Lansing Council approves bridge project

by B.J. Tomlinson

At its regular meeting Monday night, June 1, the Lansing City Council reviewed and approved a WHKS Engineering Company proposal for water and sewer improvements on the Clear Creek Bridge Project. Engineer Kevin Graves of WHKS advised the Council that a grant slightly more than $200,000 has been awarded for the project, but a situation has developed that could possibly delay receiving the funds. Graves said that because of a lawsuit at the federal level with HUD, Iowa’s grant money has been withheld and may be delayed several months. Graves said the issue could be resolved soon enough to meet the original projected completion date of October 30, 2015; if not, the date will have to be postponed until Spring, 2016. Graves said WHKS would continue moving forward by obtaining permits from the Iowa DNR, railroad and utility companies so these will be ready whenever the funds become available. The owner of the property at 409 S. Front St., Dick Refshauge, questioned the Council and Graves concerning annual frozen pipe issues on his property and the properties south of his, asking if the project would improve or eliminate that problem. Graves said it would, assuming certain adjustments and easements were arranged.  After further discussion, Mayor Brennan the Council approved the plans presented by Graves.
Bruce Palmborg, Main Street Lansing President, introduced the newly hired Main Street Director, Craig White. White addressed the Council, thanking them for their efforts in keeping Lansing a vital community and expressed a desire to work cooperatively with the Council. White has returned to Lansing after an absence of 30 years.
City Clerk Katie Becker reported the pool is now open and that the railroad has completed the crossing repair work by the marina.
Mayor Mike Brennan reported that the contract between Lansing and New Albin Police Departments is being reviewed by City Attorney Rick Zahasky and that the document would be reviewed at the next Council meeting.
Parks Board representative Dave Pleasants said a committee is being formed to design and construct flower beds by the shelter on Mt. Hosmer and invited someone from the Council to join. He said a small amount of money has been collected from the County and the City for the project. Pleasants also mentioned there is some money left over in the Parks budget and asked if that could be used for the dugout improvement project at the Sports Complex. Mayor Brennan said he and the Council would like to look at the design prior to approval. Another issue presented by Pleasants was the need for a new baseball coach, stating an interview would be conducted tomorrow and hoped to have someone on board right away.
Lynn David, water aerobics instructor, presented information to the Council related to obtaining a pool cover for the pool in order to save money on heating costs. The Council will review the materials.
The Council approved Resolution #862 setting the annual salaries and wages for non-union and union employees and department heads. Union Employees will receive an increase of 3% for 2015, 2016 and 2017, effective July 1, 2015. Department heads and non-union employees will receive increases of 4% in 2015, also effective July 1, 2015.
In other business, the Council voted to appoint Sarah Majewski to a three-year term on the Library Board.