Shooting At Cedar Village // Eliot Singer

PR Notable Quote from below: " Somebody has to pay for it, and from now on that somebody needs to include taxes on new development and, should it ever have more than enough to pay its existing obligations (~$300,000 ignored in last year's DDA budget), the DDA needs to make its number one strategic and budget priority paying its full share of public safety costs."
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http://statenews.com/article/2014/02/details-remain-unclear-in-cedar-street-shooting

http://statenews.com/article/2014/02/one-student-released-another-in-critical-condition-after-cedar-village-shooting

http://www.mlive.com/lansing-news/index.ssf/2014/02/2_students_shot_near_michigan.html#incart_river_default

For all its reputation as party-central, haven for underage drinking, and well-spring for out-of-control street celebrations, Cedar Village and the adjacent apartments do not have a reputation for violent crime like Chandler Crossings. (Since, "we don't talk about that," "we don't do public reviews about anything," has prevented Council from putting crime at Chandler Crossings on the agenda, all we have to go on is occasional news stories and gossip.) I hope this is just an isolated incident, and DTN does have hands-on local management, unlike these giant "campus communities" that have been sold to national conglomerates.

However, it is a reminder that as a city we do have real public safety needs, and these cost money. Chandler is largely in Bath Township jurisdiction, but they don't have the resources, so ELPD and I've been told state police have to supplement. We should be very worried at the prospect of a large campus village in the flood plain behind Brody, within Lansing jurisdiction, because it is really more of a no-man's-land, physically, if not legally, East Lansing or MSU turf, and Lansing is in far worse financial shape than East Lansing (not that we are in good shape) and has lots of violent crime to deal with.

Any of these new development projects, large and accumulating smaller ones, require public services, including public safety. As I've said before, these costs have systematically been kept off the table in discussion of tax breaks for development, but they are very real. The main downtown is paying for public safety and other public services at 1991 levels, during which time they have more or less doubled, because tax increment has been diverted to the DDA. DDA TIF district #2 was later expanded west (1997 if memory serves me) and in 2011 east to Hagadorn, including the Cedar Village area.

Nowhere is immune to crime, and the vast majority of MSU students are well-behaved and an asset to the community. But inevitably, any time you have concentrations of young-adults and bars and party opportunities, there will be trouble that requires police and sometimes emergency intervention (much of it involving inebriated young people as victims, since they are easy prey). Somebody has to pay for it, and from now on that somebody needs to include taxes on new development and, should it ever have more than enough to pay its existing obligations (~$300,000 ignored in last year's DDA budget), the DDA needs to make its number one strategic and budget priority paying its full share of public safety costs.

Eliot Singer
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