Lansing City Council to rescind “junk dealer” permit requirement for downtown merchants

by B.J. Tomlinson

The Lansing City Council met in regular session Monday night, October 5. Mayor Mike Brennan reported that five local businesses have questioned a letter received from the City regarding a “Junk Dealer’s Permit.” According to City Ordinance 6.04, dealers of used items fall into  a “junk dealer” category and are charged a standard $50 per year fee.
Craig White, Main Street Lansing Director and spokesman for the retailers, said the business owners are upset about the terminology, restrictions and the need for a permit. Brennan said he doesn’t think the Ordinance 6.04 was intended for storefront businesses selling antiques and collectibles. No other businesses are required to obtain licenses or are charged a fee. After discussion the Council agreed to update the ordinance and to rescind the permit requirement for downtown retailers.
Mayor Brennan also questioned the $5.00 fee charged to vendors at the Farmers Market. White said that if the City charged the fee, which has never been enforced or collected, the Farmers Market would not be viable. The Council agreed to waive any fees for Farmers Market participants.
Kee High School student Evan Whalen addressed the Council regarding a proposed 5K walk/run race to raise money for breast cancer awareness Saturday, October 24. Registration is at 9 a.m. and the race begins at 10 a.m.  The Council approved the request.
Barb McPherson delivered the final report for the Allamakee County Visioning Group’s Black Hawk Bridge Beautification project. The report included the original survey, financial data, planting information, correspondence, permits and before and after pictures. The Council thanked McPherson for her work.
Lansing resident Mike Verdon addressed the Council regarding a request he presented at a prior Council meeting to purchase the land owned by the City adjacent to his current residence in order to build a three-stall garage.  Verdon said he would work with his neighbor regarding any necessary easements.  The Council agreed to consider the offer and to contact Verdon regarding its decision.
Street Superintendent Jerry Aperans said the City restrooms will be closed at the end of the month. He also reported that the fencing around the burn pile on South Road has been completed. Aperans and the Council discussed DNR regulations regarding burning and hours of operation. Aperans suggested 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily until winter. He said the Police Department will open and close the gates. Burning must be attended by City workers; appropriate signage will be posted.
Craig White, Main Street Lansing, updated the Council regarding upcoming events. He said Lansing is cooperating with McGregor promoting a leaf tour. A scarecrow contest is underway, and the usual Halloween festivities will be held October 31 at the Main Street Plaza and at Kerndt Brothers Community Center.
In other business, the Council reviewed bids for LP gas from three area providers, choosing Fauser Energy’s bid of $.818 per gallon.
City Clerk Katie Becker reminded everyone of the Fall Cleanup Day to be held October 13.
 

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