March 18 2013 12:00 AM

The Lansing City Council to discuss joining regional efforts to share fire services. Finance director says it’s unrelated to Tuesday’s millage election.

Monday, May 2 — The Lansing City Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution at tonight’s meeting that would seek funding from the Michigan Municipal League to help study cost-saving measures for regionalizing fire services.

Lansing and East Lansing and Meridian, Lansing, Delhi and Delta townships have been meeting to discuss collaboration and fire services options in efforts to cut costs, the resolution says. The resolution is in support of doing a study and seeks $50,000 in financial assistance from the Michigan Municipal League to do it.

But isn’t there a millage-increase election in Lansing Tuesday that, if successful, would increase the Fire Department’s budget by $1.2 million, if the Council approves the Bernero administration’s plan?

“These (studies) just don’t happen quickly,” Finance Director Jerry Ambrose said. “These studies and discussions take years to do.  People should absolutely not think, ‘Gosh, they’re doing this study, why should we vote for the millage?’”

The Michigan Municipal League’s “Shared Public Services Initiative” is meant to help local governments “access resources needed to develop and implement shared public services,” the resolution says. The initiative includes “facilitation, business case analysis and implementation planning, a funding source for up to 50 percent of the cost of the technical services, as well as a statewide catalog of shared public services that can be purchased or utilized by local governments.”

“We’re talking about local governments agreeing to work together to conduct a study,” Ambrose said. “It involves finding money, hiring a consultant and evaluating results from that consultant.”

Ambrose said results from the study could be “a year-plus” away, while the “situation we have with the millage means today.”

The Intergovernmental Relations Committee is scheduled to meet at 6:45 p.m. before the full Council meeting to discuss the resolution.