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Hotel Suddenly Gone from Downtown Development Plan

Friday, January 23, 2015

Image: The previous plan for Building A, which was to include a hotel and to be 10 stories

Plans to put an upscale boutique hotel in “Building A”—the building PDIG is proposing to erect at the corner of Abbot Road and Grand River Avenue—have fallen through. PDIG has informed the Downtown Development Authority there will be no hotel after all—and the building will be eight stories rather than ten.

ASK ELi: City-Owned Land Sales?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Image: The Avondale Square development, where the City continues to own many parcels; courtesy City of East Lansing

At next Tuesday’s City Council work session, City staff is planning to ask Council to put a City Charter amendment on the ballot for May 5 that would change how City land is sold. (Like all “work sessions,” this public meeting of City Council will not be broadcast or video recorded for accessible public viewing.)

Report Reveals Insights into City's Finances

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

East Lansing’s public parking system is consistently a money-loser; the City’s large unfunded retiree liabilities are about to become more visible; and property taxes are going up. These were three of the major issues covered last night at City Council during discussion of a report on the City’s finances.

Former Mayor Urges Council to Save Bailey Daycare

Monday, January 19, 2015

Image: Bailey daycare parents' Working Group member Charles Hoogstraten speaks to Council late last year

Former East Lansing mayor Douglas Jester is urging City Council to vote tomorrow night to save the Bailey daycare. In a letter to Council that he has shared with ELi, Jester asks Council “to assist the parents who are attempting to establish a non-profit corporation to operate the program, and to undertake a community process to decide the future of the Bailey Community Center.”

Councilmember Ruth Beier is set tomorrow to make the following motion at Council:

PDIG Plan Now Exceeds $100M with $32M in Tax Incentives

Friday, January 16, 2015

Image: The corner where PDIG seeks to construct the 10-story "Building A"

The East Lansing Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is moving forward on controversial developer PDIG’s plans for the blighted area downtown. Two major buildings in the area are now estimated together to cost $101 million, and local government is considering $32 million in tax incentives for the project area. At a public DDA meeting yesterday, details emerged on the Tax Increment Financing plan as well as the development agreement being made between the developer and the City.

Council Capsule: January 13, 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Photo: A previous Council meeting, because this reporter forgot her camera this week

ELi apologizes for the slight delay in getting Council Capsule to you today. The reason is that we have today been producing in-depth stories on three of the many major issues covered last night.

All councilmembers were present:  Mayor Nathan Triplett, Mayor Pro Tem Diane Goddeeris, Ruth Beier, Kathy Boyle, and Susan Woods.

Bob Nelson Likely to Be Our BWL Rep

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

In November, Lansing ciitzens voted to change their City Charter to allow East Lansing to have representation on the BWL Board of Commissioners. BWL is the major electric utility for residents of East Lansing. The East Lansing representative, who will start this work in July of this year, will have a non-voting role on the BWL Board.

Bob Nelson Likely to Be Our BWL Rep

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

In November, Lansing ciitzens voted to change their City Charter to allow East Lansing to have representation on the BWL Board of Commissioners. BWL is the major electric utility for residents of East Lansing. The East Lansing representative, who will start this work in July of this year, will have a non-voting role on the BWL Board.

BWL Board Votes to Terminate General Manager's Employment

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Image: J. Peter Lark faces the BWL Board of Commissioners today

There was only one item on the Agenda for the hastily convened Lansing Board of Water & Light Board (BWL) of Commissioners Special Board Meeting this afternoon. That was to "Review the Employment of the Lansing Board of Water & Light's General Manager," J. Peter Lark. Following a brief portion of public comments, the Board voted 5 to 3 to terminate Lark’s employment “for cause” and appoint an interim manager.

Bailey Neighborhood Fears Destabilization from City's Actions

Monday, January 12, 2015
Bailey Community Center

The battle over the future of the Bailey Community Center—and, according to some residents, the future of the Bailey neighborhood itself—will continue tomorrow night at City Council during a work session that will not be broadcast for public viewing. On one side is City staff who see the costs of keeping open the Community Center and the daycare it houses as simply too high for citizens to bear.

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