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Wigs in the Landings, asphalt shortages, budget approval, and more

Highlights from the July 19 meetings of the Lansing Village Board of Trustees

By Josh Bootsma

LANSING, Ill. (July 21, 2022) – The Lansing Village Board of Trustees met for the first time in a month on Tuesday, following its annual tradition of skipping the first Tuesday in July as a meeting date. Tuesday’s agenda held various items of business, including the following:

Budget public hearing

  • Starting at 6:30, Finance Director Brian Hanigan walked Village Trustees through the final draft of the budget for the Village of Lansing. No comments were made from the public on the proposed appropriation of funds.
Lansing Board
Lansing Finance Director Brian Hanigan walked trustees through the Village Budget at a public hearing on Tuesday night. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Village Board meeting

Fire Department celebrates 100 years

  • As part of the Mayor’s Report, Mayor Patty Eidam invited Fire Chief Chad Kooyenga to speak on the Lansing Fire Department’s 100-year anniversary. Kooyenga traced some of the department’s history in Lansing, and previewed some events the department is planning for the next year, including an open house and the dedication of the department’s training facility.
  • Kooyenga presented each board member and village official with a challenge coin from the Fire Department to mark the 100-year anniversary.
Lansing Fire Chief Chad Kooyenga displays a special 100-year-anniversary T-shirt in his presentation to the Village Board Tuesday night. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Deputy Chief Bill Stubitsch delivers gift-bagged challenge coins to Village Trustees to mark the 100-year anniversary of the LFD. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Passing the budget

  • Trustees unanimously passed the appropriations ordinance discussed in the public hearing, cementing the Village of Lansing’s budget for the current fiscal year (May 1, 2022 – April 30, 2023)

New restaurant at Golden Palace location

  • The Board voted to approve a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) redevelopment agreement with Krystal Goins, who hopes to open a restaurant at the old Golden Palace location at 3307 Ridge Road.
  • At the end of 2021, Goins told the board she wanted to bring a “downtown Chicago feel” to Lansing through a restaurant that serves ramen and other Asian-inspired food. With the redevelopment agreement passed, she is one step closer to that goal.
Krystal Goins hopes to open an Asian restaurant at the home of the old Golden Palace on Ridge Road. (Photo: Landon Ford)

Facade improvements for R&J Investment Properties

  • Trustees voted to approve a Facade Improvement Program grant application for R&J Investment Properties, located at 3346-48 Ridge Road. The approval will allow R&J to receive financial support from the Village of Lansing to improve its storefront appearance.

New lighting for downtown Ridge Road

  • Trustees approved a bid for new lighting fixtures throughout downtown Lansing, awarding a contract to Utility Dynamics, Corp. for $352,495.

Amending residency requirements

  • The Board approved Ordinance #22-035, which amends Article II of Chapter 2 of the Lansing Municipal Code, removing the residency requirement for officers and employees.

Public comment

  • Lansing resident Adam Barker urged trustees to discuss changing Lansing’s ordinances regarding animals in the Village to legalize chicken-keeping. Barker’s full comments can be found in the Local Voices submission he sent to The Lansing Journal.
Adam Barker reads prepared remarks during the public comment portion of the July 19 Village Board meeting. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Committee of the Whole meeting

The Committee of the Whole agenda includes new items brought to the Board for discussion. Prior to the meeting, trustees receive a Board packet that contains documents and background information relevant to the items on this agenda. They review the Board packet in order to be able to ask questions at the meeting.

Class 8 Tax Incentive for Sistar Beauty to move into Landings’ old Walmart location

  • Beauty supply company Sistar Beauty came before Village Trustees Tuesday night to present their idea of transforming the old Landings Walmart location (16771 Torrence Avenue) into a massive beauty supply store.
  • Village Administrator Dan Podgorski and multiple trustees asked questions of the petitioner, who was joined by two attorneys. The petitioner also owns three other locations, including one in Chicago, though none are as large as the space he’s eyeing in Lansing.
  • An attorney said Sistar Beauty would no longer consider the Lansing property if they were not granted a Class 8 Real Estate Tax Incentive.
Lansing board
The owner of Sistar Beauty (left) and one of his attorneys speak to Village trustees about a proposed new beauty store in the Landings area. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

“Aggregate materials” strike causes shortages and delays

  • Local 150, the International Union of Operating Engineers, is on strike, meaning stone for asphalt and concrete in the northern Illinois area is increasingly scarce.
  • Jeff Pintar, Village Engineer, said, “Concrete is made with stone. Asphalt is made with stone. The supply has run out, unfortunately.” Pintar also explained that asphalt needs to stay hot in order to be laid properly, which makes shipping it from elsewhere impossible.
  • Pintar told the Village Board that because of spikes in prices, this year’s slate of planned street improvements would need to be cut significantly to stay within the approved budget, which would result in 1.95 miles of streets being updated instead of the planned 2.6 miles.
  • Pintar said the board also will need to consider that locking into a price for this work does not guarantee that Lansing’s street projects will be finished this year, given the extreme shortages and the likely scramble to get projects done across Chicagoland once the strike is over.
Lansing Board
Village Engineer Jeff Pintar, from Robinson Engineering, explains how the labor strike is causing massive delays and shortages in asphalt and concrete. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Smoothie King drive-thru proposal

  • Parth Patel of Smoothie King came before the Village Board to give a final update on his site plan, which includes a Smoothie King with a drive-thru window and pick-up window located at 17923 Torrence Avenue, the home of the old Cafe Borgia. He also answered questions regarding the fence that will be placed along the alley on the back side of the property, a feature that local residents have requested to keep patrons from cutting into the alley.
The former Cafe Borgia (left) and High Performance Graphics & Signs would be demolished to create a lot for a new Smoothie King to come in. (Photo: Josh Bootsma, 2021)

The Lansing Village Board generally meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month. The Board will skip the first Tuesday in August, however, meaning its next meeting will be on August 16, starting at 7 p.m. in the Village Courtroom, located at 2710 170th Street.

Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.