The city of Lansing held training on understanding and improving its annual Capital Improvement Program on budget issues involved in making capital improvements for the city of Lansing.
Two Michigan State University researchers and CIP experts, Kurt Schindler and Glen Pape, presented information to help aide city council.
“A good CIP enhances opportunities for receiving grants.” Schindler said.
Saving money and spending it in the right place is very important for the city of Lansing because funds are scarce.
“We have to have a special ways of means(check the quote – this doesn’t make sense),” said Lansing City Council President A’Lynne Robinson, “This is coming through because we have a very strict timeline to follow through and a set amount of dollars to work with.”
CIP is not only a tool to help cities save money in the future, but it also allows them to make better financial decisions now.
“We are also trying to use capital improvement to equalize expenses,” Schindler said “We’re trying to avoid those sharp changes.”
The benefits that CIP offers are not necessarily instantaneous; there is a lot of time invested in it to see the results.
“The law minimally says six years,” Schindler said, “I suggest 10 to 5 years as the best practice.”
Despite all the time and work needed to provide the best CIP, councilmen and women are committed to its success.
“Finding time and creating quality CIP is one of our top priorities” said council member Derrick Quinney. “We are willing to spend the time.”
One strategy Lansing employs to improve its economy and its CIP is attracting college graduates
“The only way to be successful in this economy is to figure out to be attractive,” said Pape.
“We have to figure out a way to get the graduates of the school on the other side of Michigan Avenue to come work down in Lansing.”
Lansing is looking to to compete with other cities that are located near major universities such as Minneapolis and Seattle.
“The places that have been most successful are the places with the best talent,” Pape said. “If we can retain these people, we are ahead of the game.”