After getting input from the public at several meetings, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor announced his 2020 budget proposal at Monday’s City Council meeting.
Schor is proposing a general fund budget of $139.5 million, a 3.9 percent increase from fiscal year 2019.
“These are taxpayer dollars,“ he said. “So I’m very sensitive that there are a lot of needs, and a lot of wants, and only so many dollars.“
And Schor wants to put more of those dollars into an area that’s a priority for many in the Capital City: Roads.
In his budget for fiscal year 2020, which runs from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020, Schor proposes boosting the money put toward major street and bridge work to $4.5 million. He also wants to put $2.8 million toward local street repairs. Both are increases from last fiscal year.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Schor acknowledged it’s not nearly enough to fix all of Lansing’s roads.
“We have about $300 million in road needs,“ he said. “We do not have $300 million in funding coming from the state, or feds, or our millage.“
Schor also proposes adding a new police officer who will serve as a community policing officer. This would increase the number of areas served by those officers to 11. He also wants to add a code compliance officer and put wireless internet in five of the city’s parks.
Schor says there’s other improvements he’s proposing to help the city look more appealing.
“We’re increasing our arts and culture dollars by about $25,000. We’re increasing our facade improvement by about $25.000,“ he said. “So you want to be safe, you want your public safety. But when people drive down the road, you also want to make sure the community looks the part. It looks good. It’s somewhere people want to live.“
Earlier Monday, Schor announced plans to purchase 100 percent renewable energy for all city buildings by July 1. In the budget, he allocated $280,000 for the new initiative.
“We’ll be the first city in Michigan to do that,“ he said.
Schor says the council will have several public hearings on the budget, and it will need to be adopted by the end of May.