The U.P.’s only State Police forensic lab moved into a long-awaited new home this summer.
The state budget has left its future up in the air from month to month.
But now it seems to have a new lease on life.
In August, the Marquette lab moved into an old U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service building off of Wright Street.
Real estate developer Peter O’Dovero now owns the building.
And he’s just given the lab a bit of a break.
Lab director David Stephens says they’re now on a year-to-year lease instead of month-to-month, so that gives them some breathing room.
This fall, the State Police asked the U.S. Justice Department for an $8 million stimulus grant.
The money would have paid for a brand-new lab next door to the Negaunee Post.
But they didn’t get the grant.
Stephens says one of the reasons the lab has been targeted for closure twice in the last 2-and-a-half years may be the fact that it’s rented.
He doesn’t think the subject would come up if they weren’t tenants.
Stephens says the goal now is to secure the lab’s long-term future in some building the State Police would own.
He says they’d like it to be their current home because it has plenty of space for everything they need.
Prior to August, the forensic lab was in the old Marq-Tran bus terminal building on Spring Street.
The Marquette County Historical Society owns that building, and they’re renovating it so the museum can be moved there next year.