Residents encouraged to participate in housing needs survey; Council planning town hall discussion about Old Stone School

by Julie Berg-Raymond

During the regular meeting of the Lansing City Council Monday, September 5, Allamakee County Economic Development (ACED) Executive Director Val Reinke spoke about the Allamakee County Housing Study being undertaken by ACED in partnership with Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission (UERPC). She encouraged all county residents to participate in the study by completing a housing needs survey.

The county housing study is described at the website for UERPC ( “As Allamakee County seeks to support its businesses and attract and retain the needed workforce, ensuring adequate, decent and affordable housing is a vital strategy. In 2023, Upper Explorerland is assisting the county with an update to its countywide housing assessment to understand current housing issues and opportunities. The assessment will analyze current housing conditions and household characteristics, forecast future housing gaps, and discuss the county’s greatest housing needs. The process will also help identify housing priorities for each community moving forward.”

Reinke encouraged council members and members of the community to spread the word about taking the needs survey - open to all Allamakee County residents - aimed at identifying gaps and anticipating future housing needs in order to assist local stakeholders in finding solutions to current and future housing challenges. The survey is accessible online at A hard copy of the survey is available by calling Michelle at Upper Explorerland, at 563-419-6243.

Community members can stay informed about future opportunities to get involved in the housing study, and can view housing information as well as the completed study at

As part of his report to the council, Main Street Lansing (MSL) Executive Director Andrew Boddicker requested that members begin thinking about what they are willing to invest in the Old Stone School. Council members Curtis Snitker and Steve Murray said they would meet to arrange a town hall discussion to hear from community members about what their thoughts are on restoring the school and what they would like to see it used for.

Boddicker also provided an update to the council on recent promotions and events, and on current needs and plans. He said MSL is seeking a plaza manager to find entertainment and generate ideas for public events at the Main Street Plaza. Volunteers are also being sought for committees and events. Boddicker also noted that MSL has applied for a $500 Allamakee County Community Foundation Mini-Grant for an event screen and will receive notification one way or another later this month.

Carl “Sean” Clancy raised a concern about his neighbor doing work on a garage roof that is partially on Clancy’s property. He requested that the City fine his neighbor for doing the work without a permit but was told that replacing a roof and staying within the city code’s height requirements does not require a permit. As regards the building being partially on Clancy’s property, Clancy was told that this is a civil matter that is between him and his neighbor, and that there is nothing about the situation that requires the City to be involved.

Another citizen concern (not on the agenda) involved a memorial bench currently located under the Black Hawk Bridge. The owner of the memorial bench would like it to be moved to City property located by the marina. He was told the parks board handles monument requests, so he will attend the next parks board meeting to submit his request.

The council reviewed the LP gas bids offered by AgVantage FS of Waverly ($1.24/gallon) and Consolidated Energy Company of Jesup ($1.29/gallon). Welch Inc. of Waukon did not submit a bid this year. The council approved the AgVantage bid.

Todd and Heather Corwin addressed the council with concerns about curb and gutter work done on Walnut Street along the side of their house by their driveway. They did not previously have a curb on the east side of their driveway, they noted; now that there has been a curb added they are concerned they will not be able to park on their grass next to the driveway – as they said they often did, to avoid overflow parking on the street.

It was explained to them that the new curb had been put in to mitigate water flow and stop it from ending up on their property. The street is being re-graded to disperse water more evenly so it will not all flow to one side of the street. The Corwins requested the curb be shaved down to a 45-degree angle, extending their drive to maximum City allowance. The council agreed to accommodate their request if the Corwins agreed to not hold the City accountable if water did end up on their property due to changing the curb. The Corwins agreed to this.

Troy Hill requested closing Second Street to Front Street on John Street for the Lansing Fire Department’s ATV/UTV ride and Corey Farley concert Saturday, September 16. The council approved the road closure.

PeopleService Representative Duane Estebo gave the council a brief update on the overheating and burn-out of the blowers for the sewer on the south end of town. Estebo informed the council that while things can operate “as is” for a short time, the motors will need to be replaced at some point. He said he expects it will be a costly project, but he did not have a price estimate at this time.

The next regular meeting of the Lansing City Council is scheduled for Monday, September 18 at 7 p.m. at Lansing City Hall. NOTE: The city council and mayor candidate filing period is for the November elections is August 28 to September 21. Papers need to be filed at the Allamakee County Auditor’s Office.