Lansing City Council approves purchase of Iowa Great Places signs, hears update on Main Street Plaza celebration planned for August 11

by Julie Berg-Raymond

During its regular meeting Monday, July 17, the Lansing City Council approved spending up to $225 for three Iowa Great Places signs to be placed at the entrances to the city, pending State approval for placement. Total cost for the three Iowa Great Places signs is $204.30. Money will come from the remaining $145.74 of the RAGBRAI grant awarded to the Iowa Great Places committee, with the rest being paid for by the City of Lansing.

Lansing was one of three communities to receive designation as an Iowa Great Place, joining Grimes and Polk City as new designees this year. The designation gives the City a path forward for development for arts and culture, recreation, and amenities in Lansing’s future. With the designation, the City will also be able to utilize its standing as a Great Place to receive further funding for projects - in particular, a one-time funding opportunity of up to $500,000.

Andrew Boddicker headed the committee that created a vision plan and completed the application for the Great Places designation. “This community has worked hard to grow momentum towards growth and renewal and this designation will go a long way towards continuing that work,” Boddicker said.

During his Main Street Lansing (MSL) update, MSL Executive Director Andrew Boddicker told the council that a celebration of the completion of the Main Street Plaza is set for Friday, August 11 at 5 p.m. Details about the celebration will be in the Fish Days insert being published in The Standard in early August, Boddicker said.

“The redevelopment of the Main Street Plaza will bring years of work to completion,” he noted. “With the help of the T-Mobile Hometown Grant, donors and many volunteers - particularly Fred Easker and Bruce Palmborg - this community space will finally reach its potential. We are proud to realize this vision that so many have worked to complete and are excited to share it with the community.”

June 7, the department put a screen in the overflow pipe on Mt. Ida reservoir per Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) request. June 6-13, they completed exercising all of the water valves on the mains, a procedure done annually. When the exercising was completed, they discovered they had two valve covers to fix; one needed to be dug up and straightened and the other was cut down to fit properly in the street.

June 22-23, they dug up the hydrant on Walnut Street for replacement. “The old hydrant was in very bad shape,” noted the report by PeopleService representative Duane Estebo. “When it was exercised, it didn’t turn on properly and it leaked profusely from multiple places. There was also no isolation valve for it. When we dug it up, we discovered that the water main did not lie according to the map. There was no room to put in a new hydrant with an isolation valve. We had to remove the hydrant and fix the main.”

June 2, the annual lift station maintenance was done. In addition, pump No. 2 at the Wall Street lift station quit working and the technician took the pump for repairs. For June 19-20, Estebo’s report noted that “Every year, for our sewer cleaning program, we get about 1/4 of the sewer mains in town jet-vac’d. This year, because of availability, we jetted and flushed the south town area ourselves.”

June 29, they helped with, as noted in Estebo’s report, “jetting the storm sewer just out past Shaw Street. It was plugged and overflowing. We didn’t know it until we read meters, but all of that water came down from the water service line up on the hill. He has a pit and the leak was after his meter.”

In other business, the council approved liquor licenses for the Fire Department and Strub Rentals. The next regular meeting of the Lansing City Council is scheduled for Monday, August 7, at 7 p.m., in Lansing City Hall.