Lansing City Council hears update on water and sewer project funding and flood repairs; Citywide clean-up is October 11

by B.J. Tomlinson

The Lansing City Council met in its regular session Monday night, October 3. At 7:03 p.m. Mayor Mike Brennan opened a Public Hearing on the status of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for Water and Sewer Improvement Projects within the city. Diana Johnson from Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission presented a description of accomplishments to date, remaining work and performance targets within the project series.

Johnson said the project is 95% completed and  includes replacement of an existing watermain and sanitary sewer forcemain at the Clear Creek Bridge, installation of a new gravity sanitary sewer main, grinder pump lift station in the South Front Street area and replacement of an undersized four-inch diameter watermain with a new eight-inch diameter watermain in the Valley Street area. Final costs for the project are anticipated to be approved in November of this year, well ahead of the original anticipated completion date of July 2018. There were no comments or questions either heard or read from the public and the hearing was closed at 7:06 p.m.

Steve Casterton and Ken Becker asked the Council to consider a 20-foot wide residential access along Highway 9 and Westgate Drive. The Iowa Department of Transportation has indicated that it has no objection to the proposed access and the Council approved the request. A permit will need to be obtained.

Street Superintendent Ken Ripp submitted a damage assessment report related to the flooding events in August and September. Ripp and the Council discussed a plan to repair several areas, most notably Shaw Street, which will be leveled off,  have gravel added to it and then seal coated. Reditching will be necessary and larger culverts will be installed yet this year to better accommodate rainwater flow. Ripp estimated repairs on Shaw Street will take about three weeks and  that the scheduled work on Sixth Street will need to be postponed until spring due to all the flooding repairs.

Mayor Brennan said there are issues with the Southroad Bridge Project. He said  iiW Engineering has proposed relocation of the sewer main from its current location to closer to the creek. The Council, WHKS Engineering and People Service representatives are strongly opposed to the plan, partly because of the cost involved with such a move. A meeting with the parties was scheduled to take place Tuesday at 10 a.m. in the City Clerk’s office.

Police Chief Ed Stahl submitted a monthly activity report, noting that a search warrant was executed yesterday (Sunday, October 2) related to the shutting down and clean up of an active meth lab in Southtown (see related news item on Page 3A of this week’s issue of The Standard).

Lions Club representatives Tara Kolsrud and Kelly Welsh addressed the Council requesting permission to hold a 5K run Saturday, October 29 to raise money for the community playground. The Council approved.

In other business, the Council approved a $.828 per gallon propane bid from Fauser Energy. The Council also approved the Annual Financial Report for 2016 and an ACH Origination agreement with Kerndt Brothers Savings Bank.

City Clerk Katie Becker reminded everyone that next Tuesday, October 11 is citywide clean-up day. Becker also reported  that FEMA will be visiting the area Tuesday to assess flood damage.