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Time is running short for Lansing city council to make changes to proposed FY2014 budget

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Time is running out for the Lansing city council to come up with changes to the mayor’s budget proposal for next year. 

The city council must approve a budget plan in two weeks.   Council members have been poring over the mayor’s 112 million dollar budget proposal for the past month.

Carol Wood is the Lansing city council president. She says there are some items that could be cut from the budget. 

“Do we have a cabinet level position at $200,000?   Do we do the cold case detective at $100,000?” asks Wood, “When you start looking at some of those…it doesn’t take long to add those up to see if there might be some changes made there as well.”

But any changes the council makes, Woods says would probably have to survive a veto from the mayor.

“Last year we had the votes on the council to change it…but we didn’t have the votes to override a veto. So…that becomes the next part of this whole thing,” says Wood.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero’s $112 million budget plan includes a new utility fee to close a five million dollar budget gap.

The fee would cost the average residential customer about $46 a year and would pay for streetlights and fire hydrants.

Wood expects the utility fee and other issues will be addressed during two more public meetings on the budget this 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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