Lansing City Council sets new public hearing for FY24 budget and reschedules special meeting to discuss possibility of hiring a city manager

by Julie Berg-Raymond

Due to a scheduling conflict, The Lansing City Council has set a new date for a special meeting to discuss the possibility of hiring a city manager. The meeting is now scheduled for Monday, July 10 at 5 p.m. in Lansing City Hall, and it will be open to the public. The council also will discuss development of an urban revitalization policy at that meeting.

Due to some issues with the Urban Revitalization report, a new public hearing regarding the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) budget has been scheduled for Monday, June 5 at 7 p.m. in Lansing City Hall.

The council approved writing a letter of support for Maison Schoh, of Lansing, for a proposed online gun shop. A letter from the City is required by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), because of zoning concern. Lansing does not have an ordinance for all-online businesses.

The council unanimously approved applying for an Emerging Needs Grant through the Allamakee County Community Foundation in the amount of $500 to help purchase supplies for a mural to be placed on the wall(s) of the public restroom located next to the Emergency Services building. According to a proposal submitted by artist and local pastor Laura Gentry and approved by the city council on a split vote during its regular meeting Monday, May 1, The Great Blue Heron Mural is “a unique, site-specific plan featuring a great blue heron and flowing water with fish, evoking the natural beauty of the Mississippi River.”

Aside from grant money, the costs of premium outdoor paint and supplies will be covered by private donations. The council also approved the artist’s submitted ideas for the sides of the mural with one dissenting vote, by council member Mike Manning.

The council approved moving the location for an electric vehicle (EV) charging station to the east side of the City Parking Lot along South Front Street, near City Hall, because the originally planned location was under water during flooding in April.

In early April, PeopleService Representative Duane Estebo completed and displayed the yearly Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) for the City of Lansing. It was published in this newspaper and is available for viewing at City Hall.

In his report to the city council on wastewater operation and maintenance, Estebo said the department started its flood preparation in the middle of April. “This consisted of closing overflow valves, plugging overflow pipes, and sealing some manholes,” Estebo noted. “We also got a pump ready for pumping the 4th Street lift station.”

April 22, they started pumping at the 4th Street lift station “because of high flood flows.” April 24, they hooked up a six-inch pump and started pumping at Wall Street lift station  - “again because of high flood flows and infiltration in the sanitary sewer system.”

April 25, he submitted a bypass sample to the lab as requested by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). They continued for the remainder of the month to monitor and bypass the pump. “Several times a day and even a few nights we were at the lift stations checking and adjusting pumps to maintain a workable flow,” Estebo noted.

In other business, the council accepted Andrew Boddicker’s letter of resignation from the Parks Board. Boddicker will begin his tenure as executive director of Main Street Lansing in July.

The next regular meeting of the Lansing City Council is scheduled for Monday, June 5 at 7 p.m. in Lansing City Hall.