Council night

By Andy Balaskovitz

City Council to discuss FY13 budget priorities Monday night

Friday, Sept. 16 — Not much is on the Lansing City Council’s Monday agenda, but stick around after the meeting for a Committee of the Whole session, when the Council is scheduled to discuss budget priorities for the next fiscal year.

Of course, Lansing voters also will have a say in how next year’s budget looks on Nov. 8. Residents will weigh a proposed property tax increase that could generate $7.6 million for police, fire and roads services. The proposal would increase the city’s operating tax millage by 4-mills. A nearly identical proposal failed 52 percent to 48 percent in a May 3 special election. It’s different this time because the City Council approved ballot language last month that specifically designates 1.5 mills for police and fire services and 1 mill for local road maintenance.

Even if the proposal passes this time around, though, city administrators have already predicted upwards of a $15 million budget deficit for the next fiscal year. That means Mayor Virg Bernero and the Council — sometime between now and mid-May 2012 when a budget must be approved — likely will have to agree on some cuts, which could be a topic during Monday’s Committee of the Whole session.

As for Council’s regular meeting, a public hearing to consider a special land use permit for rezoning 2011 W. Saginaw St. in the 4th Ward for a church is on the agenda. Also, the Council is scheduled to recognize Wednesday as International Day of Peace and the Hmong Family Association of Lansing’s New Year Celebration.