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Lansing's mayor changes his mind on a new police headquarters

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero.
Michigan Municipal League
Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero.

Lansing’s mayor is scrapping plans to build a new police headquarters, at least for now.

Mayor Virg Bernero included more than $400,000 in his budget proposal for next year to pay for design and engineering plans for a new consolidated police headquarters.

But Wednesday,  the mayor announced he wants to redirect that money to a fund to pay for 11 police officer positions currently supported by a federal grant that expires in 2015.

Members of the Lansing City Council had raised concerns about the mayor's police headquarters plan.  Especially, the mayor's intention to use money raised from a special property tax increase that voters approved last year.   Council members insisted that voters approved the property tax hike, in part, because they expected the money would be spent on hiring more police officers. 

Mayor Bernero plans to follow through with plans to hire nine additional police officers with the money from the public safety property tax in next year's budget.   Though the mayor says two recent draft reports suggest rising pension costs for city public safety and non-public safety employees may require some of the police and fire millage revenues during the coming years.  

The Lansing City Council meets this morning for its final budget review session.

The city council is scheduled to vote on the budget plan next week.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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