Lansing Council Leaders, Mayor Hope to Sway BWL Board

May 22, 2012

Two versions of a proposed Lansing city budget go before Lansing Board of Water and Light commissioners today.

One approved last night by the city council would increase the utility's payments into the city's general fund from four to five-and-a-half percent of revenues.  Supporters say the money raised would help pay for more police officers and firefighters.  

Opponents, including Mayor Virg Bernero, say a five-percent rate is enough.

City Council President Brian Jeffries--who says he'll speak at the BWL meeting--says the higher rate is fair.

“We're not even asking what the national average is," he says. "Anything less than that--you can make a fair argument that we're subsidizing the operations of the BWL with Lansing taxpayer dollars in the sense that we're not getting the full return on our equity.”

Recent statements from the utility suggest its board will not approve the higher rate.  Mayor Bernero--who appoints BWL commissioners--also says he'll veto the measure.

The commissioners meeting begins at 5:30 at BWL headquarters on Haco Drive.