Whit­mer to live in of­fi­cial gover­nor’s res­i­dence

Sny­der used Lans­ing man­sion for of­fi­cial, cer­e­mo­nial func­tions

The Detroit News - - News - BY BETH LEBLANC The Detroit News

Gov.-elect Gretchen Whit­mer will live at the gover­nor’s of­fi­cial res­i­dence in Lans­ing, a home whose liv­ing quar­ters have sat empty since for­mer Gov. Jen­nifer Gran­holm moved out at the end of 2010.

At the be­gin­ning of his ten­ure in 2011, Gov. Rick Sny­der chose in­stead to stay at his home in Su­pe­rior Town­ship while his youngest daugh­ter, Kelsey, fin­ished high school. He has com­muted to Lans­ing through­out his eight years as gover­nor.

Whit­mer, who cur­rently lives in East Lans­ing, likely will fin­ish mov­ing into the res­i­dence af­ter her in­au­gu­ra­tion in Jan­uary, her spokesman Zack Pohl said.

“The home al­ready has se­cu­rity equip­ment in place,” Pohl said in an email. “I’m not aware of any needed up­grades at this time.”

Sny­der has used the of­fi­cial res­i­dences in Lans­ing and on Mack­inac Is­land for of­fi­cial and cer­e­mo­nial func­tions. The res­i­dences are owned by the state of Michi­gan but main­tained through pri­vate do­na­tions.

The 8,700-square-foot res­i­dence has five be­d­rooms and a pri­vate fam­ily room that in­cludes a kitch­enette and a fully com­mer­cial kitchen, among other ameni­ties.

The res­i­dence is a 1950s-style ranch home in an up­scale Lans­ing neigh­bor­hood south of the Grand River. It was do­nated to the state by truck­ing mag­nate Howard Sober in 1969.

Forty-five states own an of­fi­cially des­ig­nated gover­nor’s res­i­dence, ac­cord­ing to the Cen­ter on the Amer­i­can Gover­nor at Rut­gers Univer­sity. Mas­sachusetts and Rhode Is­land have never had such a home, ac­cord­ing to the cen­ter, while Ari­zona, Idaho and Ver­mont had res­i­dences at one point but changed their pur­pose or sold them.

Michi­gan’s

Con­sti­tu­tion

re­quires the state to pro­vide the gover­nor with a res­i­dence and an al­lowance to main­tain it. In 2010, a gu­ber­na­to­rial spokes­woman said it cost $50,000 a year to keep the res­i­dence lit, heated, cleaned and main­tained even if no one lives there.

The res­i­dence was given a $2.5 mil­lion pri­vately funded facelift in 2004 to make it more fam­i­lyfriendly.

The home on Mack­inac Is­land, which the state has owned since 1944, in­cludes 11 be­d­rooms, nine-and-a-half bath­rooms and a full base­ment and that sits on a bluff over­look­ing the straits.

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The Michi­gan gover­nor’s man­sion in Lans­ing will have res­i­dents again.

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