East Lansing City Council passes budget

EAST LANSING, MI – East Lansing City Council members have voted unanimously to approve a budget for the fiscal year that starts on July 1st. The council may have to revisit that budget when state lawmakers decide how much the city will get through revenue sharing.

The East Lansing budget is a blend of employee concessions, personnel and program cuts, the use of some reserve funds and a half-mil increase in property taxes.

Council member Kevin Beard says while he's satisfied with the spending plan, there's still uncertainty about revenue sharing. He says years of cuts in revenue sharing have diminished the quality of life in every community in Michigan.

"The legislature has got to figure out a way, like we've done at the local level, to come up with an appropriate mix of cuts and revenue enhancements that is actually going to give us the resources we need at the state level and the local level to provide the services we promise our citizens," Beard says.

Despite the budget difficulties, East Lansing got good news from a bond rating agency, which upgraded the city's rating from double A plus to the highest level - Triple A. That means the city can borrow money at lower interest rates.