Lansing City Council votes to put police, fire, roads millage on November ballot

Posted at 7:54 AM, Aug 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-16 07:54:31-04

That's $8 million on the line for Lansing Police, Fire and roads, and Lansing Police Chief Mike Yankowski wants to know if his department will have that money as soon as possible.

"We've got to make sure that we have the funding to move forward here in the next five years while property values and income tax hopefully continue to improve," Yankowski said.

That's one reason the Lansing City Council voted Monday night to move a millage to the November ballot, a move requested by Lansing's Mayor Virg Bernero.

"There's a large voter turnout in November, this is our best chance to have the majority of Lansing residents to weigh in on this, and I hope they'll say yes," Bernero said.

Voters will decide if they want to renew a millage that costs someone who owns a $100,000 home about $200 a year in taxes. Police and fire each get about $3 million of that money.

"What is $2.9 million? That's almost 30 police officer positions in the city of Lansing. It's a significant number of dollars," Yankowski said.

Lansing Emergency Management Chief Mike Tobin says that when this millage originally passed in 2011 it allowed the department to hire back 11 firefighters it had had to lay off because of the recession. He says the money is just as important now as it was then.

"This money is being utilized for police and fire, the day to day operations so we can keep them safe, so we can make sure that the safety of our citizens, our visitors, our property, is all protected to the fullest," Yankowski said.

The money in the millage set aside for roads has been used to repair them, especially when state road funding has fluctuated.