Mayor Asking For Your Help To Balance Budget - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Mayor Asking For Your Help To Balance Budget

The mayor has been saying it for months, Lansing wouldn't be able to operate the way it has for last several years.

Monday, he announced an investment in fire, technology and roads, but the toughest sell will be to home and business owners.

Mayor Bernero say's he couldn't put it off any longer.

"We can't wait for the state or the federal government to bail us out, it's us," said Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero.

Which means a $46 a year utility fee through the Board Water and Light for home and business owners to pay for street lights and fire hydrants.

"It's less than a dollar a week, I hate to do it, but it's necessary and it really puts us on a path to financial stability," Bernero said.

If approved, it would save $5 million dollars over next year, nearly balancing the budget with one flip of the switch.

"The evidence is overwhelming, that the model for financing municipal government is broken and it must be fixed," Bernero said.

The mayor plans to fix it through multiple ways; an increase in fees for parking tickets, a $1.5 million dollar investment to fill in broken roads and sidewalks and roughly $400,000 toward technology.

"Every job we have here, sewers, police, fire, involves computers, are computer system is antiquated, that is something we have to invest in, it's part of municipal government today," Mayor Bernero said.

But even though the mayor says it's fair, council says it may not be right for the city.

"Do I think that there are some other ways to fines this, yes but we have got to ask the questions and get down to the budget to see what those are," said Council President Carol Wood.

"We have to be careful in terms of getting people to move to the city, to stay in the city, what is the cost and what is the benefit that you get," said At-Large Council Member Brain Jefferies.

Mayor Bernero ended his speech with open arms, ready to move forward, we'll have to wait a few more weeks to see if council is on the same page.

Council has until May 20th to finalize a budget that takes effect July 1st.

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