Lansing Regional Chamber Urges Ingham County to Adopt Parks Strategy That Emphasizes Upgrading Exist
Friday, March 4, 2016
Posted by: Eric Dimoff
The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC) is urging Ingham County to adopt a consultant’s recommendation that emphasizes using the county’s parks millage to upgrade existing aging trails in the county, including the Lansing River Trail as opposed to building new trails. If the county does not have the support to accept the recommendations, LRCC is asking Ingham County Commissioners not to levy the $3.5 million annual parks millage until such a time that a comprehensive plan has been approved.
“The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce fully supports a strong quality of life approach to our region that includes a first class trails and parks system,” said Tim Daman, LRCC president and chief executive officer. “As we have been saying for several years, in order for that to happen there must be a strategic plan on how to accomplish that goal, which Ingham County has yet to develop.”
In November 2014, the taxpayers of Ingham County approved a countywide system of trails and parks millage raising approximately $3.5 million annually for the next six years. The LRCC opposed the original trail and parks millage for a lack of comprehensive plan or agreement among the commissioners for how the increased tax revenue would be allocated.
The Ingham County Board of Commissioners established a task force which has held town hall meetings, conducted surveys and hired a consulting firm which provided a list of areas that the millage dollars could address immediately.
“Our initial concerns about a lack of a comprehensive parks plan have proven true, as today we are still awaiting action from this task force,” said LRCC director of government relations Steve Japinga. “It is clear that the Commission is still divided on how the dollars should be allocated. We urge the Commissioners to review the original ballot language that was approved by voters.”
“Let’s take this opportunity to bring regional stakeholders together to discuss a more integrated and sustainable regional parks system,” said Daman. “It’s time for a trails and parks plan.”