Lansing FEMA projects up for bids

by B.J. Tomlinson

During its regular meeting Monday, January 5, the Lansing City Council reviewed and approved sending the remaining FEMA projects out for bid. The three projects,  Mt. Hosmer road, the hillside at the City shed, and Westgate are the last of the projects needing repairs after the 2013 flood. The Shaw Street project was rejected initially but is under appeal.
Two residents submitted requests for adjustments of unusually high water bills, both due to malfunctioning equipment. After review of the records, it was determined that both incidents utilized the sewer system, so according to the current City Code, no adjustments can be made to the bills.
Main Street Lansing Director Dan Fisher advised the Council of several current projects and upcoming events. He said MSL is working on attracting new businesses to fill the vacant buildings downtown and that a lodging inventory has been completed. A grant application has been submitted to secure funds to improve the lot at the corner of 3rd and Main, known as Main Street Plaza, emphasizing the need for a safer fence along the west side of the lot. He reminded the Council that the Main Street Lansing annual meeting is coming up which will include a comedy night. It is hoped that adding jocularity will attract more people to the meeting. Fisher also listed several of  the February 2 "Winterfest" activities being planned, including an ice fishing station for families, snowshoeing, a craft and vendor fair, an appearance by a local author, a guided hike up Mt. Hosmer and the annual chili cookoff.
Street Superintendent Jerry Aperans reported repairs on the blue truck have been completed, but the red truck is still in the repair shop. In the meantime, Marty Brennan is loaning a dump truck to the City until theirs is repaired. It was agreed that some compensation should be provided to Brennan, but no amount was determined.   Aperans said the area behind the sports complex has been flooded for ice skating.
Parks Board Chairman Dave Pleasants addressed the Council regarding various projects and requests. The Parks Board has submitted another grant application to the Allamakee County Community Foundation for more funds for the Sports Complex. He said the City would need to contribute $1,200.  There is a long-term plan for paving the parking lot and are asking permission to remove the planters and trees from the parking lot. Pleasants said the planters are falling apart and people use them for trash. The Council and Pleasants discussed if the trees could be replanted at another location.  The Parks Board also requested that the Parks Board bylaws be revised so that new Parks Board members could be appointed for full four-year terms rather than "taking over" the term of a previous member; a Resolution will be written and reviewed at the next Council meeting.