Lansing City Budget Recovering - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Lansing City Budget Recovering

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(WLNS) - The last time Lansing had a budget surplus Dave Hollister was in the mayor's chair and George W. Bush was in the White House.

That is until this year.

Randy Hannan, mayor's chief of staff, says, "We have a small surplus of about a half a million dollars. Our plan is to put that surplus into the reserve fund."

Mayor Virg Bernero wasn't at the meeting but his chief of staff Randy Hannan says building up the city's rainy day fund is critical in case Lansing is faced with an economic crisis, or another ice storm, which could cost the city millions.

"The good news is that we're achieving and we have achieved short term budget stability," adds Hannan.

But the city's not out of the woods yet.

Lansing has long-term obligations of about $600 million mostly in pension and health care costs for retirees.

Hannan says over time the city'll have to find a way to pay them.

He says, "We don't want to end up in a place like Detroit or Flint or other cities that have fallen on hard times. We're not going to go that direction."

Like Lansing those cities were hit hard when the state cut back its revenue sharing.

Lansing had to dig deeper into its own pocket to pay for things like police and fire which today is about 36 percent of the city's $197 million budget.

Hannan does expect the state legislature to return some money to Lansing soon in the form of road funding.

"We've been frankly short-changed for many years. We will gladly accept whatever revenues the state wants to put into road funding," said Hannan.

With this latest budget Hannan says the city can be cautiously optimistic

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