Lansing City Council hears citizen concerns during regular Monday session

by B.J. Tomlinson

The Lansing City Council met in regular session Monday night, August 3 and heard several citizen concerns as well as reports from the Street,  Water, Police and Parks Departments.  
Lions Club representative John Verdon and Allamakee County Conservation Board (ACCB) Director Jim Janett addressed the Council and distributed information concerning the Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center Facility, which will be built south of Lansing at Columbus Bridge. Verdon said that approximately $2 million of the $3.2 million needed to complete the project has been raised and that additional funds will be secured through additional REAP, ACCB, Allamakee County Community Foundation (ACCF), Community Action and Tourism grants and individual donations. Verdon said that in order to secure the grants, they will need the City of Lansing to show evidence of support for the project via monetary or in-kind donations, suggesting the City could offer water and sewer services in addition to, or in lieu, of a cash donation. Mayor Mike Brennan said he has recently sent a letter of support for the project to the consultant assisting with the fundraising campaign and that he and the Council would consider the best way for the City to contribute.
Barb McPherson-Trammell, Chairperson of the Allamakee County Visioning Group (ACVG), reported that the three year commitment to work on beautifying the hill at the foot of Black Hawk Bridge is over and that project has now been completed. Trammell said that according the original agreement, the City would now take over maintenance of the hill, and that she would be submitting a complete summary and report to the Allamakee County Community Foundation, which funded the original project, and to the City. Mayor Brennan asked if instructions and recommendations for the continued care and maintenance of the Hill are available. Trammell said that information would be included in the report along with a list of assets, pictures, planting records and other documentation.
Lansing resident Erica Wagner addressed the Council regarding the pool hours and closure. She suggested that since August is the hottest month of the year, the pool should remain open with its regular hours until school starts. Parks Board Representative Dave Pleasants said several of the staff, including lifeguards, are out of town and the pool could not open without adequate coverage. He did, however, say that he would push to keep the pool open.
Jerry Aperans, Street Superintendent, said his department is taking care of preparations for Fish Days. He also said the FEMA work schedule had been rearranged so that the repairs on Mt. Hosmer would be postponed until after Fish Days. He indicated that the DOT Highway 26 project has been pushed back until after Fish Days as well.
Marina Board Representatives Dave Zach and Fred Mathews addressed the Council regarding replacement of docks at the Marina. City Clerk Katie Becker said no other dock projects could be considered until after the current debt for docks one and five is retired,  which will occur sometime in 2016.
Mayor Brennan asked the Council members to visit the old middle school in order to discuss relocating the City offices to that facility. Brennan said the school district can rent a portion of the building to the City for $500 a month. The City will need to compare the cost of the rent versus repairing the current office building while also considering space requirements for the Police Department and City Clerk.
In other business, the Council reviewed and approved a Green Ash preservation request for 685 Main Street, a subdivision plat for Roger and Mary Reed, and a Mohn Engineering Study for Shaw Street.