Archive for Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Council OKs new projects for Lansing

February 7, 2007

It will prove to be a year of noticeable improvements around Lansing.

Lansing City Council initiated four new projects at its Feb. 1 meeting that accompany various projects already under way, such as the Main Street System Enhancement project and construction of the new elementary school and high school auditorium.

Mayor Kenneth Bernard recommended the four projects that the council approved on Feb. 1 - improvements to Bittersweet Road and bridge, construction of the municipal complex that would become the new home of Lansing Community Library, construction of a community park and the expansion of 147th Street - at the council's Jan. 25 work session.

Bernard joined council members in unanimously approving Charter Ordinance 1-2007, which initiates action on the projects.

City Administrator Mike Smith, who worked with Bernard when he was assembling his recommendation, said he's seen Lansing go through many phases in his time, but that this marked the start of a new one.

"People only used to only dream that Lansing could have these things to do - like the park and things like that or the businesses we're bringing in - but it's no longer just a dream. It's happening," Smith said.

Smith said that there is a 60-day waiting period after the approval of Charter Ordinance 1-2007 before the city could begin issuing bonds to begin on the first phase of the community park and municipal complex projects.

Construction on Bittersweet Road and 147th Street would begin in June or July, Smith said.

The projects will be paid for with funds from the 2007 budget, which includes the first funds from the countywide one-cent sales tax, and a levy of .82 mills. De Soto Road was excluded from the recommendations because it would have required a tax increase of as much as 4 mills, Bernard said at the Jan. 25 work session.

Smith said he was excited to see the beginning of the construction projects even if there was much work to be done before they commenced.

"It's a good thing to see," Smith said. "Is it challenging? Yeah. Are my hands full? You better believe it. But it's just great to be part of what's happening in Lansing."

In other action Thursday, the council:

¢ Approved, 6-0, with council members Harland Russell and Kenneth Ketchum abstaining, minutes from the Jan. 18 council meeting.

¢ Answered several questions from Lansing resident Mike Howell regarding construction on Gamble Road.

¢ Heard a presentation by Fort Leavenworth Deputy Garrison Commander Jack Walker regarding the fort's economic impact on surrounding communities.

¢ Heard a presentation by Main Street Project Liaison Ken Miller regarding the status of construction on Main Street.

¢ Approved, 9-0, with Bernard voting, a charter ordinance that gives the go-ahead for city park development.

¢ Approved, 8-0, an ordinance changing the name of Willow Street to Willow Drive.

¢ Approved, 8-0, adoption of the Lansing Planning Commission Resolution that amends and updates portions of the city's Comprehensive Plan.

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