LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Lansing Mayor Andy Schor’s proposed budget was presented to the City Council Monday evening.
Mayor Andy Schor wants to invest more in public safety and infrastructure improvements, but the budget is 13% larger than last year’s and city officials are concerned about adding to a deficit.
Schor’s proposed budget came to the City Council with a letter touting investments in infrastructure, public safety and economic development.
The budget plan shows out of the $275 million citywide budget, 28% of the funds are heading to public services supported by COVID-19 grants.
In the general fund, both the city’s fire department and police could see a combined 30% of $163 million.
City leaders said $36,000 will support the department’s violent crime initiative with new equipment.
For the fire department, Fire Chief Brian Sturdivant said he would like to see retirement benefits expanded, which he says could help recruitment in competitive job markets.
“There are multiple offers being offered to these limited candidates and they are making the best decisions based off of their family and personal lives which sometimes leaves us outside looking in,” he said.
On infrastructure, city officials would like more than $151,000 for election equipment updates and just over $2 million as part of the Federal Surface Transportation Program.
As council members reviewed the budget, officials were pressed about addressing the deficit which has been growing since 2019.
Those concerns came up again as council members asked if cost-cutting measures were brought up to the city’s several departments.
“Correct me if I’m wrong, but there has never been an edict where a department has been directed to reduce spending…” asked council member, Patricia Spitzley.
“To my understanding, that is correct,” said Desiree Kirkland, the city’s treasurer.
The public still has a chance to weigh in on the proposal before the budget, and any changes are approved later this spring.
A public hearing is scheduled for May 8.