Saturday, April 20, 2024

Connect with us:

‘The Cave’ spa, Monarchs and mowing, police and fire annual reports – a Village Board summary

LANSING, Ill. (March 20, 2024) – The Lansing Village Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, March 19 to discuss and vote on village business, including a special use for massage therapy and LED streetlight conversions. The Board also heard annual reports from the Lansing police and fire departments, as well as a public comment regarding Monarch butterflies.

Massage therapy request for The Cave

During its Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday night, the Board heard Dr. Shinora Montgomery’s vision for a wellness spa at 16915 Torrence Avenue. Montgomery said the spa would specifically be for men over 45 years old, with a special emphasis placed on veterans and first responders.

“My dad is a veteran,” Montgomery said. “He has not gotten massages, manicures, or pedicures, so his health has declined over the years just a little more rapidly. As he’s gone through seeing physicians and talking to physicians, one of the things they’ve stressed is for him to get massages, and to take better care of his health.”

During Tuesday’s Village Board meeting, Dr. Shinora Montgomery shared her vision for a wellness spa on Torrence Avenue. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Montgomery assured the board that she and her two employees have their Clinical Massage Therapist licenses.

Read more information about Montgomery’s vision for The Cave in our March 12 story.

LED streetlight conversion

Lansing Public Works Director Gary Richardson introduced the Board to Andie Reinbold, of Universal Lighting of America.

Reinbold said the Village has 535 street lights, and provided a quote for replacing them with LED lights. Specifically, the proposal is to split the LED streetlight replacement project between the current budget year — which ends on April 30 — and the next budget year.

The first phase would replace 196 lights for a cost of $98,683. A ComEd rebate program would cover over 50% of the cost, leaving the Village with a bill of $47,818. However, the original quote included installation fees, but Public Works intends to install the lights on their own, so a new quote was requested at the meeting for future approval.

Reinbold estimated the energy and maintenance savings of the new lights in Phase 1 would save the Village $39,571 each year.

Police and Fire reports

Police Chief Al Phillips and Fire Chief Chad Kooyenga both presented the Board with annual reports from 2023.

Phillips said LPD is currently fully staffed. He also said the department would debut its five-man tactical team on May 1, and hopes to add another school resource officer. Phillips said he’s aiming for more overweight truck enforcement this year. He praised the community policing efforts of his officers, especially the new mentorship program that focuses on connecting with middle schoolers. Eight complaints were filed with the department in 2023, with six unfounded and two stemming from procedural issues.

Lansing Police Chief Al Phillips summarizes the department’s 2023 Annual Report. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

“I’ll tell you what, out of 231,000 calls for service, on 38 complaints over [the last six years], I’ll take that record. That’s pretty good,” Phillips said.

The full 2023 LPD report is available online.

Kooyenga said the Fire Department received 5,490 calls in 2023, with a large portion being for emergency medical services. He said the LFD’s smoke alarm installation program, which started two years ago, has performed nearly 900 installations. The Fire Prevention Bureau performed 1,938 inspections in 2023, he said. Kooyenga also praised the Gutierrez family for winning a Lansing Life Saving Award for their help rescuing two women from a burning house.

Lansing Fire Chief Chad Kooyenga summarizes the department’s 2023 Annual Report. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

As of this writing, the full 2023 LFD report was not available yet online.

Movement on Monarchs

Lansing resident Diane Lund reminded the Village Board during public comment of her previous pleadings that the board consider an alteration to the Village’s mowing schedule to accommodate the migration schedule of Monarch caterpillars and butterflies.

“Mowing is before May 1, and after October 1. What happened last year is the Burnham ditch was mowed in August. It still had eggs, it still had Monarch caterpillars that couldn’t even turn into Monarch butterflies. Timing is everything,” she said.

Diane Lund reiterated to the Board her concerns about the mowing schedule’s impact on Monarch butterflies. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Mayor Patty Eidam told Lund that the Village had been working to address her concern.

“It’s not simple. But we are working on it,” she said, adding that a proclamation or resolution may be coming. Eidam also said she intends to sign the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge by the end of March.

More information on Monarchs in Illinois is available at illinoismonarchproject.org.

Other notable items

  • Mayor Eidam praised Lansing resident and Chairperson of the Human Relations Commission Valerie McDaniels for the honor she received at the 27th Annual Peggy A. Montes Unsung Heroine Awards. Organized by Cook County, the ceremony awarded 18 women of excellence, including McDaniels.
Lansing Mayor Patty Eidam praised Valerie McDaniels for her leadership and service. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
  • The Board approved a Class 8 Tax Assessment and a tax increment financing redevelopment agreement for MSL Investments to construct a heavy load trucking facility and yard on Thornton-Lansing Road.
  • The Board approved a bid for demolition for “Phase Zero” of the Public Works redevelopment plan, which will demolish a part of an existing structure owned by Public Works. More details on the plan are included in last meeting’s summary.
  • Gordon Food Service requested a new electronic reader board for their 173rd Street location. Trustees confirmed the sign wouldn’t be active late at night, and the sign’s brightness can be lowered during darker hours.
  • Scott Cable of Lansing made a public comment inquiring about the state of the former Lansing Country Club site, saying “I would like to see that as open, recreational land.” Mayor Eidam said the property is still owned by a private party, but that, “[Village Administrator] Mr. Podgorski and his team are in contact with them on their planning and they’re working very well together.”

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.

Unsure how Village Board meetings work, or what trustees do? Click below to view The Lansing Journal’s video guide:

Want to learn what happened at the March 5 meeting? We’ve got you covered there too:

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.