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Hotaru funding, Officer of the Year, liquor for KYNGZ and the Ford Hangar – a Village Board summary

LANSING, Ill. (February 7, 2024) – The Lansing Village Board met on Tuesday, February 6 to discuss village business, including additional financial support for Hotaru, a liquor license for the Ford Hangar, and re-creating a liquor license for KYNGZ. The board also recognized two police officers, and voted to pass a variety of proposals discussed in the January 16 board meeting.

Police recognitions

Detective Dennis Murrin III and Officer Jennifer Lewis were both recognized at the Village Board meeting.

Detective Murrin

Detective Murrin earned the LPD’s Officer of the Year Award.

LPD
Detective Dennis Murrin III received the Officer of the Year Award from Chief Al Phillips (left) and Deputy Chief Scott Bailey (right). (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Lansing Police Chief Al Phillips said Murrin’s work investigating the August 2023 fatal shooting at QuikTrip was a factor in the award. The shooting left a 53-year-old Lansing resident dead, and is still being investigated. In addition, Phillips said Murrin got a confession in the case of a four-month-old’s killing, and worked with the FBI to file charges in sex trafficking cases.

Murrin thanked his family, the Village, and the LPD for the award, gesturing to other officers in the room and saying, “A lot of those guys deserve this.”

Detective Murrin thanked his family, the Village of Lansing, and his colleagues. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Officer Lewis

Officer Lewis is in the middle of her second school year serving as the School Resource Officer for Lansing School District 158.

“She was meant for this job,” said Chief Phillips of Lewis. “She’s firm but fair, and knows how to interact with [students].”

D158 superintendent Dr. Nathan Schilling was present at the meeting. He said, “The reason she’s receiving the commendation tonight specifically is for bringing back police educational programs for our schools. That’s been absent now for a couple of years.”

Dr. Schilling mentioned an online safety program that Officer Lewis is leading, designed to teach fifth-graders about responsible internet usage.

From left: Chief Al Phillips, Officer Jennifer Lewis, Deputy Chief Scott Bailey, and District 158 Superintendent Nathan Schilling. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Hotaru update and continued financial support

Krystal Goins, owner of Hotaru, is still working toward opening a Japanese ramen restaurant at 3307 Ridge Road, the site of the former Golden Palace.

Hotaru
The former Golden Palace is undergoing a massive overhaul to become Hotaru, a Japanese ramen restaurant. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

During Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole Meeting, Goins recounted the unexpected costs that have arisen as part of her remodel, and requested additional assistance from the Village to bring her vision to life.

“Originally, it was all lead pipes,” Goins said, “Our number one ingredient is water. And I would hate to serve my customers, and the beautiful people of Lansing, water that’s coming from lead pipes.”

The pipes, in addition to unforeseen issues with the building’s foundation and other complications, have pushed the project beyond its original financial and timeline estimates.

Krystal Goins appeared before the Village Board Tuesday to give an update on her progress turning the former Golden Palace into Hotaru, a ramen restaurant. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Village Administrator Dan Podgorski said the Village originally approved $128,000 in assistance for Goins through a tax increment financing redevelopment agreement. The amount needed to complete construction is nearly $77,000, which Goins is requesting assistance for. The board will vote to approve or deny the full amount at a future meeting. The total cost of construction, not including furniture and fixtures, is estimated at $306,000.

“We want to help get Krystal over the finish line,” Podgorski said. “This is a use of TIF dollars to get this place converted. As she said, it’s been sitting for over 16 years.”

Goins said if all goes well she hopes to open in April.

KYNGZ liquor license

KYNGZ restaurant appeared before the Village Board in 2022 with plans to open an upscale restaurant at 16731 Torrence Avenue in the Landings area. Delays in bringing the restaurant into code compliance meant that the liquor license created in 2022 was never issued, and thus expired.

“We’ve fixed everything, and so now I’m back here,” co-owner Anthony Pratt told the board during the Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday.

Trustees will vote on approving the liquor license for KYNGZ, which is ready to open, at an upcoming meeting.

Ford Hangar liquor license

Village Director of Venue Operations Ken Reynolds explained to the Board during the Committee of the Whole meeting why a liquor license is necessary for the Ford Hangar.

The hangar has entered into the event-hosting realm in the last couple of years, and the Village plans to maximize the historic building’s potential as a destination-driver in Lansing.

“As it currently sits, anyone that has something there has to get a special event letter from the mayor as the liquor commissioner as step one, and then they have to apply for a special event license through the state,” Reynolds said. In the case of a fall wedding held at the venue last year, liquor was transported from Fox Pointe to meet the need, a situation that was less than ideal.

Lansing’s class 15 liquor license would expand from only including Fox Pointe to also include the Ford Hangar. The license would not allow any outside alcohol vendors, requiring Village staff to serve the drinks.

“We don’t want to rely on the common sense and good judgment of bartenders that are not employed by us and may not be aware of what standards we’re looking for,” Reynolds said.

The board will vote on the amendment to the liquor code at a future meeting.

Other discussions and approvals

  • The Board voted to approve special uses for a drive-thru and outdoor seating for Chick-fil-A, as well as a Class 8 tax incentive.
  • The Board approved a new tiered consequence system proposed by the Lansing Police Department to address the number of police calls to “nuisance hotels and motels.”
  • Trustees approved an ordinance regulating unscheduled intercity bus drop-offs, in response to the ongoing migrant crisis.
  • The Board voted to issue a liquor license to Carla’s Supper Club, located at 2378 172nd Street. Trustee Jerry Zeldenrust was the sole dissenting vote.
  • The Board approved the Lansing Municipal Airport Transportation Improvement Program, which will be submitted to the Illinois Department of Transportation.
  • Stemming from a recent Committee of the Whole conversation in a past meeting, Village Administrator Dan Podgorski proposed changes to the Lansing Facade Improvement Program, including expanding the properties eligible for the program, requiring a larger minimum spend ($5,000) to be eligible for assistance, and excluding signage and landscaping from the minimum spend amount. The Board will vote on the proposal at an upcoming meeting.
  • Lansing Fire Chief Chad Kooyenga petitioned the Village Board to spend as much as $250,000 on approximately 30 new self-contained breathing apparatuses.
  • Public commenters at the Village Board meeting expressed concerns about parking lot lighting in the Landings area, potholes in a resident’s street, drivers ignoring stop lights at the Torrence overpass, and drag racing on 186th Street. Additionally, Bob Malkas, a frequent commenter, informed the Board of his intention to make his thoughts on the Lansing Municipal Airport’s future available online.

Learn more

Village Board meetings typically occur at 6 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of the month in the Village Courtroom, located at 2710 170th Street. To contact a trustee or Village official, visit VillageofLansing.org.

For more information on Village Board meetings, click below to view The Lansing Journal’s video guide:

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.