City Council members voted Monday night to seek grant money from the state of Michigan to pay for the demolition of the old Wyandotte City Hall, 3131 Biddle.
However, council members said, there's no guarantee -- as of yet -- that the building will be torn down. Rather, they said, they merely want to seek the grant money while it's available to possibly use down the road.
"We don't know what the future use of the building will be until we go out for RFPs (request for proposals) ... but we want to have all options on the table," Mayor Joseph Peterson said.
Michigan received a $97.2 million settlement with five of the nation's largest mortgage companies following a lawsuit regarding mortgage foreclosure practices. The state earmarked $25 million of that settlement to create a Blight Elimination Program, which is geared toward demolishing vacant and abandoned buildings while promoting public safety, stabilizing property values and enhancing economic development opportunities throughout the state.
It's through that program that Wyandotte officials are hoping to secure the funding. Applications are due Wednesday. Successful projects will be announced by mid-February.
Peterson said he's keeping an open mind about the future use of the old City Hall.
"This is the heart of downtown," he said. "The foundation is pretty solid. Someone could come in and utilize the current building and add onto it or even go up. They'd have some environmental cleanup to do, but it's possible."
Peterson said he's looking forward to putting the project out for proposals and to see what prospective developers have in mind.
"We’re going to take it to whomever has the best to offer," he said. "Believe me, when that time comes, I want it to be something that the people want. It needs to fit the needs of downtown Wyandotte for many years to come. You have to hit a home run with this."
As of now, all city departments -- except for finance and the mayor's office -- have moved out of the old City Hall and into the new one across the street in the four-story Chase Bank building. The final two offices are expected to move within a matter of weeks.
The weekly Monday night council meetings also are still taking place at the old City Hall while the council chambers is built and television equipment is installed at the new City Hall.
City officials are eying Jan. 28 as the first council meeting to be held at the new facility.