Noise concerns among many topics discussed by Lansing City Council

by B.J. Tomlinson

In its regular meeting Monday night, October 17, the Lansing City Council heard a report from resident Deb Volker of “cherry bombs” being set off around 2 a.m. In addition to the cherry bombs, Volker also reported that an automobile without baffles or mufflers races around and creates considerable noise. Council members stated they have heard and felt the cherry bomb blasts as well.

In addition, Volker said that dump trucks don’t stop at the four-way stop sign, more juveniles are out late at night and that her windshield has been broken. Because of all these incidences, she suggested that more policing is warranted in Lansing and less in New Albin. She said she didn’t always call the police to report incidences because the dispatcher doesn’t seem to take them seriously.

Police Chief Ed Stahl said coverage hours in Lansing have actually increased since hiring an additional officer earlier this year, but encouraged Volker to call to report further troubling incidences and that he would alert the other officers. Stahl also explained that loud noises echo off the surrounding bluffs, making it difficult to determine the location of the bomb blasts.
Resident John Drew of 201 North Front Street addressed the Council regarding the deteriorating state of Hale Street. Drew said the street and storm sewers are unsafe and need engineering. He said he petitioned the City in the past but has not received a response. Mayor Mike Brennan said the City has several road projects that have had to be postponed due to recent flood damage.

Kwik Star employee Rose Williams asked the Council to consider designating a temporary no parking zone for their loading dock area. Williams said truck deliveries are made daily but at no set time due to a change in delivery schedules. She said vehicles park in the loading zone and block off the alley so that time must be spent trying to locate the owners to move their cars. She said that a permanent delivery schedule will begin in a few weeks and that a sign could indicate when parking is not allowed. After discussion, the Council agreed to allow a temporary “no parking” sign but could not take formal action until the next Council meeting because the item was not on the agenda for this particular meeting.

Mike Schweitzer and the Council discussed his application for a variance to construct a garage on his Center Street property. It was determined that more information is needed, and the topic will be addressed at the next Council meeting.

Gary Jasper, an iiW engineer involved with the South Road Bridge Project, addressed the Council regarding an updated cost estimate and contingency release request to include a casing around the existing clay sewer pipe that runs under the bridge. Jasper said the design contingency in the contract will provide the extra funds needed ($6,716).  Jasper said the funds will be used to prepare a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) permit, modifications to the plats for the utility easement and negotiations with property owners using Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) procedures. The Council approved the request.

The Council discussed the removal of diseased ash trees and who is responsible for the costs involved. City Attorney Rick Zahasky will be consulted.

In other business, the Council approved a request from the Parks Board to remove one of the tennis courts and replace it with a sand volleyball court. The Council also approved payments to Strub Blacktopping and Village Farm and Home for supplies to repair Shaw Street, and  approved a two-year extension for Dave Pleasants’ term on the Parks Board.