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Monday, December 13,2010

Parks and breaks

The Lansing City Council is scheduled to vote tonight on a parks maintenance agreement with Ingham County, tax breaks for Foresight

by Andy Balaskovitz
Monday, Dec. 13 — The Lansing City Council is scheduled to vote tonight on a five-year agreement with Ingham County that formalizes maintenance duties of city-owned park property in south Lansing.

The county and the city already jointly maintain Soldan Dog Park, Scott Woods Park and portions of the River Trail — the agreement is more of a formality. However, it allows the Ingham County Board of Commissioners to establish potential fees for using the dog park.

The county would be responsible for trash, debris and graffiti removal and signage along the River Trail and also waste bag replacement, restroom maintenance and the pass-card entry system for Soldan Dog Park. The county will be able to set the hours of operation, but not before prior approval from the city. The agreement says that does not authorize the county to permanently close the dog park.

The city would be responsible for any other maintenance on the property, specifically storm water diversion and erosion control near the property’s pond.

The 17-acre dog park on the east side of Scott Woods Park was up for debate recently over a new pass-card system that would charge residents for using it. While the county is slated to operate and collect the fees for maintenance, no rates have been set.

In other business, the Council is scheduled to vote on two resolutions tonight that would grant an industrial facilities tax exemption to Foresight Properties, 2822 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Because the state denied an Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act (OPRA) tax freeze on the property, the city has been advised to establish a plant rehabilitation district on the property, followed by the industrial facilities tax exemption. The state denied the OPRA certificate because it is an industrial site.

The freeze on real and personal property taxes would be on an anticipated $450,000 worth of improvements to remodel the property, including new heating and cooling systems, roof repairs and landscaping. Foresight is looking to rehab the building to expand its printing operations. Improvements are slated to finish next spring.

The Council is also scheduled to vote on an amendment to the city’s wireless cell phone tower ordinance, which would require anyone interested in constructing new towers to show a lease or intent to lease agreement with a wireless provider.

In other business, the Council is scheduled to set a public hearing for Jan. 10 on establishing the Marshall Street Armory Historic District on the east side. Developments in a historic district must go through the Historic District Commission, which can vote to allow or block development plans.

The Council will also vote tonight to appoint the following people to various boards:


  • Donald Rencher to the Board of Zoning Appeals for an at-large term expiring June 30, 2013;

  • Suzanne Moore to the Memorial Review Board for a Fourth Ward term expiring June 30, 2014;

  • Radio show host Tim Barron — whose real name is Frederick Sparrow —' to the Lansing Entertainment and Public Facilities Authority Board for an at-large term expiring June 30, 2012;

  • Troy Brown to the Capital Region Airport Authority for an at-large term expiring Sept. 30, 2013;

  • Patricia Spitzley to the Park Board for an at-large term expiring June 30, 2014;

  • Reappointment of Robert Traub to the Income Tax Board of Review for an at-large term expiring June 30, 2014; and

  • Michael DeMartelaere and Kenneth Salzman to the Income Tax Board of Review for at-large terms expiring June 30, 2014.


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