The following Budget Priorities for 2007/2008 was passed at October 23, 2006 City Council Meeting.
BY THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF LANSING
WHEREAS, the Charter of the City of Lansing requires the Council to adopt an annual statement of Budget Policies and Priorities serving to guide the Administration in developing and presenting the Fiscal Year 2007-08 budget; and
WHEREAS, the City Council recognizes that the State's continuing budget problems and the economy's slow recovery from recession will make the FY 2007-08 budget process difficult and challenging; and
WHEREAS, in light of the present economy the City Council maintains that essential services, such as police, fire, and 911 be protected from budget cuts to the extent possible and that tax increases be considered only as a last resort; and
WHEREAS, the City Council would like to continue its commitment, if funding is available:
- to maintain and improve the City's infrastructure;
- to preserve and ensure clean, safe, well-maintained housing and neighborhoods;
- to provide comprehensive and affordable recreational programs and youth and family services;
- to automate work programs for improved efficiency in service delivery; and
WHEREAS, in considering these FY 2007-08 budget priorities, the Administration is encouraged to ascertain the feasibility of funding any new programs through the reduction of spending in existing program areas; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Lansing City Council, hereby, acknowledges that the City will likely need to adopt, at best, a budget which recognizes the structural changes that are the result of lost revenues and encourages the Administration to prudently develop next year's budget with the following conditions:
- Protection of essential services such as police, fire, and 911
- Use of the Budget Stabilization Fund to prevent layoffs
- To the extent authorized by law, a tax increase
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Administration review the attached statement of policies and priorities and implement those items that would boost efficiencies to increase productivity or reduce costs, that could replace existing programming, or if funding becomes available, that could be considered as new programming.
Training: All Departments should continue their work to improve community relations and reaffirm the City's commitment to ensure equality and freedom for all people regardless of actual or perceived race, sex, religion, ancestry, national origin, color, sex, age, height, weight, student status, marital status, familial status, housing status, military discharge status, sexual orientation, gender identification or expression, mental or physical limitation, and legal source of income.
Team Concept: The Administration should review and bring back to Council possibilities for providing services on a team basis so that workers develop ownership of their areas.
Arts Commission: The Administration should develop an Arts Commission and submit both the policy and recommendation of members to Council for their approval.
Environmental & Public Health Commission: The Administration should develop an Environmental & Public Health Commission and submit both the policy and recommendation of members to Council for their approval.
Facilities Plan: The Administration is requested to submit a five and ten year Master Facilities Plan. City Council is also requesting that the Administration continues work on the delayed maintenance issues with regard to all City Facilities.
General Budgeting Practices:
- Administration is to develop a line item budget.
- Develop and analyze a cost recovery schedule for City services.
- Develop return on investment model for all City services.
- Identify and provide a complete analysis of the City's structural deficits and the Administration's plan to eliminate the same.
City-wide Emergency Preparedness: The Administration should allocate sufficient funding for the Emergency Management Division to prepare City Employees with appropriate emergency training, continue efforts to prepare the public and neighborhood groups to assist in emergencies, and provide basic search and rescue operations and necessary emergency equipment at key City facilities, and communicate the plan to the public.
Firefighters: The Administration in conjunction with the Internal Auditor is to determine if it is more advantageous to hire additional firefighters rather than increase overtime.
Fire Facilities Maintenance: The Administration is to conduct a study of the maintenance needs of all fire stations.
Fire Stations: All current fire station structures need to remain open unless one is closed in order to open a new station. If there is consideration of a reduction of the level of personnel at a station, it must be promptly brought before Council for approval.
HUMAN RELATIONS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES
Audits of Organizations: The Administration should work with the Internal Auditor to provide the Ways and Means Committee with an analysis of the Federal 990 Statement and any annual audit or financial statement that is compiled by or for the organization that receives funding from HRCS or in-kind contributions in excess of $5,000 from the City.
Carry Forward Funding: In accordance with the ordinance required of 1.25%, which is set aside for funding of the Human Relations and Community Service programming, City Council wants all of these funds to be carried forward and distributed, which could entail a one time grant to qualified programs to ensure service to the community.
Emergency Housing: The Administration should establish a fund for temporary emergency housing needs which may not be met by outside agencies.
PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT/PLANNING AND NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT
Increase Beautification Efforts: The Administration and Council should focus on the aesthetics of the downtown area between Grand Ave., Capitol Ave., Shiawassee, and St. Joseph Street. The Administration needs to work with the Principal Shopping District, State of Michigan, businesses, Cooley Law School, and Lansing Community College to dramatically improve the appearances of the area's streetscapes, building facades, and downtown parks, including opening the 200 and 300 blocks of North Washington Mall.
PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT
Baker/Donora Facility: City Council understands the service that is given at Baker/Donora Focus Center which affects the community in and around the center. Because of the opportunity which now avails itself with the Greater Lansing Housing Coalition and the NPP, City Council requests the Administration to make every effort possible in facilitating and utilizing the funding available to implement the plan for a new building.
River Trail: The Administration should encourage the Parks Department to look at the feasibility of connecting a River Trail in the south end where there is currently no access to the trail.
Park Millage Usage: Park Millage money should be used for repair and improvements to our existing park facilities.
Golf: The Administration should pursue the recommendations made by the Public Service Committee by means of a Committee Report and approved by Council through a resolution.
Park Restrooms: The Administration should submit a plan which will allow for restroom facilities in parks to be utilized during the day time hours and weekend use.
Ball Parks: The Administration should submit a plan that will allow for the maintenance of ball fields within our parks system.
South Side Community Center: The Administration should continue their work through the Mayor's task force and the residents of South Lansing on the development of a South Side Community Center and continue to seek funding and support for developing, operating, and maintaining the South Side Community Center.
PLANNING AND NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT
Residential Housing: The Administration should submit, within one fiscal year, its plan and necessary funding to increase home ownership, to provide stricter enforcement of the housing code and rental registration, and to reduce by 100 the number of long-term chronic abandoned and burned out houses and commercial buildings in the neighborhoods.
Brownfield Projects: The Administration should pursue a pilot program through the EDC, State, and Federal Government to "front load" Brownfield clean-ups, which enables us to streamline the process for developers with respect to remediation time.
Neighborhood Preservation Program: The Administration should monitor the commitments made by City departments and non profits as part of the Neighborhood Preservation Program and report to Council.
Traffic: The Administration should provide a Plan to be pro-active for the replacement of signage (stop signs, traffic signs, etc.)
Focus on Home Ownership: The Administration should direct the Planning Department to designate the City's HOME dollars for owner-occupied housing.
Beautification: The Administration should include a beautification standard/expectation in all proposed development projects, including those capital projects that are financed with City funds. Such standards should serve as a planning and economic development tool that will enhance property values, create jobs, and revitalize neighborhoods and business areas.
Corridor: City Council encourages Administration to develop a plan to revitalize and enhance major corridors that lead into the City.
Allocation of Code Compliance Time: The Code Compliance officers should spend an equal amount of their time between rental registration-inspections and quality of life issues and complaints from residents that may not generate revenue.
Code Compliance: The Code Compliance Office should develop a plan for coverage of code compliance issues during evenings and weekends.
Expedite Improving Abandoned Residential and Commercial Buildings: The City Attorney and the Planning and Neighborhood Development Department should expedite the forced improvements or closure of abandoned, neglected, and burned out houses and commercial buildings and develop a commercial building code.
Housing Court: The Court, City Council, and the Administration should work to create a Housing Court to expedite code enforcement and housing issues.
Police-Community Relations: The Department should continue its work on improving police-community relations and reaffirm the City's commitment to ensure equality and freedom for all people regardless of actual or perceived race, sex, religion, ancestry, national origin, color, sex, age, height, weight, student status, marital status, familial status, housing status, military discharge status, sexual orientation, gender identification or expression, mental or physical limitation, and legal source of income.
Expedite Hiring Process: The Administration should fill all the vacant funded positions and "front load" positions for the LPD to ensure that all critical positions are filled at all times. These positions are to be filled at all times even if it is on a temporary basis due to officers retiring or being called for reserves.
Additional Police Officers: The Administration should determine a cost associated with hiring six additional police officers.
Allocate Overtime for Zero Tolerance Areas: The Administration should earmark sufficient overtime funds for patrol officers to address problem solving to help curtail crime in zero tolerance areas. The Council recommends that overtime funds should not be taken from the current overtime budgeted line item.
PUBLIC SERVICE DEPARTMENT
Colonial Village CSO Project: The Administration should use the Colonial Village CSO Project area as a pilot area for offering the installation of sod as an option in CSO reconstruction of the right-of-way.
Alley Maintenance: The Administration should ensure money is allocated for the maintenance of alleys.
Street Sweeping: The Administration should develop a plan for maintenance of the street right-of-way which includes increasing street sweeping, trash, and brush removal.
Compost Material: The Administration is to investigate compost material recycling bins that would be compatible with our hydraulic lift trucks to allow people the option of plastic container versus a paper bag.
Sidewalks and Skywalks: The Administration should ensure that sidewalks are installed, maintained, and free of snow in high traffic areas to provide the public, especially children, with safe routes to and from schools and shopping areas. The Administration should also submit plans to upgrade the skywalks to make them handicap accessible. The Administration should also meet with the Lansing School District to deal with "hazard zones", and develop a priority list for these areas and a long-term strategy for resolving issues including, but not limited to poor lighting, lack of crossing guards, sidewalk disrepair and no sidewalks.
Sidewalk Repairs: The Administration should provide Council, for their review, the ordinance and mechanism to enact the Sidewalk Inspection Due on Sale of Property Program as well as a program that would allow property owners to pay for the replacement/repair of deteriorating sidewalks and be reimbursed by the City for its share of the cost.
Rain Gardens: The Administration is requested to provide a comprehensive design plan and costs for adding to or transitioning from traditional storm sewers to rain gardens, wherever feasible. Every effort should be made to coordinate installation with existing and planned construction projects. Once the plan in approved by Council, the Administration shall install rain gardens according to the plan.
Bike Lanes: The Administration is requested to provide a comprehensive design plan and costs for installing bike lanes, wherever feasible, on current roads and integrating bike lanes into future road construction and rehabilitation projects. Once the plan is approved by Council, the Administration shall install bike lanes according to the plan.
Utilities: The Administration should make every effort to coordinate with utility providers to bury utilities where and whenever possible.
CSO Projects: The Administration should partner with City Council to engage in a project review and evaluation of the City's CSO Control Project with a focus on the existing project approach of total separation of the remaining combined sewer system.
CSO Project Funding: The Administration should review and determine long term strategies for financing and funding CSO projects which do not primarily rely on sewer rates.