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Permits, policing, pest control – Village staff share business-focused info at free session

LANSING, Ill. (March 21, 2024) – Village administrators and the Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce recently conducted a free educational session at the Lansing Public Library so business owners could learn more about how local government functions and how it directly affects their businesses.

In addition to information on the village’s budget and tax revenues and expenditures, updates on new and upcoming economic development and a live performance by a drug sniffing canine, business owners were able to take away other valuable nuggets they may or not have been aware of, including:

1) What projects require a permit?

Building Commissioner Zoran Savic said many people call with this question.

He explained that any construction or modification of a structure requires a permit when it pertains to plumbing, electric, HVACR (heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration), signage, roofs, and the removal of walls or ceiling.

Contractors must be registered with the village.

Projects that don’t require permits include: painting, minor carpentry work, flooring, and the installation of cabinets.

“We don’t expect any of them to burn down, cause any fires, cause any flooding,” Savic said.

2) Restaurant requirements

Savic said all employees who handle food should have their proper certification and that if liquor products are being sold all employees must have BASSET (Beverage Alcohol Sellers and Servers Education and Training) certification.

He said a licensed pest control company must create a log book and monthly reports regarding which areas were treated.

Containers that hold food in coolers must be labeled to indicate the type of food contained, the date it was prepared, and its expiration. Such food should not be stored for more than seven days.

“All coolers have to be at 41 degrees Fahrenheit,” Savic said.

Food contained on shelves must be a minimum of six inches off the floor.

3) Fire prevention

Lt., Randall Wright, who is in charge of the fire prevention bureau, said businesses are to be inspected at least once annually.

“We’re going to be checking for the presence of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors,” Wright said. “You should have a smoke detector located on every level of your building and then you should also have carbon monoxide detectors located in places like laundry rooms or boiler rooms.”

The department will also check for the presence of fire extinguishers, exit signs that are located and illuminated at exits, and for general fire hazards such as: extension chord use, improper flammable liquid storage, and blocked exits.

Wright said the department is available to conduct cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) classes for the general public as well as businesses and fire extinguisher training for businesses.

4) Village safety

Lansing Police Chief Al Phillips said people are always asking if the village is safe and said the communities within Lansing are doing very well.

“There’s things that do happen in town,” Phillips said. “But for the most part a lot of that is up into our north end. A lot of our hotels give us a lot of problems. So we’ve decided to take a stance against the hotels and help them clean up.”

Phillips said hotels draw prostitution and the armed robberies and other problems that brings.

“We’re going to work with our hotels in a way that encourages them to cut down on the calls for service,” Phillips said.

The chief said the 10 hotels in the village account for 7 percent of all of the department’s calls.

“That’s a lot of calls,” Phillips said. “And they involve more of our violent calls. Most of our homicides are there. Most of our major events are there. So we’re trying to cut down on this.”

Phillips spoke of limiting hotels to a certain amount of calls a month before discipline such as making visitors register and hiring full-time security might be required.

5) Video communications

Fabian Newman, director of information and technology, spoke on behalf of Lansing’s Neighborhood Network (LNN).

LNN handles video communications for the village and broadcasts locally on Channel 4 on the Comcast Network.

Newman spoke of how LNN can help businesses market themselves by creating video for social media such as Facebook and Instagram at a rate of $1,500 per minute.

“It’s such a reduced cost versus what the going rate is,” Newman said.

Paul Czapkowicz
Paul Czapkowicz
Paul Czapkowicz has served as a correspondent for the Northwest Indiana Times, so he is familiar with local politics, local business, and local goings-on in general. His training as a teacher gives him an innate sense of how to present facts in an organized and meaningful way, so readers gain understanding of complex subjects.