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Lansing Mayor proposes rainy day fund

Posted at 7:22 AM, Mar 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-29 08:04:37-04

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero admits this year's budget isn't radically different from budgets of years past.

"It's a meat and potatoes budget," Bernero said. "It's essentially a solid, stable budget."

But there's a little extra money this year - a projected surplus of $2 million. This is the third year in a row that's been the case for the capital city. The Mayor would like some of that money to go to the rainy day fund.

"Building back up our reserves, that's always a good sign," Bernero said.

He also hopes to buy more police cars, fire trucks, and snow plows, and hire a new Lansing Housing Ombudsman to oversee housing disputes and issues in the city.

"To add a new position means it's really something we believe is a priority. We've had a lot of concerns and issues come up around housing," Bernero said.

There's money in this budget to help fix Lansing's roads, but the mayor says to completely tear up and redo just one mile of road costs the city $1 million.

"Probably, unless your road is horrific, you're probably going to be getting patches," Bernero said. "We will certainly be filling potholes, and we're going to stretch the money we have as far as we possibly can, but it is not enough."

The mayor said he's waiting on more money from the state to really dig into fixing the roads.

With new programs and new spending comes scrutiny, which Mayor Bernero welcomes. He invites the city and city council to look over his budget carefully.