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Monday, March 18,2013

Council Night

The administration asks for permission to sell Waverly Golf Course (again) and an old parks maintenance building

by Andy Balaskovitz
Saturday, Nov. 19 — Potential ballot proposals for the Feb. 28 presidential primary election ballot keep coming in for Lansing City Council approval.

Last week, City Clerk Chris Swope presented a plan — that would require voter approval — to basically cut the number of required annual Council meetings in half to save money. This week, Mayor Virg Bernero is asking Council again to approve ballot language that seeks voter permission to sell the former Waverly Golf Course.

In a letter sent Friday from the administration to the Council, Bernero asks Council to approve ballot language to “sell or otherwise dispose of” the golf course and adjacent Michigan Avenue Park — more than 120 acres. The same proposal failed to make it out of a Council committee this summer when the administration tried to get the proposal on the Aug. 2 primary ballot. The property is in Lansing Township on the west side of the city, but is owned by the city.

The proposal to sell the land, like the Red Cedar Golf Course plan approved Nov. 8, requires voter permission based on City Charter rules. However, the major difference between the two is that there appears to be no immediate plans to develop Waverly Golf Course. The city will seek proposals to develop Red Cedar. The administration is asking Council to approve the ballot language for the Feb. 28 presidential primary election.

Randy Hannan, Bernero’s deputy chief of staff, could not be reached for comment on why the administration is again seeking to sell the property.

A second letter from the mayor Friday proposes ballot language to sell the “Vector Building and Adjacent Parking Lot at Oak Park.” City Clerk Chris Swope said the Vector Building, near the Shiawassee Street and Pennsylvania Avenue intersection in the 1st Ward, formerly housed Parks and Recreation maintenance equipment. Swope did not have details about the size of the property proposed for the sale, but presumed it was dedicated parkland because permission to sell requires voter approval.

The two letters are on Council’s agenda Monday to be referred to committees.

In other business on Monday night’s agenda, the Council is scheduled to vote on formally accepting two grants for emergency preparedness. The first is from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for nearly $3 million that will help the city’s Office of Emergency Management plan, train and purchase equipment related to emergency preparedness. The grant lasts nearly three years and requires no local funding match. A second “Emergency Management Performance Grant” (EMPG) is for $51,120 over one year to pay for the salary and benefits of Lansing’s Emergency Management program coordinator.


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