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Village Board meeting highlights – 9/19/17

Basketball champs, giant checks, promotions, and more

by Melanie Jongsma

Village Board meetings are held on the first and third Tuesdays of every month at the Municipal Court Complex, 2710 170th Street. The Committee of the Whole meeting begins at 7:00pm, and typically at that meeting items are brought up for review and discussion among the Trustees. A Village Board meeting follows the Committee of the Whole meeting. At each Village Board meeting, the Trustees are voting on items that have been discussed at the Committee of the Whole meeting two weeks previous. All meetings are open to the public. The items below are highlights from the Committee of the Whole and Village Board meetings that took place September 19, 2017.

Zuccarelli compliments Lansing team

Board meeting highlights
(Photo: Matthew J. Splant)

Thornton Township Supervisor Frank Zuccarelli stopped by the Lansing, IL, Committee of the Whole meeting to congratulate the Village of Lansing for the way our team represented us in the Thornton Township Basketball Tournament. The tournament took place on August 19, and the story appeared in the first print issue of The Lansing Journal. Read the online edition: Lansing team wins basketball tournament

Tag Day earns big check

Board meeting highlights
(Photo: Matthew J. Splant)

Mike Gaffney presented a giant check to Marsha McCrory and Bob Barnes, volunteers at the Lansing Food Pantry. Gaffney and other community members had staged a Tag Day on August 26 to raise funds. The Lansing Food Pantry is a resource for people with basic food needs. The Tag Day resulted in $2,400.00 in cash and food donations.

Lt. Tim Biron recognized

Tim Biron promotion
(Photo: Matthew J. Splant)

The Board recognized Lansing Police Officer Tim Biron, who was recently promoted from Sergeant to Lieutenant. The promotion had gone into effect in August, and September 19 was the first meeting of the Board since that time. Read the full story that was posted yesterday: Village Board recognizes Officer Tim Biron’s promotion

Popeye’s brings “newer prototype” to Lansing

“We are very, very excited to be here,” said a representative from KJ Investors Group, who had requested consideration for a Class 8 incentive to build a new Popeye’s restaurant at 18100–18116 Torrence Avenue. “I’ve had many, numerous visits and conversations with Corporate,” he continued. “They were the ones that actually really wanted us to come to the Village of Lansing, knowing that the corridor of Torrence Avenue and Ridge road is really busy, and we wanted to actually put one of the newer Popeye’s prototypes in the area.” The Group has promised to “absolutely” give consideration to Lansing residents for employment in the new restaurant. Popeye’s is expected to be constructed and fully opened before the end of the year.

Family truck repair business expands in Lansing

Jerzy Rembis had approached the Planning and Zoning Board to get a special use permit for the lot at 2150 Bernice Road, which would be well suited to his expanding truck repair business. Jerzy’s son Rick was available at the Committee of the Whole meeting to answer questions regarding the request. Rick mentioned that they have a small family business that they want to expand into Lansing, and they love the Bernice Road location because of its exposure to the interstate. Bob Alderden told the Board, “This is a great opportunity for Lansing. This business is coming into an area that’s been vacant for two years. This is an ideal location for a truck repair body shop.” The Board will vote on the special use permit at the October 3 meeting.

Ridge Road sound system

Utility Dynamics Corporation was awarded the contract for running the conduit and wiring from the last speaker on Ridge Road into the Village Hall building. This will make the speaker controls accessible from within Village Hall. Trustee DeLaurentis had previously expressed his hope that the speakers will be functional by Christmas this year.

Motor Fuel Tax

From the minutes of the August 15, 2017, Committee of the Whole meeting:

“Administrator Podgorski explained that the three items on the agenda under his report are all related to motor fuel tax (MFT), which is a per capita percentage of taxes the Village receives from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) for gas sales in Lansing. The MFT Resolutions provide for the retirement of the 2008A and 2009B bonds through motor fuel tax funds in the amount of $450,000, and the FT Resolution for Maintenance provides for $270,000 of motor fuel tax funds to be allocated for street maintenance, namely for the purchase of salt and patching materials. These resolutions are explanation to IDOT of how the Village intends to utilize the motor fuel tax funds we receive.

“Trustee Grady-Perovich asked if the projected dollar amounts for street maintenance could possibly change, and Mr. Podgorski stated that they could, as the numbers listed were only projections of what would be spent. Trustee Zeldenrust asked if the $450,000 allocated to the bonds could be used for street re-surfacing rather than to pay back the bonds, and Administrator Podgorski explained that it could be used for street resurfacing, however at the time the bonds were issued the Village chose to borrow the funds for deferred maintenance that had built up over the years and a lot of streets were re-surfaced at once rather than waiting to do a few each year.”

Those Resolutions—1012, 1013, and 1014—were presented as part of the Public Works and ADA report by Trustee Skrbina at last night’s Village Board meeting, and they were unanimously approved.

130 locations for concrete restoration

Trustee Skrbina had explained at the August 15 Committee of the Whole meeting that Lansing has about 130 areas where concrete needs to be restored because of water main breaks or other issues. At the September 19 Village Board meeting, the contract for that concrete work was awarded to J&J Newell.

Human Relations Commission

As part of his discussion of the Community Meeting that took place on August 16 for the purpose of discussing the videoed incident involving a Lansing teenager and a Lansing police officer, Ken Reynolds also shared an update on the Human Relations Commission being formed. “This is something that the Administration, I know, is committed to,” he said. Reynolds and the team that is forming the Commission are in the process of drafting the legal language so that this new Commission will meet the same standards that existing Commissions in Lansing already meet. Reynolds encouraged the Board to carefully review the language that had already been drafted.

He also explained the recruitment process for the Human Relations Commission: “We don’t want to just start randomly appointing people. We want to make sure that the individuals who want to serve on an important commission like this meet some requirements with public service, with involvement in our village, and with perspectives that understand that this Commission is more than about one event or one group.”

Reynolds said he hopes the Human Relations Commission will be in place by the end of this year and begin meeting in January 2018.

Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.


  1. This is a totally different comment than anything included in these minutes, but here goes!!! I would love to see one of our empty store fronts used as a location for indoor ‘garage or yard’ sales! People could rent a space for a month and place their items there for maximum exposure and protection from the weather!!!! It would be great to see an empty building like the empty card shop or DeYoung’s actually being used. Does anyone like this idea? How difficult would this be to create??

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