finance and taxes

City of East Lansing: Pay Up (Please)

City of East Lansing: Pay Up (Please)

Some East Lansing residents have been surprised to receive notices that they may owe the city income taxes.

School Bond Will Go Before Voters in May

School Bond Will Go Before Voters in May

If approved, the “safety, security, accessibility bond” will go toward improvements at ELHS and MMS as well as a new central office building.

Council Rejects Israel-Hamas Ceasefire Resolution
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Council Rejects Israel-Hamas Ceasefire Resolution

Despite emotional testimony from many personally impacted by the conflict, the resolution drafted by the Human Rights Commission was rejected 4-1.

Council Takes a Long Look at Finances
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Council Takes a Long Look at Finances

During public comment, speakers requested the city support a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Ask ELi: Parks, Recreation & Arts Director Explains Increases in Fees

Ask ELi: Parks, Recreation & Arts Director Explains Increases in Fees

Cathy DeShambo replied to questions about the recreation fee structures and provided a link to the department’s budget document.

Big DDA and Council Meetings Set to Happen Tuesday
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Big DDA and Council Meetings Set to Happen Tuesday

ELi catches you up on big business in the city coming this Tuesday.

Ask ELi: A Million Dollars for the Pickleball Courts?

Ask ELi: A Million Dollars for the Pickleball Courts?

There is more than meets the eye behind the costs for renovation of the Patriarche Park courts.

Council Hears From Public on Wide Array of City Topics (UPDATED)

Council Hears From Public on Wide Array of City Topics (UPDATED)

In other business, employee retention bonuses were unanimously approved, sidewalk repair assessments were stretched out and naming of a city art studio after a woman got support.

ELi Investigation Shows Unusual Uses of East Lansing Taxes for ‘Nongovernmental’ Charities
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ELi Investigation Shows Unusual Uses of East Lansing Taxes for ‘Nongovernmental’ Charities

Weeks after being advised by Lansing’s deputy mayor that giving cash away to a local charity violates state law, East Lansing’s mayor supported another $5,000 donation by his city. And why did former city manager George Lahanas start two “nongovernmental” charities from City Hall?

Budget Shows City of East Lansing Looking to Grow Workforce; Could Get $7M Boost for Pensions

Budget Shows City of East Lansing Looking to Grow Workforce; Could Get $7M Boost for Pensions

ELi brings you an insider look at the City of East Lansing’s operations, revenue and spending as viewed through the lens of this year’s budget talks.

MSU Tragedy Remembered, Budgets Approved at May 23 City Council Meeting
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MSU Tragedy Remembered, Budgets Approved at May 23 City Council Meeting

A resolution was passed recognizing and honoring the lifesaving actions of first responders and those impacted by the mass shooting on the MSU campus.

Proposed Parks, Recreation & Arts Budget Has a Big Focus on Equity

Proposed Parks, Recreation & Arts Budget Has a Big Focus on Equity

The proposed FY24 budget for ELPRA is just under $5.5 million, which is an increase of $189,330 from FY23.

East Lansing’s Acting Director of Public Works Provides Infrastructure Update
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East Lansing’s Acting Director of Public Works Provides Infrastructure Update

The wastewater treatment plant is processing over 4 billion gallons a year…and water rates are going up. Bike lanes are coming to Coolidge and Hagadorn Roads. The Red Cedar Neighborhood will get a new water main. What else can you expect in the coming year?

City Talks Tree Love, Yard Waste, Solar Price Surges, and No Mow May
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City Talks Tree Love, Yard Waste, Solar Price Surges, and No Mow May

The proposed city budget for next year would increase spending on trees, continue waste and recycling programs residents have come to expect and look to renewable energy.

East Lansing Committee Recommends Uses for Half-Million Dollars in Federal CDBG Funds
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East Lansing Committee Recommends Uses for Half-Million Dollars in Federal CDBG Funds

If City Council follows the committee’s recommendations, the pie will be split many ways between public services and infrastructure projects.

EL Fire Department Looks to Increase Training, Improve Communication in Budget Proposal
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EL Fire Department Looks to Increase Training, Improve Communication in Budget Proposal

Funding from MSU and the state is up while personnel services are down in the projected fire department budget. Learn more from ELi.

Council Holds a Mystery Closed Session, Considers Downtown Tax Increase

Council Holds a Mystery Closed Session, Considers Downtown Tax Increase

Get the news of what happened at East Lansing’s Council meeting this week.

East Lansing Police Chief Kim Johnson Explains How and Why Staffing Is Going Up
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East Lansing Police Chief Kim Johnson Explains How and Why Staffing Is Going Up

The goals and objectives of the department for the coming year include working with a number of community groups and serving EL’s diverse population.

Court of Appeals Rules for City of East Lansing in BWL Case, Saving the City a Bundle

Court of Appeals Rules for City of East Lansing in BWL Case, Saving the City a Bundle

ELi’s brings you the story behind this important win for the city.

City of East Lansing to Receive More than $340,000 From Latest Opioid Settlement

City of East Lansing to Receive More than $340,000 From Latest Opioid Settlement

In a 4-0 vote, City Council approved a resolution to accept the funds.

Council Encourages Property Owners Not to Mow in May, Acts on Lawsuits, Votes 3-1 on Park Plan
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Council Encourages Property Owners Not to Mow in May, Acts on Lawsuits, Votes 3-1 on Park Plan

What did East Lansing’s City Council decide this week?

To Avoid a ‘Catastrophic Situation,’ East Lansing Refinances the DDA’s Debt (Again)
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To Avoid a ‘Catastrophic Situation,’ East Lansing Refinances the DDA’s Debt (Again)

Why was “catastrophe” looming? ELi explains and tells you what happened with the latest refinance of the Evergreen Properties debt.

With Stressed Staff, Rising Costs and Unpopular Design, Council Walks Away from $1 Million Grant for Valley Court Park Pavilion

With Stressed Staff, Rising Costs and Unpopular Design, Council Walks Away from $1 Million Grant for Valley Court Park Pavilion

The 2-2 vote to not sign the MEDC agreement means the project as proposed will not move forward.

East Lansing Adjusts Poverty Exemptions for Property Taxes

East Lansing Adjusts Poverty Exemptions for Property Taxes

Board of Review is no longer able to step outside Council’s guidelines.

The Latest on the City of East Lansing’s Finances

The Latest on the City of East Lansing’s Finances

What’s going on with the city’s pension debt, property values, the cost of staffing and the income tax? And why might a single lawsuit throw everything out of whack this year?

East Lansing’s Population Has Declined and Morphed Per Latest Census
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East Lansing’s Population Has Declined and Morphed Per Latest Census

More units of housing, but fewer residents. And a more diverse populace. What else changed about East Lansing from 2010 to 2020?

Highlights from the City of East Lansing’s Financial Report (Including Some Surprises)
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Highlights from the City of East Lansing’s Financial Report (Including Some Surprises)

What’s going on with the City of East Lansing’s pension funds? How much money is marijuana bringing in taxes? What’s going on with the city’s income tax? ELi follows the money and brings you this special report.

Will the DDA’s Favored Developer Be Granted a New Exclusive Deal?
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Will the DDA’s Favored Developer Be Granted a New Exclusive Deal?

What the DDA decides this Thursday could determine not just whether River Caddis Development obtains a special deal that will exclude other developers, but also what gets built next downtown and how much longer the DDA will prolong its bond debt. ELi catches you up.

Three Council Members Question DDA’s Finances as Bond Refinance Is Authorized
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Three Council Members Question DDA’s Finances as Bond Refinance Is Authorized

Before the bond refinance passed 3-1, Council members raised questions about why the DDA debt is barely paid off after 13 years, which taxes are being diverted to the DDA, and more.

Two Big Votes Come to City Council This Tuesday
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Two Big Votes Come to City Council This Tuesday

On Tuesday, Dec. 6, East Lansing’s City Council is poised to make decisions on whether East Lansing should be declared a Sanctuary City and whether the DDA’s loan on the Evergreen Properties should be refinanced again. ELi explains how you can weigh in.

Three New Buildings Will Mean $1 Million More in Taxes Diverted to the DDA. What Is Going On?
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Three New Buildings Will Mean $1 Million More in Taxes Diverted to the DDA. What Is Going On?

ELi brings you a special “follow the money” report. Find out how captured taxes are and aren’t being used in East Lansing today and how East Lansing homeowners are carrying the burden of public services for big new buildings downtown.

Council Makes $2M Decision on Pensions, Approves Albert Avenue Change, Learns Limits on Federal Funding Plan
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Council Makes $2M Decision on Pensions, Approves Albert Avenue Change, Learns Limits on Federal Funding Plan

Councilmembers take on topics of key interest during Oct. 18 meeting before going into closed session to discuss City Manager George Lahanas’s job performance.

Emerson Park on City’s Southwest Side to Be Improved

Emerson Park on City’s Southwest Side to Be Improved

The funds for the project are coming from East Lansing’s income tax and federal dollars distributed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Another Big Week at City Council
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Another Big Week at City Council

Councilmembers take on a wide-range of topics and issues during Sept. 20 meeting.

Brookover Is Back and a Lot Happened at Council
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Brookover Is Back and a Lot Happened at Council

The mayor hopes to “really aggravate Indianapolis,” and Council is seeking a legal opinion on conflicts of interest. What else happened this Tuesday night?

East Lansing Announces $1M Grant for Downtown Park. Is Big Redevelopment Coming Nearby?
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East Lansing Announces $1M Grant for Downtown Park. Is Big Redevelopment Coming Nearby?

The farmers market will likely get a new pavilion. What about other big changes potentially coming to that part of town?

Ask ELi: Taxes, Sewers, Social Workers, Parking Tickets
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Ask ELi: Taxes, Sewers, Social Workers, Parking Tickets

In this edition of Ask ELi, we bring you answers on tax assessments, the sewer system, ELPD social workers, and unpaid parking tickets.

Council Votes 3-2 To Let Developers Walk Away From Promised Affordable Housing Near Valley Court
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Council Votes 3-2 To Let Developers Walk Away From Promised Affordable Housing Near Valley Court

A caveat in the original development deal seemingly left Council with two options that it saw as less than ideal. The bottom line remains that affordable housing development in Valley Court is now on ice. Andrew Graham reports.

After Having BWL Franchise Fees Struck Down In Court, Council Adopts New Legal Strategy

After Having BWL Franchise Fees Struck Down In Court, Council Adopts New Legal Strategy

The City’s specific legal strategy is under wraps due to attorney-client privilege, but ELi’s Andrew Graham explains the franchise fee, the lawsuit, and the recent ruling.

Parking Meter Rates Set to Increase in July. Violation Fines May See Hike Too.
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Parking Meter Rates Set to Increase in July. Violation Fines May See Hike Too.

Prices for parking at meters and City-owned ramps and lots may increase this summer. City staff is also calling for Council to consider a hike in fines for parking meter violations. Clay Oppenhuizen and Emily Joan Elliott explain why.

East Lansing Insider: What To Know With The Albert EL Fresco Returning
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East Lansing Insider: What To Know With The Albert EL Fresco Returning

Andrew Graham sits down with Emily Joan Elliott to talk about the imminent return of the Albert EL Fresco. Give a listen!

East Lansing Insider: An East Lansing Development Roundup with Alice Dreger
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East Lansing Insider: An East Lansing Development Roundup with Alice Dreger

Andrew is joined by ELi’s Founder, Alice Dreger, for a discussion about various projects going on downtown and around town, plus what can be done to boost a downtown. Check it out!

East Lansing Insider: A Review of the City Attorney Hiring Process
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East Lansing Insider: A Review of the City Attorney Hiring Process

After a more than six-month-long process, the City of East Lansing finally has new City Attorneys. Some of the ELi team recaps the process in this episode of the pod and discusses the changes in how the City will be represented.

About A Month From Opening, Key Parts Of The Albert EL Fresco Are Still In Flux
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About A Month From Opening, Key Parts Of The Albert EL Fresco Are Still In Flux

The Albert EL Fresco is set to reopen later this spring, but the City is still looking for someone to provide outdoor seating, shade, and lighting infrastructure for the space. Andrew Graham reports.

Broad Art Lab Closes Its Doors

Broad Art Lab Closes Its Doors

The MSU Broad Art Lab’s collaborative space that once welcomed makers, innovators, and lifelong learners, has shut its doors. Sarah Spohn reports. 

Ask ELi: A Fence on Campus, Basketball Hoops Unlocked, and Construction On Burcham Drive [UPDATED]
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Ask ELi: A Fence on Campus, Basketball Hoops Unlocked, and Construction On Burcham Drive [UPDATED]

ELi’s Emily Joan Elliott brings a few pieces of news and a noteworthy PSA about construction on Burcham Drive.

ELPL Board Discusses Vacancies, Concerns About Intellectual Freedom

ELPL Board Discusses Vacancies, Concerns About Intellectual Freedom

The Library Board of Trustees discussed two upcoming Board vacancies and concerns about intellectual freedom in light of what the American Library Association has called a “dramatic uptick in book challenges.”

More Women Among City’s Highest Paid Employees Due to Promotions, Retirements of Men
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More Women Among City’s Highest Paid Employees Due to Promotions, Retirements of Men

A series of Freedom of Information Act requests from ELi show how some changes in the City’s workforce mean women are more represented as the highest earners. Emily Joan Elliott reports.

Council Discusses Changes to ARPA Funds, Anticipates Vote to Allocate Millions Next Week
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Council Discusses Changes to ARPA Funds, Anticipates Vote to Allocate Millions Next Week

During a presentation, the City Manager proposed using ARPA funds for three new projects. Council may vote next week to allocate more than $4 million of its ARPA funds. What will the money be spent on?

Council Approves Contract for City Prosecutor in 4-1 Vote As The Mayor Called Out A Bungled Process
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Council Approves Contract for City Prosecutor in 4-1 Vote As The Mayor Called Out A Bungled Process

The contract approval comes after a months-long search for new legal representation for the City of East Lansing. Emily Joan Elliott reports.

A Refresher On East Lansing’s Income Tax As Returns Are Due in May
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A Refresher On East Lansing’s Income Tax As Returns Are Due in May

Returns are due on or before May 2, 2022. If you worked in the City of East Lansing in 2021, you’ll likely be required to file. Find out how and more from reporter Clay Oppenhuizen.

DDA Approves Around $150K For EL Fresco, Nixes Lease With Tenants In Bat-Infested Property
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DDA Approves Around $150K For EL Fresco, Nixes Lease With Tenants In Bat-Infested Property

The DDA approved a budget amendment to support the Albert EL Fresco, but some DDA members had questions about the large figure. Andrew Graham reports on that and the bat infestation at a DDA-owned property.

Council Approves Contract For Municipal City Attorney, Defers Hiring Prosecutor

Council Approves Contract For Municipal City Attorney, Defers Hiring Prosecutor

Council approved a contract for the Giamarco, Mullins and Horton law firm to serve as municipal legal counsel but deferred approving a contract for the prosecutorial position due to confusion over the proposed hourly rates.

Council Weighs In On What To Do With City-Owned Property In Northern Tier and City’s Financial Future
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Council Weighs In On What To Do With City-Owned Property In Northern Tier and City’s Financial Future

Council discussed plans for marketing and development of a City-owned property in the northern tier. What might we expect to see there?

Council Enters Contract Negotiations With Two Firms for Municipal Counsel and Prosecutor Roles, Respectively
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Council Enters Contract Negotiations With Two Firms for Municipal Counsel and Prosecutor Roles, Respectively

Council delegated the negotiating duties to City Manager George Lahanas, who will come back to Council for final approval on the respective contracts after negotiations. Andrew Graham reports.

Unions Renew Push For ARPA Hazard Pay To City Employees Who Risked Covid Exposure [UPDATED]
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Unions Renew Push For ARPA Hazard Pay To City Employees Who Risked Covid Exposure [UPDATED]

Despite City Council approving “retention bonuses” for employees, some unions are pushing for employees who endured more Covid risks to get bonuses for that work. Al Hargrave reports.

Albert El Fresco is Coming Back to Downtown East Lansing, Despite Brookover’s Concerns
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Albert El Fresco is Coming Back to Downtown East Lansing, Despite Brookover’s Concerns

The official dates for EL Fresco have not be set, but Council voted to approve the closure of two lanes on Albert Street from Apr. 27 to Sept. 11, despite Council member Brookover voicing concerns about the project benefiting some local businesses and not others, among other things.

What’s Happening Now with Downtown East Lansing Development?
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What’s Happening Now with Downtown East Lansing Development?

Catch up with ELi on the latest in downtown East Lansing redevelopment, including potentially in Valley Court Park.

Outdoor Facilities Upgrades Coming to ELPS in 2022

Outdoor Facilities Upgrades Coming to ELPS in 2022

The athletic field and tennis courts at ELHS will undergo significant renovations this summer, and remaining bond money will be used to create outdoor learning spaces at the elementary schools. Al Hargrave provides a School Board round up.

What Have East Lansing’s Hired Lobbyists Been Up To?
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What Have East Lansing’s Hired Lobbyists Been Up To?

At Tuesday’s Council meeting, a representative from McAlvey, Merchant & Associates updated Council on the firm’s successes advocating on behalf of the City at the State Capitol, but at least two Council members called for clearer communication between the lobbyists and Council.

Interviews Are Done But Council Defers Winnowing Down City Attorney Applicant Pool

Interviews Are Done But Council Defers Winnowing Down City Attorney Applicant Pool

After conducting the final interview for the open City Attorney position, City Council decided to postpone a discussion on selecting top candidates until its Jan. 25 meeting. The decision was made in part due to Mayor Pro Tem Jessy Gregg’s absence after she contracted Covid-19 last week.

Council Votes 4-1 for Moped Parking Regulation, While E-Scooters Still Irritate Pedestrians

Council Votes 4-1 for Moped Parking Regulation, While E-Scooters Still Irritate Pedestrians

Mopeds can’t park at bike racks anymore, as a new East Lansing law restricts their parking. And what about those e-scooters left blocking sidewalks?

City Staff Set to Get Covid Bonuses From ARPA Money After Pushback

City Staff Set to Get Covid Bonuses From ARPA Money After Pushback

Full-time employees working for the City of East Lansing on Feb. 6, 2022, will receive a $2,000 bonus, and part-time workers will receive a $1,000 bonus, with a total of about $675,000 in tax dollars to be used. The intent is to reward and retain current employees.

‘First Come, First Served’ Check Valve Reimbursements Approved: Sign Up ASAP (UPDATED)
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‘First Come, First Served’ Check Valve Reimbursements Approved: Sign Up ASAP (UPDATED)

East Lansing’s City Council approved the use of $500,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to reimburse property owners for the cost of installing check valves. More information on how to obtain the reimbursement has now been issued by the City.

Ask ELi: What Is the Deer Cull Costing Taxpayers?
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Ask ELi: What Is the Deer Cull Costing Taxpayers?

What happens to the deer that are culled? Have any deer had wasting disease? We answer these questions and more in this Ask ELi Grab Bag!

How The City of East Lansing Turns Device Giveaways and Private Contractors into Ways to Deny Records to the Public

How The City of East Lansing Turns Device Giveaways and Private Contractors into Ways to Deny Records to the Public

What’s going on when ELi seeks a public record a source has told us exists yet the City of East Lansing claims there are “no records found”?

How Well Funded Is East Lansing’s Pension System? It Depends on the Numbers You Pull

How Well Funded Is East Lansing’s Pension System? It Depends on the Numbers You Pull

Why is Council being told the City’s pension system is 56% funded when the State believes it’s at 51%? We go beyond the graphs presented by the City’s auditors to explain this and a whole lot more.

East Lansing Stories We Expect to Be Big in 2022
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East Lansing Stories We Expect to Be Big in 2022

ELi’s mission is to bring East Lansing the news. Here’s a look at what we think we’ll be helping you to know about and understand in context in 2022.

The 10 Stories That Meant the Most to ELi Reporters in 2021
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The 10 Stories That Meant the Most to ELi Reporters in 2021

We asked our reporters which stories that they wrote meant the most to them in 2021. They answered, passing along a varied collection of stories for this year in review.

Two EL Churches Trying to Provide Faith-Based Reparations to Greater Lansing Black Community

Two EL Churches Trying to Provide Faith-Based Reparations to Greater Lansing Black Community

Two East Lansing churches are looking at providing faith-based reparations to the Black community in the Greater Lansing area. The idea has recently come for discussion to East Lansing’s Human Rights Commission.

Yet-To-Be-Installed Security Cameras Provide a Glimpse into East Lansing’s Politics and Policy
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Yet-To-Be-Installed Security Cameras Provide a Glimpse into East Lansing’s Politics and Policy

The DDA recently approved spending up to $40,000 of public money to install security cameras downtown. But even before installation, these cameras offer a look into the current state of East Lansing politics and policy on a number of issues. Alice Dreger reports.

Library Workers Sign Contract, as Building Repair Costs Hit $1.4 Million (and Counting?)

Library Workers Sign Contract, as Building Repair Costs Hit $1.4 Million (and Counting?)

Recently-unionized East Lansing Public Library workers and the administration have signed a contract. Meanwhile, repair costs at the library continue to skyrocket, now reaching twice the originally-accepted bid. What’s going on?

Despite Calls For Covid-Related Bonuses To City Staff, East Lansing’s Draft ARPA Plan Leaves Them Out

Despite Calls For Covid-Related Bonuses To City Staff, East Lansing’s Draft ARPA Plan Leaves Them Out

UPDATE: At last night’s meeting, Council supported a motion by Council member George Brookover asking the City Manager to look into using ARPA funds for extra pay for “all unelected part time and full time City employees.”

DDA Votes to Evict the Bats and Stay the Course on Office Dream for Evergreen Properties
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DDA Votes to Evict the Bats and Stay the Course on Office Dream for Evergreen Properties

Yet again, the publicly-owned Evergreen Properties and their possible redevelopment formed the main topic of discussion at the latest meeting of East Lansing’s Downtown Development Authority. What happened? Only ELi brings this news.

School Board Discusses Oxford Shooting, Student Safety, Other Issues

School Board Discusses Oxford Shooting, Student Safety, Other Issues

At its first meeting since the school shooting in Oxford, Michigan, the ELPS School Board discussed student safety and a host of other issues, including finances, a new policy handbook, and curriculum changes. Al Hargrave delivers your School Board round up.

Upgrades to Burcham Drive and Elsewhere Coming This Spring

Upgrades to Burcham Drive and Elsewhere Coming This Spring

The Transportation Commission provided more details on the upcoming construction to Burcham Drive. When will it start? What will it entail?

City Seeking Resident Input on Draft Plan for ARPA Funds
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City Seeking Resident Input on Draft Plan for ARPA Funds

City Manager George Lahanas provided Council with a line-item American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Draft Plan on Nov. 16. The plan prioritizes parking systems, the fire station, and the Hannah Community Center as some of the first to receive funds, but residents can complete a survey by Dec. 10 to provide feedback on how the City should spend its ARPA funds.

Redevelopment of the City Land Sold on eBay Appears Back On Track for Marijuana Dispensary Plan
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Redevelopment of the City Land Sold on eBay Appears Back On Track for Marijuana Dispensary Plan

City Council approved a new letter agreement with the would-be developers of 2040 Merritt Rd., the former DPW headquarters property that the City quietly sold via eBay in 2019. What will be built there now?

East Lansing Insider: What’s Next For East Lansing’s Water Infrastructure?
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East Lansing Insider: What’s Next For East Lansing’s Water Infrastructure?

After multiple presentations to the public from the City about water infrastructure, Chuck Grigsby and Andrew Graham talk about the ongoing sanitary and storm sewer debate in the City of East Lansing. Give a listen!

Lahanas Hits the Gas on Stinky Sewers in Chesterfield Hills
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Lahanas Hits the Gas on Stinky Sewers in Chesterfield Hills

On Monday, ELi reported on the stench that residents say they’ve suffered for decades. On Tuesday night, the City Manager announced that now the City is taking immediate action.

DDA Approves More Surveillance Downtown, While Chair Cautions Against ‘Big Brother Culture’
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DDA Approves More Surveillance Downtown, While Chair Cautions Against ‘Big Brother Culture’

The DDA voted in favor of funding more cameras to be used by ELPD, but not before a lively discussion about privacy and how to welcome people downtown.

Lots of Sewage Talk at Council. What Actions Are Coming?
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Lots of Sewage Talk at Council. What Actions Are Coming?

The new City Council tackled a very hot problem at Tuesday night’s meeting: what to do about the City’s sewer problems. ELi’s Andrew Graham reports.

Council to Discuss Usage of Federal ARPA Funds, as ELi Readers Tell Us What They Want
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Council to Discuss Usage of Federal ARPA Funds, as ELi Readers Tell Us What They Want

East Lansing’s City Council is set tonight to discuss the possible use of federal Covid relief dollars to help homeowners prevent basement flooding, but an ELi survey shows that community members have various ideas for how to use these funds.

City to Hold Webinar on Water, Sewer Infrastructure as Residents Still Recover from Summer Flooding
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City to Hold Webinar on Water, Sewer Infrastructure as Residents Still Recover from Summer Flooding

Residents are still expressing concern over the aftermath of severe flooding in August and are skeptical that massive flooding will not happen again, based on conversations at a flooding town hall. The City will hold a webinar on Nov. 18 to address some concerns.

How Do You Want EL City Government to Spend Covid Relief Money?
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How Do You Want EL City Government to Spend Covid Relief Money?

The City of East Lansing has already received half of its $12.2 million in Covid relief funds through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, but how will it spend that money? Fill out our survey to provide your input.

What Has East Lansing’s “Percent for Art” Law Cost and Brought to the City?
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What Has East Lansing’s “Percent for Art” Law Cost and Brought to the City?

East Lansing’s ordinance compelling some real estate developers to contribute art has not been without controversy. Seven years in, what effects has it had?

East Lansing Insider: A Final Discussion About the City Council Election
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East Lansing Insider: A Final Discussion About the City Council Election

Just ahead of the Nov. 2 general election, ELi’s Andrew Graham and Alice Dreger take to the pod and look back at the 2021 City Council race to date. Give it a listen!

More Northern Tier Trail Work Ahead? City Hopes by Applying for Natural Resources Trust Fund Grants

More Northern Tier Trail Work Ahead? City Hopes by Applying for Natural Resources Trust Fund Grants

The City of East Lansing is planning to apply for a pair of 2022 Natural Resources Trust Fund grants aimed at funding projects to extend and improve existing portions of the Northern Tier Trail. What exactly will the projects entail?

Candidate Financial Reports Show Big Differences in Raising, Spending Money
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Candidate Financial Reports Show Big Differences in Raising, Spending Money

ELi looked through 118 pages of financial reports from candidates for the East Lansing City Council so you don’t have to. What do they reveal?

What We Know About The Montgomery Drain Project
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What We Know About The Montgomery Drain Project

In the weeks and months following torrential rains that flooded portions of East Lansing and numerous basements, ELi has had several readers inquire about the ongoing Montgomery Drain Project and its potential future impact in mitigating local flooding. What do we know?

Tensions Between Workers and Management Visible in East Lansing
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Tensions Between Workers and Management Visible in East Lansing

The controversy surrounding MSU’s request for faculty and staff to volunteer their personal time to work in dining halls is only the tip of the iceberg locally in terms of tensions between employees and management. What else is happening around town?

East Lansing Insider: Council and Policing Round Up
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East Lansing Insider: Council and Policing Round Up

Emily Joan Elliott and Heather Brothers discuss City Council’s debate over a new labor contract for command officers in the East Lansing Police Department. The two then provide a weekly news round up.

Hair-Based Discrimination, Raises for Council Taken Up at Last Council Meeting Before Election
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Hair-Based Discrimination, Raises for Council Taken Up at Last Council Meeting Before Election

The City of East Lansing now prohibits hair-based discrimination, and the next City Council will see a slight increase in their pay. Lisa Babcock also reminded the community about her flooding town hall on Thursday. Find out about all this, the City’s litigation update, and more!

City Already Received $6M in Covid Relief. How Will It Spend the Funds?
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City Already Received $6M in Covid Relief. How Will It Spend the Funds?

The City received the first payment of funds in May but has time before funds must be allocated and used. City Manager George Lahanas provided some ideas on how to use the money during a presentation to Council last week. What did he recommend? What did Council think of the draft plan?

Council Praised City’s Place Making Projects, Desires to See EL Fresco Return
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Council Praised City’s Place Making Projects, Desires to See EL Fresco Return

Community & Economic Development Administrator Adam Cummins spoke to Council about the City’s Daytime. Nighttime. Anytime. Place Project. What did he say worked? What could be improved?

Council Considers Using Federal Covid Relief To Aid Homeowners With Flood Prevention
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Council Considers Using Federal Covid Relief To Aid Homeowners With Flood Prevention

The City Manager recommended some Covid relief money be used to help some owners pay for backflow prevention measures. City Council also heard a presentation about the heavy rains on Aug. 12 and subsequent flooding. What did they find out?

Your ELPS Questions Answered
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Your ELPS Questions Answered

Are the kindergarten classrooms at Marble smaller or the class sizes bigger? What’s going on with bus routes, bond money, and Burcham Drive? We answer your questions about East Lansing Public Schools in this Ask ELi Grab Bag.

All the East Lansing News We Don’t Know Where to Put
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All the East Lansing News We Don’t Know Where to Put

City Council candidate forums, the possibility of a new City Attorney, an issue of representation at the Arts Commission, and parliamentary procedure. Alice Dreger brings updates on all that and more!

Controversial Intersection Redesign Debated at Joint EL-Meridian Meeting
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Controversial Intersection Redesign Debated at Joint EL-Meridian Meeting

The Transportation Commissions of East Lansing and Meridian Township met together to discuss the proposed reconstruction of the intersection of Lake Lansing Road and Towar Avenue. What might the new intersection look like? How much will it cost? What concerns were voiced?

East Lansing Insider: East Lansing’s Evergreen Development Problem
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East Lansing Insider: East Lansing’s Evergreen Development Problem

The Downtown Development Authority purchased the properties in 2009, hoping to sell them for downtown development projects, but over a decade later, the DDA still owns the properties. Alice Dreger shares the long history with Emily Joan Elliott.

What’s Going On with Big Redevelopment Downtown?
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What’s Going On with Big Redevelopment Downtown?

ELi catches you up on what’s happening (and not happening) in downtown East Lansing’s real estate redevelopment scene. Check it out!

Twenty Covid Cases at Glencairn, Outdoor Learning Spaces, Financial Audit All Discussed at School Board

Twenty Covid Cases at Glencairn, Outdoor Learning Spaces, Financial Audit All Discussed at School Board

The relatively high Covid numbers at Glencairn Elementary dominated discussions, but the School Board trustees also discussed how to use remaining bond money, a financial audit, and more. We bring you a round up.

​​Commission Recommends Council Members Earn at Least As Much as Cafeteria Workers

​​Commission Recommends Council Members Earn at Least As Much as Cafeteria Workers

Several members of the special commission were concerned that, if the salaries of Council members are not increased, only people with relatively high economic privilege can afford to serve. ELi’s Amalia Medina reports.

EL Library Workers Rally, Press Trustees to Hear Their Side of Contract Dispute

EL Library Workers Rally, Press Trustees to Hear Their Side of Contract Dispute

Supporters at the library workers’ rally included fellow librarians from MSU, LCC, and CADL, plus several East Lansing citizens, including one candidate for City Council.

Construction Continues at ELPL Amid Concerns About Increasing Costs
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Construction Continues at ELPL Amid Concerns About Increasing Costs

The cost of library renovations could reach $1.5 million by the time the work is complete. The Library Board of Trustees is looking to Council for financial support.

What Decisions Were Made at Tuesday’s “Discussion-Only” City Council Meeting?
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What Decisions Were Made at Tuesday’s “Discussion-Only” City Council Meeting?

A lawsuit settlement, hair discrimination, food trucks in neighborhoods, controversially-confidential legal opinions, and more at this week’s East Lansing City Council. Catch up with ELi!

East Lansing Insider: What Voters Want from City Council Candidates
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East Lansing Insider: What Voters Want from City Council Candidates

Alice Dreger and Andrew Graham bring the results from ELi’s survey of voters for City Council elections. What has voters in the City concerned? Give a listen!

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