1st Ward Councilman Eric Mays, who represents the area on the council, said he has questions about the proposed satellite city office before deciding whether he will support the project.
“I’m going to be looking at it — the financial implications and the motive,” Mays said. “I’ve got a lot of questions before I sign on.”
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