Lansing City Council approves building moratorium during regular Monday session

by B.J. Tomlinson

 The Lansing City Council met in regular session at 7 p.m. Monday night after first walking through the old middle school building to assess the viability of utilizing that space as City offices in the near future.
The Council discussed and approved Ordinance Number 193, to amend Title VI of the Municipal Code  adding a Building Moratorium to prohibit the construction of structures within the Downtown Historic District in the City of Lansing. The first two readings of the Ordinance were waived and the Ordinance is effective immediately. The moratorium will terminate in one year or until the adoption of a revised restricted residential district ordinance.
Mayor Brennan presented a donation proposal to the Council for the Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center which was discussed at the last Council meeting. Brennan suggested an in-kind donation of water and sewer charges for five years, estimating an average of 5,000 gallons of water per month. The five years of free water and sewer would total approximately $5,850. The City would also waive the hookup/connection fees valued at $200, bringing the total donation to just over $6,000. The Council approved the plan.
Jan Griffith addressed the Council requesting that a fire hydrant be relocated on her property at 701 North Front Street to allow for excavating, rebuilding of a wall and other repairs. Griffith would pay for whatever charges are incurred. After discussion, the Council approved the project.
The Council approved Tom Burke’s request to allow a larger than standard driveway at 80 North Fourth Street. Rather than 24 feet, Burke requested a 32-foot driveway.  The driveway will blend with the new asphalt street which is scheduled to be completed this week. Brennan advised Burke to coordinate details with the Street Department.
Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission representative Diana Johnson addressed the Council and presented a contract for the CDBG Water-Sewer project near Clear Creek. After review of the documents, the Council passed Resolution 858, agreeing to the terms of the contract. Johnson said bid letting would begin in September or early October.
Jerry Aperans, Street Superintendent, said that work on Mt. Hosmer is progressing, but that the Park will remain closed through this weekend to allow for the application of asphalt.  Main Street Lansing Director Craig White asked for and was given permission to place a sign at the entrance to the park to advise visitors that the park is closed for repairs. Aperans also reported that repairs at the City shed have been completed.
White also reminded the Council that a Public meeting would be held August 18 at 7:30 a.m. at the Community Center to discuss tourism opportunities.
City Clerk Katie Becker advised that police applicant interviews would be postponed to August 26 at 1 p.m. She also stated that the Marina bond note discussed at the last meeting would not be paid up until June of 2018.