Lansing to Discuss Budget in City Council Meeting - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Lansing to Discuss Budget in City Council Meeting

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - The Lansing City Council has just two weeks to come up with a new budget.

The city is currently facing an estimated $5 million deficit.

Steve Serkaian, spokesman for the Board of Water and Light says it costs about that much to operate Lansing's 34 thousand street lights and three thousand fire hydrants.

To alleviate the city from that burden, city council is considering raising utility fees for BWL customers. Homeowners would pay about $46 a year.

Carol Wood, Lansing City Council President, says it remains unclear whether the $46 payment is legally a fee or a tax.

"It's some of the questions we have asked the administration to bring back answers on. At this point we have not received any of those answers," said Wood.

If the payment is found to be legally a tax, rather than a fee, neither the mayor's office nor the city council has the authority to implement it without a vote from taxpayers themselves.

"The number one concern I've heard has been the additional fee, tax, whatever you want to call it, for the street lights and the hydrants," Wood said.

The council is also considering raising Mayor Virg Bernero's salary as part of the new budget.

The council is hosting a public hearing on the budget during Monday's scheduled city council meeting. It starts at 7p.m. at city hall.

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