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Selling Lansing city hall, privatizing some city services proposed to ease city budget woes

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A mayor's task force is recommending major changes to help the city of Lansing fix its budget issues.

The committee says city leaders should consider selling city hall and privatizing many city services.  Another recommendation is to consolidate city departments with other local governments.

Former mayor David Hollister heads the mayor’s financial health team.  He says the proposals will be unpopular, but he believes they're necessary to end Lansing’s chronic budget problems.

Hollister says Lansing, like other Michigan cities, must do something to address the shortfalls created by employee legacy costs and declining property tax revenues

“Unless we change what we’re doing….the city of Lansing and other urban centers…in fact most…will be insolvent…within five to seven years,” says Hollister.

Lansing is facing a nine million dollar budget deficit next year.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero says he'll incorporate some of the committee’s recommendations in the city budget he will propose later this month.

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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