Budget Priorities

The following Budget Priorities for FY 2020/2021 were passed at the September 30, 2019 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 2020/2021 Budget; and

WHEREAS, the City Council established the following Mission/Vision and goals; and

The City of Lansing’s mission is to ensure quality of life by:

I.    Promoting a vibrant, safe, healthy and inclusive community that provides opportunity for personal and economic growth for residents, businesses and visitors

a.   The City’s diverse economy generates and retains (sustains) high quality stable jobs that strengthen the sales and property tax base and contribute to an exceptional quality of life.

b.   The City is governed in a transparent, efficient, accountable and responsive manner on behalf of all citizens.

c.   The City’s neighborhoods have various resources that allow them to be on a long term viable and appealing basis.

d.   Support economic development initiatives that promote and retain new industries and markets.

II.   Securing short and long term financial stability through prudent management of city resources.

a.   Wise stewardship of financial resources results in the City’s ability to meet and exceed service demands and obligations without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same.

b.   Pursue and facilitate shared services regionally that allow for cost savings and revenue enhancement.

c.   Support initiatives that build the City’s property and income tax base.

III.  Providing reliable, efficient and quality services that are responsive to the needs of residents and businesses.

a.   The City’s core services and infrastructure are efficiently, effectively and strategically delivered to enable economic development and to maintain citizen’s health, safety and general welfare.

IV. Adopting sustainable practices that protect and enhance our cultural, natural and historical resources.

a.   Seek partnership opportunities with educational and corporate institutions and to maintain and expand our talent base.

b.   Create vibrant places, support events and activities that showcase our waterfront and green spaces.

c.   Raise the level of support for projects and initiatives that showcase local and state history.

V.  Facilitating regional collaboration and connecting communities.

a.   The City has a safe efficient and well connected multimodal transportation system that contributes to a high quality of life and is sensitive to surrounding uses.

b.   Seek a balanced distribution of affordable housing in the tri-county region.

WHEREAS, the City Council would like to continue its commitment, if funding is available, to:

  • Maintain and improve the City’s infrastructure;
  • Preserve and ensure clean, safe, well-maintained housing and neighborhoods;
  • Provide comprehensive and affordable recreational programs and youth and family services;
  • Explore alternatives for improved efficiency in service and delivery; and

WHEREAS, in considering these Fiscal Year 2020/2021 Budget priorities, the Administration is encouraged to ascertain the feasibility of funding any new programs through either the reduction of spending in existing program areas or the exploration of new funding sources that would assure the sustainability of the program; and

WHEREAS, the Administration was encouraged to supplement, not supplant any existing resources for police, fire and local roads with the General Fund revenues collected under this millage; and

WHEREAS, the Administration is requested to include in its Fiscal Year 2020/2021 Budget, the necessary funding to accomplish all requested plans, studies, evaluations, reviews, report submissions, program assessments, and analyses noted within this resolution below, or alternatively documentation as to why such activities are prohibitively costly; and

WHEREAS, the Lansing City Charter states that the budget proposal due on the fourth Monday in March of each year shall contain “the necessary information for understanding the budget” and how the proposal addresses the priorities proposed by the City Council.

NOW 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 future liabilities, encourages the Administration to prudently develop next year’s budget with the following conditions:

  • Protection of public and emergency services.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Administration is requested to 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; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Administration is requested, to the extent practicable, to include non-appropriations clauses and other similar out provisions in existing and future leases, and vendor contracts upon review of City Council; and

NOW THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Administration is requested to develop and provide all plans, studies, evaluations, reviews, report submissions, program assessments, and analyses noted as set forth below in this resolution, or alternatively, documentation as to why such activities were prohibitively costly, by the fourth Monday in March 2020.

 

I.  Promoting a vibrant, safe, healthy and inclusive community that provides opportunity for personal and economic growth for residents, businesses and visitors.

a)      The City’s diverse economy generates and retains (sustains) high quality stable jobs that strengthen the sales and property tax base and contribute to an exceptional quality of life

(1)       Economic Development For presentation to City Council beautification standard/expectation and a storm water mitigation plan for all proposed development projects that receive incentives from the City. Such standards should serve as a planning and economic development tool that will enhance property values, create jobs, and revitalize neighborhoods and business areas. These standards and plan should be presented to the City Council.

b)    The City is governed in a transparent efficient accountable and responsive manner on behalf of all citizens.

(1)       A delineation of recommendations of the Financial Health Team, noting which recommendations have been implemented, which are in the FY 2020/2021 proposed Budget, which are planned to be implemented at a future time, and which have been determined not to be implemented at any time. A timetable for future implementation is requested.

(2)     Supplemental Accounting Level Detail. A plan and timeline for the implementation of performance-based budgeting.

(3)       Development and analysis of a cost recovery schedule for City services.

(4)       Development of a return on investment analysis for all proposed changes in City services.

(5)       Identification of, and a complete and ongoing analysis of, the City’s structural deficits and the Administration’s plan to eliminate the same.

(6)       Incorporate into the proposed Budget a 5-Year projection of revenues and expenditures.

(7)       Continue to invest one-time money into Retirement & OPEB obligations and how to increase funding.

(8)       Continue to invest one-time money into Infrastructure, including sidewalks.

(9)       Continue to invest one-time money into hardware and software investments for City operations.

(10)     Hire a full time or part time individual housed in the LPD or OCA who focuses on FOIA redactions in working in cooperation with Ingham County over funding.

(11)     Additional support for increases in capabilities and technologies efficiencies for Finance, Treasury, and Human Resources departments.

  • ERP Migration – Possible Replacement of One Solution
  • Outside Specialized Consulting – Plant & Moran
  • Possible addition of in house staff as determined

c)         The City’s neighborhoods have various resources that allow them to be long term viable and appealing.

(1)       A researched report on surrounding community models for neighborhood organization technical support structure within the City.

(2)       Working with the City Attorney and Code Compliance Division to expedite improvements or closure of abandoned, neglected, and burned out houses and commercial buildings by using the International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) and adopt the latest version of the IPMC from the State of Michigan. Development of aggressive policies to deal with problematic property owners.

(3)       Food Access: Together with the City of Lansing Economic Development Corporation development of a plan should increase quality food access throughout the City using all incentives available.

(4)       Code Compliance: Assurance that the Code Compliance Department is conducting the appropriate inspections and issuing appropriate fines to ensure the buildings in our City are safe and that we have quality neighborhoods and conduct a study of Code Compliance to determine a level of service for first time inspections and re-inspections assuring the safety of the housing stock for residential and mobile homes.

(5)       Further expand down payment assistance programs with employers to encourage employees to live in the City of Lansing, and encourage employment of Lansing Residents.

d)         Support economic development initiatives that will promote and retain new industries and markets.

e)         Funding through HRCS for a G.E.D. program that targets lower income areas.

II.   Securing short and long-term financial stability through prudent management of City resources.

a)         Wise stewardship of financial resources results in the City’s ability to meet and exceed service demands and obligations without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same.

(1)       Administration is requested to submit the following list of deliverables when they are due per City Charter and State Statue and adhere to them based on these priorities.

(a)       Comprehensive Annual Financial Audit (CAFR) annually, no later than December 31st of each year, in accordance with the State Statute.

(b)       During the months of October, January and April of each fiscal year, the Director of Finance’s written report showing the control of expenditures. (Charter- Article 7-110)

(c)        By September 1st of each fiscal year, a written budget update report so that Council can review their standings on current budget items in preparation for the Council required creation of Budget Policies and Priorities that need to be adopted by October 1, 2019. (Charter- Article 7-102)

(d)       No later than the last regular City Council meeting in January of each year, a State of the City report to the City Council and to the public. (Charter- Article 4 -102.4)

(e)       The Proposed Budget with annual estimate of all revenues and annual appropriation of expenditures no later than the 4th Monday in March of each year. (Charter – Article 7-101)

(f)        A presentation to Council of each department budget in preparation for Council to adopt the Budget Resolution no later than the 3rd Monday in May each year.

b)         Pursue and facilitate shared services regionally that allow for cost savings and revenue enhancement.

(1)       Pursue partnerships with stakeholders, (intra municipal and intergovernmental), to align services in relation to public services.

(2)       Facilities Plan: Submit to the City Council a five and ten-year Master Facilities Plan including school and county facilities that are used for current and future City uses. City Council is also requesting that the Administration continue to work on any delayed maintenance issues with regard to all City Facilities.

c)         Support initiatives that build City’s property and income tax base

III.  Providing reliable, efficient and quality services that are responsive to the needs of residents and businesses.

a)         The City’s core services and infrastructure are efficiently, effectively and strategically delivered to enable economic development and to maintain citizen’s health, safety and general welfare.

(1)       Establish funding for two additional Code Compliance Officers as well as an additional support staff to track down property owners that have not scheduled re-inspection and to research properties suspected of being unregistered rentals.

(2)       City-wide Emergency Preparedness: Allocation of 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 Lansing City Council and the public. Updated and continual training should be provided. The Administration shall assist residents in times of unforeseen disasters.

(3)       Fire Facilities Maintenance: The Administration is to conduct a study of the maintenance needs of all fire stations and report to City Council an update of the status of the study by the 4th Monday of March. Along with a funding recommendation for short and long-term improvement to these structures.

(4)       Regionalism: The Administration should continue with the current regional efforts and look into the possibility of expanding the efforts.

(5)       Police-Community Relations: Designate funding to help the Police Department to ensure the improvement of police-community relations. Reaffirming the City’s commitment to equality and freedom for all people regardless of actual or perceived race, sex, religion, ancestry, national origin, color, age, height, weight, student status, marital status, familiar status, housing status, military discharge status, sexual orientation, gender identification or express, mental or physical limitation, and legal source of income.

(6)       Crime Prevention: Designate funding to invest in programs for long-term crime prevention strategies.

(7)       Allocate Overtime for Problem Solving Area: Designate sufficient funding for overtime for police officers to address problem solving to help certain crime and address quality of life issues.

(8)       Community Policing: Continue and increase funding along with searching for grant funds for COPs in neighborhoods with a goal not only to reduce crime but to stabilize the neighborhood over an extended period of time that will help to ensure its ability to rebound.

(9)       Establish a Community Policing within the 2nd Ward.

(10)     Leadership vacancies: Develop and implement a plan and timeline to fill all funded vacancies and provide a report to City Council.

(11)     Front-loading of Police Officers: Continue to front-load Police Officers so that we have officers ready to take the road when officers retire.

(12)     Ensure adequate safe equipment to increase street sweeping, especially areas heavily traversed by bikes.

(13)     A study to determine the effectiveness of traffic calming and what measures may be successful and funding to implement.

(14)     Establish funding to address usability, accessibility, quality of life, and better means of aging in place through the City of Lansing Parks. The Administration will consider the list of ADA Accessible Amenities from the 2018 Report from Capital Area Disability Network. (Attachment A)

IV. Adopting sustainable practices that protect and enhance our cultural, natural and historical resources.

a)         Seek partnership opportunities with educational and corporate institutions and to maintain and expand our talent base.

b)         Create vibrant places, support events and activities that showcase our waterfront and green spaces.

(1)       Trail/Greenways Encouraging the Parks and Recreation Department to work collaboratively with the Tri-County Planning Commission to develop/expand our citywide/regional trail system and seek opportunities to reduce expenses in this effort. Additionally, look at the feasibility of connecting the River Trail (through bike lanes/Greenways to Trails) where there is currently no access to the trail.

c)         Raise the level of support for projects and initiatives that showcase local and state history.

d)         Corridor Façade Grants- generate guidelines with LEAP describing the area and requirements for the distribution of the Corridor Façade Grants, and review annually.

e)         Designate funding for a City Sustainability Coordinator to implement the deliverables, findings and recommended steps from the Lansing Climate Action Planning Project and/or general sustainability efforts including but not limited to reducing Lansing’s carbon footprint and align with the Paris-Accord.

V.  Facilitating regional collaboration and connecting communities

a)         The City has a safe efficient and well-connected multimodal transportation system that contributes to a high quality of life and is sensitive to surrounding uses.

 

(1)       Corridor: City Council encourages the Administration continue to develop a plan and report its status to the Lansing City Council that seeks to revitalize and enhance all major corridors that lead into the City.

b)         Seek a balanced distribution of affordable housing in the tri-county region.

RESOLVED, recognizing the financial challenges facing the City of Lansing (“City”) and its Public Service Department (“Department”), including the Department’s obligations to comply with numerous mandates, including unfunded mandates, the Lansing Board of Public Service supports the efforts of the Department.

RESOLVED, the Board of Public Service supports and recommends the following budget priorities to the Lansing City Council for consideration with Council's Budget Policies and Priorities for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1920– June 30, 2021:

1.   General Fund levels should be increased for implementation of the City's Street System Asset Management Plan, and for additional funding for reconstructing neighborhood streets with a Pavement Surface Evaluation Rating of 4 or lower. We encourage support for the department to look for new and innovative ways to extend the life of our existing streets and seek additional funding.

2.       Increase compliance with the City’s Complete Streets Ordinance, and additional funding of the sidewalk gap closure program, sidewalk repairs and right-of-way maintenance and improvement, consistent with keeping safety a priority for Lansing residents and visitors, while meeting or exceeding the compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

3.     Increase funding to update and improve the fleet of city vehicles, with specific priority for the Public Service Department;

4.        Increase funding for the cleaning and maintenance of our wastewater aeration basins to remove sludge and silt buildup from the bottom of these tanks and repairing them once cleaned. This will allow us to be at or above the recommended guidelines.

5.      The City should approve a budget to: (i) expand opportunities for multi-family residential and business recycling; and (ii) implement organic waste recovery;

6.      Follow recommendations of the energy audit of all facilities and properties to save on energy and cut costs by replacing wasteful devices with ones that are energy efficient and reduce the carbon footprint of the City of Lansing.

7.      Fund training and work with federal, state, county, local municipalities, and organizations to become a leader in PFAS regulation, testing, monitoring and enforcement.