Lansing City Council to vote on public safety millage renewal

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LANSING, (WLNS)-  Officials in Lansing are asking voters to pass a multi-million dollar public safety millage that’s about to expire.

It was last approved five years ago, but it could be up on the ballot again soon.

This millage is specifically to maintain staffing levels in the Lansing Police and Fire Department as well as keeping roads and sidewalks repaired and clean.

This is a millage renewal so this time, voters aren’t being asked to shell out any more cash. Just renew it.

When 6 News usually covers stories at Lansing City Hall, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero and Council Member Carol Wood are almost  always at odds. But this time the two city officials are on the same page about public safety and in total agreement .

“This is the last place you want to cut is public safety it’s the first job of government it is job one we take it very seriously and that’s why we are asking for this renewal,” said Bernero.

“Do I support this millage? I do because the impact it has on police and fire,” said Wood.

The 4-mill levy would be split three ways. 1.5 mils on police and fire protection and 1 mill for fixing up local roads

“There isn’t a road you go up and down that you don’t realize needs some work to it,” said Wood.

If renewed in November an average homeowner in Lansing with a home valued at around $100,000 would pay about $200 dollars a year.

Money, the mayor says has been and would continue to be well spent.

“It’s saved us in the worst of times and it’s money we continue to rely on,” said Bernero.

So just how much money are we talking?

Mayor Bernero says the current millage has generated about $8 million dollars for the city and without it public safety departments would have a hard time doing their jobs and saving lives.

“We would be talking about loss in force,loss in numbers of firefighters and police. Whether it would or not mean the closing of a fire station I don’t know but it would certainly mean debilitating cuts,” said Bernero.

City Council will meet Monday to decide whether to put this issue up for your vote this November.

Mayor Bernero says he is expecting it to be approved but if it isn’t he says the millage will likely be pushed to an upcoming ballot this spring.

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