Archive for Thursday, August 9, 2007

City approves 2008 budget

August 9, 2007

An extra police officer, new equipment for the Parks and Recreation Department and a 5 percent increase in the capital improvements fund are among the highlights of the 2008 budget approved by Lansing City Council members.

The council approved the $12.8 million spending plan at its meeting Thursday, Aug. 2, on a 7-1 vote with Dee Hininger opposed. No one spoke during a public hearing on the budget that preceded the vote. Council members, who had voiced their concerns about the plan during a work session in July, approved the budget Thursday without comment.

The budget will require a levy of 34.217 mills, down from last year's 34.575 mills.

A mill is $1 in taxes for every $1,000 in assessed valuation.

For the city's portion of the overall property tax bill, the owner of a home valued at $100,000 would pay $393.49.

Hininger said he supported the majority of the spending plan but couldn't vote in favor of it because it included two expenditures - $10,000 for St. Vincent's Clinic and $5,000 for Alliance Against Family Violence.

"I still don't think we should be collecting taxpayer money and giving it to charity," Hininger said after the meeting. "I've said it over and over, and nobody's paid attention."

Though Hininger said the charities' missions - St. Vincent provides health care to indigent people while the Alliance assists battered women and their children - were worthy causes.

"I just don't think the city should be collecting taxes and giving to charities. It ought to be a decision made by an individual or a business," he said.

In other action Thursday, the council:

¢ Recognized Dennis Thompson, construction inspector, as the city's Employee of the Quarter for the third quarter of 2007.

¢ Heard an update on the Main Street project from Ken Miller, the city's Main Street project liaison.

Miller noted the work was proceeding on schedule. He said the Seven-Mile Creek bridge was nearly completed. Traffic is restricted to the outer lanes, however, as median work remains. All four lanes on the bridge, he said, probably wouldn't be opened until work on Main Street north of the bridge is completed.

Traffic lights at Ida Street, Fairlane and 4-H Road have been installed, and Plaza Lane soon will be closed to traffic.

¢ Unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the sale of $2.895 million in temporary notes to provide interim financing for the Bittersweet bridge project, improvements to 147th Street between McIntyre and Dempsey roads and refinancing of 2006 temporary noted.

¢ Unanimously approved an ordinance adopting changes to the city's long-term planning guide.

¢ Unanimously approved a five-year conditional use permit for a daycare at 1104 Industrial Lane. A Deere Place is relocating to the site.

¢ Unanimously approved an ordinance assessing delinquent sewer and trash disposal accounts.

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