By Jennifer Brown Staff Writer
The 2014 fiscal year budget recommendation was announced at the city council meeting March 25. The city of Lansing prioritized human services like the police and fire departments.
Bernero announced changes and improvements to the city’s budget to be approved for the fiscal year 2014. The improvements include decreasing the budget deficit while still hiring more workers. He also announced that Lansing’s population is growing again, contrary to the trend of the previous few years.
The mayor incorporated some recommendations of the Financial Health Team (FHT) into the city budget. The FHT recommends increasing funding to retiree health care as well as building the general fund reserves.
Bernero said that he was opposed to FHT recommendations for reduced human services and parks and recreation activities.
“I refused to cut recreation services for Lansing’s youth,” said the Mayor. “And I also refused reducing human services.”
The FHT recommended cutting police or fire department staffing. The Mayor said spending reductions would be done without cuts, saying public safety is a number one priority.
The city rehired seven police officers for the 2013 fiscal year.
“We want to bring back the last of laid off public safety workers,” said the mayor.
In addition to more workers, the department will be creating a new detective position to deal strictly with cold cases.
“We want to bring comfort to families who’ve lost loved ones,” said Bernero.