East Lansing City Council voted 4-1 on Tuesday to channel about $52,000 in unexpected federal funds to a group of local human services agencies, including Haven House. ELi's Andrew Graham reports what happened.
Compassionate Advisors wants to open a medical marijuana provisioning center in the former Cosi restaurant location downtown, and says it would be much classier than what we see around Lansing. ELi's Alice Dreger reports.
In a 4-1 vote, East Lansing’s City Council expanded the right to have outdoor recreational fires. But given environmental and health concerns, Council expects to revisit the issue. ELi’s Andrew Graham reports.
Has East Lansing's City Council followed what the Financial Health Team recommended with regard to managing the City's pensions? ELi's Chris Root has been investigating this question for months. Today we bring you her findings.
East Lansing’s Financial Health Team (FHT) was aware that the City had already changed from defined benefit to hybrid plans for new hires in many employee groups. These new hybrid plans began in 2010 and 2011, and 125 City employees had been enrolled in these plans by December 2016. (This already represents 47% of the total of the 268 current employees who are participants in the City’s retirement system.)
Among the East Lansing Financial Health Team (FHT) pension recommendations was that East Lansing “continue to negotiate overtime and personal leave limits in FAC, and work towards a 240 hour (or less) maximum of final payouts in FAC.”
East Lansing’s Financial Health Review Team (FHT) recommended that the City Council consider having the City issue $30 or $40 million in bonds in order to make a lump-sum payment into the pension funds, thus reducing its unfunded liabilities. The goal would be to make the City’s annual required payments more manageable and more stable. Of course, by issuing bonds, the City would incur interest payments for the duration of the bonds.
East Lansing’s City Council voted unanimously tonight to put an income tax on the August 7 ballot. The proposal looks different from the measure that failed in November, and is aimed at dealing with the City's major financial problems.
A proposed downtown project would have quadrupled tax revenue on the properties, increased density, provided adequate parking, and looked like a project right next door. So why did three Council Members send it into limbo, leaving the other two frustrated?