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Lansing City Council Rejects Putting Sidewalk Millage on November Ballot

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Photo: Image by City of Lansing

Lansing City Council Rejects Putting Sidewalk Millage on November Ballot

CREATED Aug. 21, 2012

If you drive around the city, you may come across some broken sidewalks and others coming to an abrupt stop. It's a problem Lansing City Council Member Jessica Yorko is passionate about fixing.

"People end up walking in the street. This can be very dangerous. We've had a number of fatalities from pedestrians, particularly children," said Councilwoman Yorko.

She wants voters to approve a .5 mill increase dedicated to repairing and replacing sidewalks over the next three years. That comes out to almost $2.5 million or $25 for someone with a 100,000-dollar home.

"I think it would be a missed opportunity to not take a look at this and think about putting it out to voters for November," said Councilwoman Yorko.

On Monday night, council voted 4-2 with Council President Brian Jeffries and Councilwoman Carol Wood voting against the proposal. Council Members Derrick Quinney and Jody Washington were absent. The proposal needed five 'yes' votes to go before voters in November.

"I think the idea of putting something on the ballot that would require us by charter to fund this at this particular time doesn't make any sense," said Councilwoman Wood.

Councilwoman Wood argued that the increase would push Lansing's millage rate too close to the 20-mill limit. She said that gives the city no flexibility in face of other financial difficulties.

Despite the council's decision, the proposal is not off the table. It could be up for a re-vote next Monday. A 'yes' vote from Council Member Derrick Quinney or Council Member Jody Washington could move the proposal onto the November ballot.

The council is also expected to vote next Monday on whether to ask voters to sell the remaining 48 acres of the former Red Cedar Golf Course.

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