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Village Board meeting highlights – 5/15/18

by Melanie Jongsma

Village Board meetings begin at 7:00pm on the first and third Tuesdays of every month at the Municipal Court Complex, 2710 170th Street. Primarily, Village Board meetings are for voting; Committee of the Whole meetings are for discussion. At each Village Board meeting, the Trustees are voting on items that have been discussed at the most recent Committee of the Whole meeting, usually two weeks previous. All meetings are open to the public. Agendas are posted 48 hours ahead of time.

Board meeting highlights

Lansing Lions donate to Lansing Fire Department

From left: Fire Chief Ken Verkaik, Firefighters and Dive Team members Kevin Karl and Chad Kooyenga, Incoming Lions President Eric Himmel, and fellow Lions Larry Thomas, Rick Ham, and Robert Draus celebrate a donation of $2,300 from the Lions to the Lansing Fire Department. The presentation took place at the May 15, 2018, Village Board meeting. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
“Not just tonight, but historically, we’ve had a multi-year—multi-decade—relationship with the Lions Club,” said Fire Chief Ken Verkaik. Incoming Lansing Lions President Eric Himmel presented a check for $2,300 to LFD for use specifically by the LFD Dive Team. “The Lions are a great organization,” said Firefighter Kevin Karl, who serves on the Dive Team.

Police Promotions

Mayor Eidam recognized three promotions within the Lansing Police Department—Steve Roberts to Deputy Chief, Greg Schoon to Lieutenant, and Mike Lazowski to Sergeant. Both Roberts and Schoon are second-generation police officers. Being able to promote from within, said Police Chief Dennis Murrin, “gives a whole new energy to the agency.”

Ford Hangar

In giving the report from the Lansing Municipal Aiport, Trustee Tony Delaurentis listed several recent and upcoming events that will take place in the Historic Ford Hangar:

“We’re starting to utilize the hangar a lot more,” said Delaurentis. The Ford Hangar was recently added to the list of Illinois’ 200 Great Places, by the Illinois Council of the American Institute of Architects.

New businesses

Trustee Brian Hardy, who chairs the Building and Economic Development Departments, listed a number of new businesses that have opened in Lansing in the past month, including:

  • Diana’s Mexican Bakery (19124 Burnham)
  • Tiny’s Flowers and Gifts (18055 Torrence)
  • Marshall Arts World and Fitness Center (16709 Torrence)
  • Blueprints Spa Hair Salon (19269 Burnham)
  • New International Church Chicago (19271 Burnham)
  • RY Properties (relocation to 17595 Paxton Avenue)

Committee of the Whole meeting highlights

2019 Budget Review underway

As Finance Committee Chair, Trustee Zeldenrust offered to read aloud the 98-page budget that Treasurer Arlette Frye and her staff had submitted for review. Instead, he encouraged members of the Board to read it themselves and address any questions directly to the Finance Department. Trustee Maureen Grady-Perovich expressed appreciation for the cover sheet Frye had included which listed highlights from the budget. The budget filing deadline is end of July.

Electronic message center

Trustee Hardy relayed District 215’s request for a special use permit allowing a full-color electronic message center with an illuminated header sign cabinet. The sign was recently installed at their headquarters on the corner of Torrence and 186th. Ron Roeda from Roeda Signs explained that the high-tech sign uses software to automatically dim at night, and it is able to take Daylight Saving Time into account. Although typically Village permission is not required for school district properties, the exterior of the building is within Village jurisdiction, so approval is required. The Planning and Zoning Board is recommending the special use permit be granted, and the Board will vote at the June 5 meeting.

A special use permit is required to allow this 2×8’ full-color electronic message center with a 2×8’ illuminated header sign cabinet on a 2’ high brick base. The sign is located at Torrence and 186th. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Planet Fitness is back

Planet Fitness plans to move into this building—17675 Torrence Avenue, just south of Round the Clock restaurant. Their plans include moving the main entrance around the corner to the east side of the building, so the entrance will face Walmart and be out of the flow of traffic entering from Torrence. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Trustee Hardy informed the Board that Planet Fitness had appeared before the Planning & Zoning Board to request a special use permit for 17675 Torrence Avenue. (This is a different location and a different franchise owner than what had been brought to the Board in 2016.) Anthony Rufo, the franchisee, explained to the Board that Planet Fitness plans to move the main entrance of that building around the corner to the east side of the building, so the main entrance will face Walmart. Rufo believes this will improve traffic flow and safety near that Torrence passage. If the special use permit is granted at the June 5 meeting, construction typically takes three months, so Lansing’s Planet Fitness could be operational in September 2018.

Executive Session

The meeting adjourned to Executive Session to discuss appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance or dismissal of specific employees.

The next Village Board and Committee of the Whole meetings are scheduled for Tuesday, June 5, at 7:00pm. Meetings are held in the Lansing Court Complex at the Police Station, 2710 170th Street in Lansing, Illinois. Agendas for these meetings are posted at least 48 hours prior, and they are typically found on the Village website.


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. Thanks for the info about the village meeting. I can’t get to those meetings so by putting them in the journal keeps me informed.

    • Thanks Judi. As a journalist, I always hope that providing information will actually encourage more citizens to attend the meetings, but I also understand that not everyone can, so I’m happy to provide that service. 🙂

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