Saving Lansing

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It could be called a blueprint for saving Lansing. An unprecedented plan for rescuing the capitol city from almost certain financial collapse.

The architects are members of the Financial Health Committee, put together by Mayor Virg Bernero to come up with ideas for solving the city's continuing budget gaps.

After months of work, the committee, headed by former Lansing Mayor David Hollister, approved its final recommendations. They are sweeping and not without pain.

They include concessions from fire and police. Cutting city programs. Asking city residents to pay for streets lights and water hydrants. And selling city property, including city hall.

But the alternative to not taking drastic action may be a decline into insolvency in the next five to seven year.

The group started with the task of solving a $9 million deficit in the city's 2013-2014 fiscal budget. However, it went beyond that to attempt to put the city on a path toward a more secure financial footing and re-engineer it to meet 21st century challenges.

The committee also recommended closer cooperation between the City and the Lansing School District. Even so close as to share the same administration building.