Lansing City Council members took a quick look at the 2020 budget at Thursday’s work session. There was no discussion of changing the budget figures, which stay flat, that is the same as last year.

Lansing City Council members took a quick look at the 2020 budget at Thursday’s work session. There was no discussion of changing the budget figures, which stay flat, that is the same as last year.
Council members had already taken a more in-depth look at the budget at the June 20 work session. They had learned that the budget plan called for the 41.555 mill levy to remain the same as 2019. The levy was about the same in 2018, which was actually a decrease from the 41.38 mills levied in 2017.
Because of increased valuation, the city will get about $137,500 more in tax money. The assessed valuation increased from about $83,430 to $86,717.
Budget director Beth Sanford did provide a primer about the budget numbers with a document that provided an overview of all the funds and the revenues that fall into these funds. Of these, the biggest is the general fund. Other funds include ones of the library, debt service, a special highway fund, special parks and recreation, and others, to include the city’s new $0.45 sales tax, capital improvements and so on.
At the last meeting, council member Andi Pawlowski had suggested decreasing the levy, which was rejected by most of the others. She and Don Studnicka were not at Thursday’s meeting, and the topic was not mentioned.
A mill amounts to $11.50 for a $100,000 home, $23 for a $200,000 home and $34.50 for a $300,000 home. Lansing residents will be levied about 148 mills, which includes the state, the county, Fire District No. 1 and the school district as well as the city of Lansing. That equates to about $1,700 thousand for a $100,000 home; about $3,400 thousand for a $200,00 home; and about $8,107 for a $300,00 home.
Council members will hold a budget hearing in August.
In closing comments Thursday, council members mentioned several topics, including the fire district’s lawsuit against the city. An amended petition has been filed. Council President Gene Kirby asked the council if its stance had changed on talking to the fire district groups. Council members indicated they were still willing to talk to them.
Council member Gregg Buehler mentioned the increased usage of Highland Park, a small neighborhood park, since it’s been revitalized with new playground equipment. Council member Tony McNeill asked if swings would ever be added there. Park Director Jason Crum said modern standards call for a fall space that’s twice the height of the top of the swing, and there’s not enough room to do that.