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Lansing mayor lays out balanced city budget

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
“Our right-sized city government is far more lean and efficient than in the past. It finally fits within the revenues now and in the future," says Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero.";

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero says after nine years of deep budget cuts, the capitol city finally is entering a new fiscal year with a balanced budget.

Bernero unveiled his proposed city budget for next year last night.    

Bernero credits an uptick in property and city income tax revenues for the city’s improved budget picture.  

During the last nine years, the city of Lansing has trimmed its workforce by more than 30% and won contract concessions from its unions.

“At long last, we have moved beyond the relentless deficits of the Great Recession to achieve short-term financial stability,” says Bernero.

The mayor’s proposed budget includes money for new police cars and fire trucks, as well as money to pay for 11 police officers whose positions are currently paid for with grant money.

Bernero’s budget also includes some additional money for fixing Lansing’s roads. 

But the mayor says the city does not have the resources to pay for all the repairs that are needed. He says the state needs to do more to help local communities fix their crumbling roads.  

The Lansing City Council will spend the next few months combing through the mayor’s budget proposal.  The council must adopt a final budget by May 26.  

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.