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Wednesday, May 15,2013

What about those 'fees?'

Bernero administration still unclear whether proposed fire hydrant and streetlight charges would be a fee or a tax

by Andy Balaskovitz
With less than a week to go before the Lansing City Council must adopt a new budget, the single biggest issue has yet to be resolved. The question is whether Mayor Virg Bernero's proposed charge for hydrants and streetlights is a fee or a tax. The Council can increase fees, but a tax would require a vote of the people.
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Wednesday, May 15,2013

Ride or fly

Mayor, Council president and business community — in defense of airport — line up against federal grant for Michigan Flyer. One supporter calls for a grown up in the debate.

by Andy Balaskovitz
Tension between the Capital Region Airport Authority and Michigan Flyer has been rekindled in recent weeks as the private bus service seeks local approval for a $595,680 federal grant to expand its service between East Lansing and Ann Arbor.
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Monday, May 13,2013

Kids in the Hall

Budget hearings round 7: Mayor’s Office and Community Media

by Andy Balaskovitz
Monday, May 15 — The city’s Office of Community Media had a strong year at its temporary home in a former National Guard armory. Within the next year it expects to be operating from the newly renovated Holmes Street School alongside a technology empowerment center.
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Wednesday, May 8,2013

JNL's money grab

Lest we forget when Jackson National Life successfully argued its new headquarters was "obsolete" to lower its property tax payments. On Tuesday, a compromise was reached with the city.

by Andy Balaskovitz
As the local media drank up good jobs news last week like an alcoholic at a Christmas party, there's been no mention of the fact that less than three years ago, Jackson National Life Insurance Co. fought the city for hundreds of thousands of dollars in property taxes.
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Wednesday, May 8,2013

Wrapping up charrette week

Week-long visioning sessions for Grand River/Michigan corridor come to a close

by Andy Balaskovitz
For over three hours inside the Lansing Center last week, politicians worked alongside concerned citizens, engineers and planners alongside transportation advocates to visualize the future of Grand River and Michigan avenues between the Capitol and Webberville.
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Wednesday, May 8,2013

The fees within

How Lansing fees would change under Mayor Virg Bernero's budget

by Andy Balaskovitz
Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero has introduced 33 new fees and proposes increasing 86 existing fees for various city services as part of his budget that would start July 1. The changes are projected to raise about $500,000 in new revenue for city coffers.
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Monday, May 6,2013

Kids in the Hall

Budget hearings round 6: A countywide economic development millage? Niowave-inspired ordinance passes unanimously.

by Andy Balaskovitz
Tuesday, May 7 — The head of the Lansing Economic Area Partnership said Monday night that Ingham County commissioners are considering a millage to support economic development activities countywide.
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Friday, May 3,2013

Market Place gets a timeline

City, Gillespie reach an agreement to get downtown project moving

by Andy Balaskovitz
Friday, May 3 — The Bernero administration has brokered a deal with developer Pat Gillespie to get his downtown Market Place development moving, which includes a timeline for when “substantial completion” of construction should finish.
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Wednesday, May 1,2013

Pot petition

Bernero "inclined" to support City Charter amendment to legalize less than an ounce of marijuana on private property in Lansing. Legal questions abound.

by Andy Balaskovitz
Should it be legal to possess up to an ounce of marijuana on private property in Lansing if you're over 21? City voters may get a chance to answer that question at the polls in November.
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Wednesday, May 1,2013

Market Place taking too long

Gillespie is in violation of development agreement, city exploring “legal remedies”

by Andy Balaskovitz
Wednesday, May 1 — Local developer Pat Gillespie is in violation of a development agreement for his downtown Market Place project, the head of the Lansing Economic Area Partnership said today. The city is looking at its legal options for moving forward.
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