EAST LANSING, Mich. — At last night’s meeting, East Lansing City Council adopted the City of East Lansing’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Budget & Tax Rate and discussed the plan for cuts to services over the next two fiscal years.
In the face of significant, ongoing financial challenges, City administrators have proposed a series of budget cuts over two years as a method of freeing up additional funding for the City’s pension obligations. Council’s plan is to make some initial necessary cuts to service in FY 2019; however, service cuts that will likely be proposed for FY 2020 would, for the most part, only be made in the event that new revenue is not secured. In other words, if the new income tax proposal were to be approved by voters, the FY 2020 proposed service cuts would largely not be necessary.
The 2019 service cuts included in last night's adopted budget:
Elimination of Community Relations Coalition funding and partial elimination of Community Agency Funding ($25,000 + $46,700 = $71,700)
Sidewalk Winter Maintenance Service Reduction of Interior Neighborhood Streets ($25,000)
Reduction of $150,000 from the East Lansing 54B District Court
Reduction of two part-time PACE Officers through attrition ($60,000)
Reduction of Aquatic Center hours ($18,000)
Elimination of the City’s Lansing Economic Area Parntership (LEAP) Membership ($15,000)
Elimination of Televised Council & Planning meetings ($150,000)
Reduction of four Fire/EMS employees (two have already been implemented through attrition, the other two may be maintained depending on the income tax vote) $360,000
Reduction of five ELPD Officers (already implemented through attrition) $450,000
Allocation of CDBG funds to infrastructure ($103,000 to be used for infrastructure, eliminating staff intensive process for funding and oversight)
Some of the significant service cuts that were to be considered for FY 2020 (if the income tax proposal is not approved) include:
Closing the East Lansing Hannah Community Center ($1,010,000)
Reduction of four additional Fire/EMS ($360,000)
Reduction of four additional ELPD Officers ($360,000)
Closing the East Lansing Family Aquatic Center ($30,000)
“The cuts enacted for 2019 and the cuts proposed for 2020 were to redirect revenue in order to pay down the City’s pension liability. The FY 2020 cuts would be unnecessary should the income tax proposal pass,” said East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows. “A new revenue source would allow the City to preserve existing public safety staffing levels and maintain the operation of the East Lansing Hannah Community Center. Our citizen engagement sessions showed strong support for preserving these services and I think all members of Council recognize that public safety and the community center are highly valued by members of our community.”
Information on the new time-limited and dedicated income tax ballot proposal, which will be on the August 7, 2018 Special Election ballot, can be viewed at www.cityofeastlansing.com/incometax.