Lansing and Future Fire Protection At the Dec. 20 Lansing City Council meeting, the Council took action to formally end its relationship with Leavenworth County Fire District (LCFD) #1. The City took such action based on the existing interlocal agreement, which was approved by the Kansas Attorney General back in 2003. In accordance with the opt-out requirements in the interlocal agreement, the City is required to provide the other parties (Delaware and High Prairie Townships) with an 18month notice. If you would like to read the current agreement, it is viewable on the homepage of the city of Lansing’s website, www.lansing.ks.us,
MAYOR’S BYLINE By Mayor Mike Smith
PRESORTED STANDARD US POSTAGE PAID Permit No. 28 Leavenworth, KS 66048
We are about a month into 2019 and as I look forward, I
under Popular Links. Prior to the City becoming a party to the 2003 agreement, the City contracted with the Delaware Township Fire Department for fire protection. The existing fire district, as established in 2003, was created as a taxing entity under the authority of five nonelected representatives appointed by the City and townships. Lansing Mayor Kenneth Bernard and the Council members at the time never intended for this to be permanent. In recent years, the City Council has sought to provide input on important staffing decisions and large-scale equipment purchases made by the Fire District, but due to the way
the current organization operates under the interlocal agreement, the City has very little control over decisions made by LCFD. Lansing now comprises two-thirds of the valuation of the District, so the City felt the citizens of Lansing should have more local control over how their fire protection tax dollars are being spent. Opting out of the current interlocal agreement is the first step toward that goal. The City originally notified all parties of its intention to opt-out of the interlocal agreement during the summer of 2018. At that time, the City sent emails to all Township representatives on July 27th
see many good things on the horizon for Lansing. From a development perspective, the City can take pride in the fact that in 2019, we will add significant stock to our new residential housing offerings. There are no fewer than three new housing developments starting this year –
not to mention some new builds in older, established neighborhoods. Lansing is growing – and just in time for the 2020 census! I also hope to be able to formally announce good news with respect to several commercial developments. The City is so close. I know some
2019 CONNECTION CALENDAR FEBRUARY Feb. 7 .........Council Meeting Feb. 18 .......Presidents’ Day (City Offices Closed) Feb. 21 .......Council Meeting Feb. 28 .......Council Work Session
MARCH Mar. 1-30 ...Baseball/Softball Registration Mar. 7 ........Council Meeting Mar. 21 ......Council Meeting Mar. 26 ......Leavenworth County Special Election Mar. 28 ......Council Work Session
APRIL Apr. 4 .........Council Meeting Apr. 12-13 ..Spring Citywide Garage Sale Apr. TBA ...Countywide Clean-up (Leavenworth County Transfer Station) Apr. 18 .......Council Meeting Apr. 25 .......Council Work Session
and August 2nd. No replies were ever received. The City also sent representatives to the Township of you must be thinking, “we know what it is! Why don’t you just say it!” I understand that sentiment, but I also have been in this game long enough to know to never “say it” until the contract is signed, sealed and delivered. Regardless, we expect to have some new and expanded commercial ventures in Lansing soon. One transportation project which will impact most of us in Lansing is the first phase of the Desoto Road improvement. This spring, Linaweaver Construction is expected to start work on the section between Ida St. and Eisenhower Rd. There will be two parts to that phase and you can read more about it in this edition of the Connection. I suspect many of us will be using K7/Main St. even more so beginning this spring. I may be the first, but certainly not the last person to tell you to please drive carefully along our Main St. – as we put more traffic on that major north/south route as a result of the Desoto Rd. project. I’m going to wrap up this column by inviting you to call, email or visit with me in 2019. It seems like “transparency” is a major theme in
meetings with the intention of explaining the City’s reasoning for opting out and to discuss potential options for moving forward. Unfortunately, during both Township meetings, the City representatives were not favorably welcomed and the effort to communicate the City’s position failed. The City then sent a formal offer to continue servicing both townships with no increase to their existing cost on September 28. We received acknowledgement of receipt from both parties, but the City never received a reply from any Township officials. Finally, at the December 20 City Council meeting, repContinued on page 2
Mayor Mike Smith government of all levels right now. City leaders here in Lansing take this issue very seriously. Whether it is our Saturday morning “Coffee with the Administrator,” our open-door policy for visits in City Hall and our City Council meetings with public comment time – we want citizen feedback. Public opinion shared in a clear, respectful way is a great tool for your local leaders – why not consider sharing your opinion? Thanks in advance for your Lansing pride and the support that comes with it!
FOR MORE INFORMATION - CHECK OUT WWW.LANSING.KS.US From the City Administrator
Tim Vandall It is cold and rainy outside as I write my quarterly Lansing Connection article. In some ways, it is difficult to envision some of our projects right now because of the weather; however, many of the items we have worked hard for over the last two years will soon come to fruition in the city of Lansing. All the members of our Governing Body and many of our staff members are fo-
cused on improvements to DeSoto Rd. This project has been a focal point for our Council for nearly a decade. This $6 million project will take place with no tax increase to our citizens thanks to prudent planning by our City Council. This project will improve traffic flow along the DeSoto corridor by widening the road and adding a dedicated left-hand turn lane. This project will also improve the DeSoto/Eisenhower intersection by adding dedicated turn lanes and implementing raised medians along a portion of Eisenhower to prevent abrupt leftturns. Finally, this project will construct trails and sidewalks along the project area to make Lansing even more accessible to our citizens who jog or ride a bike. This year, the contractor will tackle Ida St. to Holiday Dr. The City will work hard to prepare all our citizens for any potential detours and delays. I promise you, the long-term benefits of this project will be worth the temporary inconveniences.
We also have three new subdivisions coming online in 2019. We fully expect to see 253 new homes in Lansing in the next 5-7 years. Each new subdivision will add something positive and unique to Lansing. In order to facilitate that growth, a new wastewater line needs to be constructed in northern Lansing. We expect this line to cost just over $2 million, but we expect the new growth to offset much of these costs over time. Speaking of new growth, the Council has made it a priority to facilitate growth in Lansing. We are welcoming a new business, Ducks Carpet Cleaning, to the Lansing Business Park on Gilman Rd. We are hopeful for further industrial growth in the LBP later this year. Additionally, the Council just reviewed the development plan for a new 11,500 sq. ft. commercial building along the K-7 corridor. Finally, we have been working hard to facilitate growth along our K-7 corridor that generates sales taxes.
The more sales tax our businesses generate, the better it is for Lansing’s property tax rate. Sales taxes are generated by anyone who shops in Lansing, whereas property taxes are generated by Lansing citizens alone. Whenever possible, be sure to shop local! Another change forecasted for 2020 is the transition of the existing fire district to a Lansing Fire Department. The Fire District is currently run by five appointed officials with no City Council input. The City Council believes that any board that oversees a taxing authority should be accountable to voters. We have reached out to the other two entities that make up the Fire District, Delaware Township and High Prairie Township. Both rural entities have retained attorneys and have refused to meet with City officials. Prior to the District being formed 16 years ago, the city of Lansing contracted with Delaware Township for fire protection. What the City is
proposing to do, is the same thing we did for decades, but with the shoe on the other foot. The City has no malicious intent behind this decision, and we desire to have all existing staff remain in their positions. Simply put, the City believes that an entity that taxes Lansing citizens should be responsible to Lansing voters. Nearly four years ago, I applied to be Lansing’s City Administrator. This was a big change from my previous community, but my family and I were excited about the adventure. There is something special about being so close to the KC metro while retaining that safe, small town atmosphere. Lansing is a great place to live and a wonderful place to raise a family. I hope you’re as excited about Lansing’s future as we are. 2019 will be a great year for Lansing! Tim Vandall City Administrator email@example.com
On The Beat In Lansing
Lansing and Future Fire Protection
By Public Information Officer Ken Miller
(Continued from cover)
Police Officer Alex Hancock is a product of Lansing. Born and raised here, Hancock wanted to be a police officer since an early age. Hancock joined the Lansing Police Department in January 2018 and then graduated from the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center on June 1, 2018. Less than four months later, he and fellow officer Mike Beck were hailed as heroes for arresting a burglary suspect who was later connected to a string of burglaries in Lansing and Leavenworth. “It’s really exciting to me,” says Hancock, “to not only be recognized for our work by the City Council, but to get to protect our residents and businesses.” Hancock very well may be living proof that those community policing programs you hear about – the ones in which police officers spend time with and get to know kids at elementary schools – pay dividends. Hancock remembers receiving promotional baseball cards from Officer Robin Mock. That simple act helped foster an appreciation for first responders that culminated in Hancock joining the police department. “I know I’ve only been here for about a year,” says Hancock, “but this feels like a big family to me. We all get along, joke around – the older officers have really taken me under their wing and helped me be
Officer Alex Hancock
a better police officer.” That feeling of camaraderie – and his local roots – may help keep Hancock here for the long run. “My immediate family is here and I have family in Leavenworth as well,” says Hancock. With smaller police departments constantly striving to keep officers from leaving after short stints, Hancock’s words are welcomed in Lansing. And who knows? Maybe Hancock will inspire local youth to think about careers in law enforcement who will then turn around and become the next generation of Lansing’s finest.
resentatives from the Townships asked the City Council to set up a meeting with all parties to talk through our issues and work together. The City fully supported that request and scheduled the meeting. Unfortunately, on the scheduled meeting date, no officials from the Townships attended. The City would clearly prefer to continue working with both Townships on an agreement that would create a Fire Protection entity that is more accountable to the taxpayers. We will continue our efforts with our rural neighbors to work towards that goal; however, it is also possible they may decide to contract with another entity. Once the City has been formally separated from the fire district, a new fire department – the Lansing Fire Department – will take on the responsibilities of protecting life and property for our City. Communities similar in size to Lansing, such as Edwardsville, Bonner Springs, Atchison, Ottawa, and Tonganoxie all operate a Cityrun Fire Department. The city of Lansing believes that the new fire department will be able to serve all residents under one umbrella– and the taxpayers will have a voice in the fire protection decisions being made through their officials.
The City has always had a great deal of respect for the firefighters of Leavenworth County Fire District #1 and we have made the offer through Chief Farley to retain the existing employees. The City would also like to keep as many aspects of the existing department comparable to how they currently operate. The City views this as a change in the leadership structure to make the organization more accountable to our citizens. Protecting the citizens of Lansing is the number one priority of Lansing’s elected officials. This change in the fire protection structure is in the best interest of Lansing and its residents and will keep public safety on the same team and under one roof. This transition is currently scheduled for the summer of 2020. It is still unknown as to whether the Townships will join the City in the new organization, but as we get closer to the transition date, we will continue to keep our citizens informed and aware of any potential changes. It is the City’s hope that we can all come together for the good of the citizens of Lansing and the Townships.
FOR MORE INFORMATION - CHECK OUT WWW.LANSING.KS.US
Desoto Road Project to Begin This Spring By Jeff Rupp, Public Works Director Ten years after the original design concept for a rebuild of Desoto Rd. was analyzed, efforts are about to bear fruit with the first segment of a threesegment programmed rebuild. This first segment consists of a two-phase, two-year long project. The total project was first reviewed as a five-lane roadway but was later chosen to be designed as a three-lane roadway. The Desoto Rd. project will be administrated by the Kansas Department of Transportation and is scheduled to begin in March 2019. The road will re-
Looking south from Ida St.
Looking north from Ida St. quire a detour from use: On the south end, motorists will use 4H Rd. to K-7. On the north end, drivers will use Eisenhower to K-7. The parameters of the project are from just south of Ida St. at the 7-mile
bridge, north to Eisenhower Rd. The first segment’s Phase 1 will begin at the 7-mile bridge and will run to just north of the Holiday Dr. intersection. During the winter of 2019-2020 the road will re-open to traffic. Desoto Rd.
will be closed for work resuming in the Spring of 2020 and will be closed during the final phase of construction from Holiday Dr. to Eisenhower Rd.
Spring is just around the corner!!! As the spring season approaches, Lansing residents will be busy cleaning up their yards from the winter season. The city of Lansing wants to remind everyone of some basic rules from our waste and recycling contactor, Waste Management.
Mayor’s Christmas Tree Celebration Lansing Mayor Mike Smith hosted the Annual Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 2, 2018. A 50/50 Raffle was held to help raise funds for the program. Guests also enjoyed performances by A Deere Place Daycare, Katie’s Dance Studio, and members of the Lansing High School Sound Spectrum. Overall, the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Program raised more than $3,800 to help support Lansing families this past holiday season. The 50/50 raffle was a huge success, coming in at $266.00 raised. This was an extremely successful event for 19 families, including 64 children in Lansing. City Hall, Lansing Community Library, and IHOP had Angel Trees from which area citizens and organizations selected tags providing information on the needs of children in Lansing. Many generous gifts of new toys and clothing were brought to City Hall for distribution to the Angel Tree recipients. Donations for the
program also included non-perishable food items and monetary contributions. The non-perishable food donations were provided thanks to coordinated efforts of the Lansing Lions Club and the Lansing Cub Scout Pack 3165. We would like to send a special thank you to the Lion’s Club for their assistance with sorting all the food items along with distributing the donated items to all the families, as well as the local businesses and civic groups that adopted a family for the holidays. An extra special thank you also goes to the many generous citizens in the area that provided so many wonderful gifts to these families in need. Without the generosity of the citizens, businesses, and organizations in the area, this event would not be possible. Thank you!
• Yard waste should be placed in rigid containers marked as “yard waste” or “YW,” or in biodegradable paper bags. All limbs should be bundled with biodegradable string or twine. No longer than 4’ in length and 18”in diameter. • Bags/containers/bundles cannot weigh more than 65 lbs. • Up to twelve bags/cans of yard waste are allowed weekly from March 1-November 30 • Additional bags/containers of yard waste require a overage sticker, available for purchase at City Hall. • All trash should be bagged and placed inside the 95-gallon cart provided. The lid should be closed. • Trash bags that will not fit into the cart require overage stickers, which are available for purchase at City Hall for $1.25 each. Large plastic trash bags will not work for collecting yard waste and will not be picked up by Waste Management when placed at the curb. Yard waste must be in a Biodegradable bag or marked container! Construction, demolition material, or other large and/or heavy
items should not be set out with regular trash. There is an additional fee for these items. Please call Waste Management directly at 913-6313300 to schedule a special pick up. Customers are allowed one free bulky or large item pick-up per year, and more than one item can be included in a bulky pick-up. Bulky items should only be placed in the right-of-way the evening before scheduled pick-up, and it is recommended to schedule it at least a week in advance. Customers may also take materials to the Leavenworth County Transfer Station. For questions regarding fees at the transfer station, call 913-727-2858. Waste Management will not pick up items if the rules are not followed. Not maintaining your property or not following the rules for disposal of debris and waste is a violation of City code. The trash service in Lansing and the rules involved may be different than it used to be or different from other cities’ policies. However, learning, and then, subsequently, following the rules eventually becomes second nature. Community-based code enforcement is not only about following minimum nuisance codes. It’s about treating neighbors with respect, educating others, showing pride in the city and using common sense. It benefits all Lansing residents if we work with Waste Management and make this a smooth process.
New Recycling Standards Force Small Rate Increase By Beth Sanford, Finance Director Effective on the February 1, 2019 utility billing statements, there will be a slight increase to the monthly trash rate. This increase is due to China lowering its contamination standard for recyclables from ten percent (10%) to one-half percent (.5%), causing
Waste Management’s (Deffenbaugh) costs to increase significantly. At the January 17, 2019 council meeting, the Lansing City Council approved an increase of $.50 to the monthly trash rate and an increase of $1.00 to the monthly senior trash rate. The new rates will be $16.69 per month for residents, and $14.69 per month for senior residents.
Countywide Clean Up Coming this Spring By Sarah Bodensteiner, City Clerk As we go to press, a date(s) has not been set for the Countywide Cleanup but be on the lookout for more information in the coming months. Spring is around the corner and resi-
dents will be completing their spring cleaning. To assist in this endeavor, Leavenworth County will be hosting it’s annual Countywide Clean Up at the Leavenworth County Transfer Station on E. Gilman Road. This is a free service for all Leavenworth County residents. Residents must
bring their driver’s license with current residency to verify they are a resident of Leavenworth County. If your driver’s license does not reflect your residency, you may bring your current month’s city of Lansing sewer and trash bill. The Transfer Station will accept most items for disposal except motor oil, con-
crete waste, or items containing hazardous materials such as refrigerants. All truck beds and trailers MUST be covered with a tarp. For more information about the Leavenworth County Transfer Station call 913-727-2858 or visit them online at www.leavenworthcounty.org.
FOR MORE INFORMATION - CHECK OUT WWW.LANSING.KS.US
City of Lansing - Flood Protection Information Dear Lansing Resident: It is easy to forget about flood risks and the need to be prepared for flooding. When the ground is dry or frozen is a good time to make preparations and take actions that may minimize flood risks. Clearing out brush and debris from storm drainage areas is a good example. In wet periods, it is often difficult or impossible to access some parts of drainage areas that need attention, so now may be the best time if you have such an area on your property. Take the time to assess the risk of any type of flooding that might affect your property, and take any needed actions for protection or insurance. We don’t know what the weather will bring in the next few months, but at some point wet weather will return, and flooding will occur in some locations in the community. Flooding in our community comes from four primary sources. 7-Mile Creek leaves its banks in some locations during and after heavy rainfall events, sometimes overflowing 155th Street, encroaching on yards in the Clear Creek Mobile Home Court, encroaching onto a portion of the City Park on North 2nd Street, and sometimes overflowing K-5 Highway. 9-Mile Creek leaves its banks in some locations during and after heavy rainfall events, sometimes encroaching on properties in the Southern Hills, Rock Creek, Fawn Valley, and Hillbrook neighborhoods, as well as the Rock Creek Commercial area and the Wiley Mobile Home Court, and overflowing K-5 Highway. The Missouri River floods from time to time and can breach the levy system, creating flooding over K-5 Highway and into the lower reaches of 7-Mile Creek and 9-Mile Creek. Brief localized flooding may occur in many locations throughout the City during intense rainfall events. (Note: Flood insurance covers all surface floods.) Some flooding may occur from heavy snow melt, but is generally less significant than that from heavy rainfall events or flooding from the Missouri River. The city of Lansing has implemented a number of storm water practices and requirements, such as storm water detention requirements for new development, to minimize localized flooding and to avoid increases in the 1% chance flood. City Services: FLOOD MAPS: The city has adopted revised flood maps, which were effective July 16, 2015. Check your flood risk. Flood maps and flood protection references are available at the Lansing Public Library. You may also visit or contact the Lansing Community and Economic Development Department at 727-5488, 730 1st Terrace, Suite 2, to see if your property is within a mapped floodplain. If so, they can give you more information, such as the depth of flooding, past flood problems in the area, and copies of Elevation Certificates for most of the structures constructed in the floodplain since 2004. They can provide you with guidance on how to find an engineer, architect, or contractor to assist you with solutions. If your property is in a floodplain or has had flooding, drainage, or sewer backup problems, check out these sources of assistance to help identify the source of the problem. City staff may have knowledge of locations outside the regulatory floodplain that have experienced localized flooding in the past. Flood information and links to related resources are also available on the city of Lansing website, www.lansing.ks.us. Flood maps may also be viewed on line from
the Leavenworth County GIS website at https://leavenworth.integritygis.com/. What You Can Do: The City depends on your cooperation and assistance. Here is how you can help: • Do not dump or throw anything into or onto the banks of the ditches or streams. Dumping in our ditches and streams is a violation of Lansing City Code 8-402(A)(1). Even grass clippings and branches can accumulate and plug channels, and smother desirable vegetation, destabilizing stream banks and accelerating sedimentation. A plugged channel cannot carry the water away rapidly, and results in flooding. Every piece of trash and every bit of sediment contributes to flooding.
• If your property is next to a ditch or stream, please do your part and keep the banks clear of brush and debris. City Code 8-402(C)(10) requires property owners to do so. In the case of large downed trees in drainage easements, please call the Lansing Public Works Department (727-2400) for inspection and assistance. Aside from managing brush and debris, do not disturb natural drainage ways. Preserving these areas in a natural riparian state helps to alleviate flooding and improve storm water run off quality. Preserving large floodplain areas provides excellent natural habitat for a significant number of species. • If you see dumping of anything, including yard waste, or debris accumulation, or heavy brush in the drainage ways or streams, please contact the Lansing Public Works Department (7272400) or the Community and Economic Development Department (727-5488). • Always check with the Community and Economic Development Department or Public Works Department before you build on, alter, re-grade, or fill on your property. A permit may be needed to ensure that projects do not cause problems on other properties. The flood ordinance that regulates development in the floodplain was recently updated, and may be found at https://library.municode.com/ks/lansing/codes/code_of_ordinances under Lansing City Code, Chapter 17. • If you see building or filling without a City permit posted at the site, contact the Community and Economic Development Department at 727-5488 or the Public Works Department at 727-2400. • Check out the following information on floodproofing, flood insurance, and flood safety. Floodproofing: There are several different ways to protect a building from flood damage. One way is to keep the water away by regrading your lot or building a small floodwall or earthen berm. These methods work if your lot is large enough, if flooding is not too deep, and if your property is not in the floodway. The Public Works Department or Community and Economic Development Department can provide this information, and is the local permitting agency if the proposed work requires a permit. Another approach is to make your walls waterproof and place watertight closures over the doorways. This method is not recommended for houses
with basements or if water will get over two feet deep. A third approach is to raise the house above flood levels. The cost for raising a small or moderately sized house may be far less expensive than the uncovered loss from flooding. Some houses, even those not in the floodplain, have sewers that backup into the basement during heavy rains. A plug, standpipe, or check valve can stop this in many situations. A licensed plumber can help you determine the appropriate method of protection and make the installation for you. The Community and Economic Development Department or Wastewater Department may be able to provide helpful information about these kinds of problems. These methods are called floodproofing or retrofitting. More information is available at the Lansing Public Library and the Public Works Department. If you know a flood is coming, you should shut off the gas and electricity and move valuable contents upstairs. It is unlikely that you will get much warning, so a detailed checklist prepared in advance would help ensure that you don’t forget anything. Flood Insurance: If you don’t have flood insurance, talk to your insurance agent. Homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage from floods. However, because Lansing participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, you can purchase a separate flood insurance policy. This insurance is backed by the Federal government and is available to everyone, even for properties that have previously been flooded. Due to floodplain regulations put in place by the Lansing City Council that are more stringent than the minimum required by FEMA, and due to the Lansing Public Works and Community and Economic Development Department's exceptional efforts in enforcement, permitting, outreach, and public information regarding the floodplain and flood hazards, Lansing has achieved a FEMA Community Rating System score that provides a 15% discount on flood insurance premiums for Lansing property owners, which is reflected in the published rates. Some people have purchased flood insurance because it was required by the lender when they got a mortgage or home improvement loan. Usually, these policies just cover the building’s structure and not the contents. During the kind of flooding that happens in Lansing, there is usually more damage to the furniture and contents than there is to the structure. You may wish to consider additional coverage for contents. Don’t wait for the next flood to buy insurance protection. There is a 30-day waiting period before National Flood Insurance Program coverage takes effect. Contact your insurance agent for more information on 1rates and coverage. If you are covered, check out the amount and make sure you have contents coverage. Remember: Even if the last flood missed you or you have done some floodproofing, the next flood could be worse. Flood insurance covers all surface floods. If your flooding problem is caused or aggravated by sewer backup, check out a sewer backup rider to your homeowner’s insurance policy. For flood insurance information, please contact the Floodplain Manager, Matthew R. Schmitz, at 730 First Terrace, Suite 2, Lansing, Kansas, at 913727-5488; or Public Works at 727-2400. More information on flood risks and
flood insurance may be found at www.floodsmart.gov. Permits: Always check with the Community and Economic Development Department at 727-2400 or 727-5488 prior to beginning any improvements to find out if a permit is required. Flood Safety: Do not walk through flowing water. Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths, mostly during flash floods. Currents can be deceptive; six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. If you must walk in standing water, use a pole or stick to ensure that the ground is still there. Do not drive through a flooded area. More people drown in their cars than anywhere else. Don’t drive into water covered roads or around road barriers; the road or bridge may be washed out. Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. The number two flood killer after drowning is electrocution. Electrical current can travel through water. Report downed power lines to the power company or City emergency management office. Have your electricity turned off by the power company. Some appliances, such as television sets, keep electrical charges even after they have been unplugged. Don’t use appliances or motors that have gotten wet unless they have been taken apart, cleaned, and dried. Look out for animals, especially snakes. Small animals that have been flooded out of their homes may seek shelter in yours. Use a pole or stick to poke and turn things over and scare away small animals. Look before you step. After a flood, the ground and floors are covered with debris, including broken bottles and nails. Floors and stairs that have been covered with mud can be very slippery. Be alert for gas leaks. Use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Don’t smoke or use candles, lanterns, or open flames unless you know the gas has been turned off and the area has been ventilated. As a public service, the city of Lansing will provide you with the following information upon request: • Whether a property is in or out of the Flood Hazard Area (FHA) as shown on the current Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) of the County. • Additional flood insurance data for a site, such as the FIRM zone and the base flood elevation or depth, if shown on the FIRM. • A handout on the flood insurance purchase requirement that can help people who need a mortgage or loan for a property in the SFHA. • Copies of elevation certificates for new and substantially improved structures in the SFHA since 2004. • Updated Flood Insurance Rate Maps as needed when revisions are made to the maps. • Information for additional FIRM information, problems not shown on the FIRM, flood depth date, special flood related hazards, historical flood information, and natural floodplain functions. If you would like to make an inquiry, please tell us the street address and, if available, the subdivision, lot and block number. We are open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Call us at the Department of Community and Economic Development, 913-727-5488, or drop by the office 730 First Terrace, Suite 2, Lansing, Kansas. There is no charge for this service.
WARD NEWS - CHECK OUT WHAT YOUR COUNCILMEMBERS HAVE TO SAY...
Sitting here after another winter “event” may not have
brought as much snow as originally predicted, but the ice and wind did make its presence known. I’m sure I would have preferred more snow and less ice and wind. Before I go on, I would like to take this opportunity to express my prayers to the family of the Kansas Dept. of Transportation employee who was killed on Jan. 19 while working to make the roads safe for all of us. Our best to the family and KDOT employees who are affected by this tragic accident. It is safe to say that most of us
have no idea how dangerous this type of work can be. We just take it for granted and assume all is well. To our Lansing city staff, thank you once again for a job well done. Let’s not forget the Police and Fire Departments for the great job they do as well. Due to some delays, the Desoto Rd. and new Wastewater projects haven’t gotten started but we hope to see them kick off soon. The Desoto Rd. project will be a great improvement and one that many will appreciate. Wastewater projects are less
glamorous but just as vital to our City’s continued growth and improvement. The sewer lines really need to be in ahead of any improvements or new developments. Developers and new businesses don’t want to wait. As always, there a lot of other things going on. Some are in the early stages, with very preliminary talks going on - while others are moving at what seems to be a snail’s pace. New developments of any type take time. It can be challenging when competing with the likes of the Legends
and Zona Rosa, among others. The City staff is always working hard on these issues and working with others to gain more insight and knowledge to improve our City. We take all matters seriously but always have to keep in mind what is best for you, the Lansing taxpayer. That is our number one responsibility. In case you weren’t aware, there will be a special election on March 26 to choose a new County Commissioner who will represent Lansing. This new commissioner will also represent Delaware Township
Last time, I talked about the structure of our city government which is unique to Lansing. This time, I want to talk about a State Statute that enables cities to use what is called an Executive Session. This procedure can occur during an official meeting of a governing body and it is done outside of public view or in a “closed meeting.” Per the State Statute, there are only a handful of specific items that can be discussed in an executive session. For example, you can go into to an executive session to negotiate the “purchase of real estate,” but you cannot do the same for the sale of real estate. Selling
must be done in public view. You can go into executive session for “personnel matters of non-elected personnel,” where the purpose is to discuss a specific personnel matter. Employment records are not public, even with a government entity. Salaries are not private, however and can be obtained from any government agency via FOIA request. When a government is taking or contemplating legal action, defending a legal action or suit or negotiating contracts, they can go into executive session for “Consultations with an Attorney.” There is also a provision for” Trade Secrets.” I say they can
be, but they don’t have to be. A lot of times the business doesn’t want it to be known they are looking to expand or relocate, until the final decision or offer is made. This is generally accomplished during a regular meeting when one of the council members makes the motion to “have an executive session for the purpose of ‘statute specific topic’beginning at _start time_ and returning to the Council Chambers at _end time_.” This is all in the statute. A governing body cannot recess into executive session for “Personnel Matter of Non-Elected Personnel” (for example) and then proceed to discuss another
topic. To do that, another motion must be made in the open/public meeting. The council also has to return to open session at the specified time and if additional time is needed, make another motion and add additional time. A governing body cannot vote in an executive session, but they can reach consensus. Any action must be taken in open session with a vote. Sometimes the motion is very non-specific, like giving the “city administrator permission to continue negotiations.” At other times there is no follow up motion/vote, for example: when we interviewed and hired the City Administrator, we had
multiple executive sessions over the course of a month where we interviewed and discussed the hiring process. Most of the people we interviewed were still employed and may not have wanted their actions known to their current employer. It is perfectly understandable. Privacy of an individual prior to being offered the job is essential. There are other acceptable legal reasons for executive sessions that may not be applicable to the city of Lansing – but may be used by other government entities. If you have a topic for a future article, let me or another council member know.
As always, call or email me if you have any questions or concerns. 913-683-0662 firstname.lastname@example.org. Andi.
Finally As most of you know, I have been on the City Council for a few years. Since my
very first year on the council I have lobbied, asked for, and begged that we, the city, improve Desoto Road (147th street). We all agreed that we needed to improve this road from Eisenhower Road south to our City limits because of the amount of traffic it carries on a daily basis. If you remember, this road only had a 4-way stop sign at Eisenhower. I was involved in getting that corner improved to put stop lights in. At that time, I pushed for us improving that corner with proper turn lanes and signaling. We at the City asked Leavenworth to help because they own the north side of that intersection. Well,
as you know, we got lights, but that was about all. Since then, Leavenworth has changed the lane markings to help people turning left off of Eisenhower and left onto Eisenhower, but this is and was just a patch job. Finally, about ten years ago, former Mayor Ken Bernard and former City Councilman Bob Ulin went to Washington D.C. to lobby at the federal level with our Representatives and Senators. That trip netted us a $2.2 million grant to be used by the City for roads. However, some restrictions were that we use it in a certain amount of time. I believe it was within three to
five years or we would lose it. So, we at the City started using that money to design the road improvement and get the ball rolling on Desoto Road. It has taken us a few years to get the City budget in line and pay off some debt in order to start the project. There are three total segments to the entire Desoto Road project. We broke the current segment/improvement of the road up into two phases. Phase 1 being from Ida Street north to Holiday Drive and Phase 2 from Holiday Drive to Eisenhower. We hoped to get Phase 1 started in late 2018, but KDOT pushed back the starting date to early
2019. So, we are now on tap to start work in March of 2019. Work will start near the bridge and work its way north to Eisenhower where the intersection will be improved with proper turn lanes and signaling over the next two years. In the mean time all new easements have been obtained from property owners and you can see that utilities have been worked on. Only Lan Del Water is left to move some lines, but they cannot do it until work is started. We are already doing some planning and work on Segment 2 of this 3-segment project. It will include widening and replacing the
bridge over 7-mile Creek. Also, we have looked at the intersection of Desoto and 4H Road. When we get to that point, we will entertain a single lane roundabout and improving the storm drain culvert under the road just south of that intersection. Hope this has given you a little history and where we are in this project! As always, you are invited toYOUR City Council meetings held on the first and third Thursday of every month. If you have any concerns, call me at 913-7272907 or email email@example.com. Donald F. Studnicka, City Councilman, Ward 2
We sincerely hope that everyone enjoyed the holidays and are having a great start to the NewYear. It looks like the cold temperatures and occasional snow/ice are here to stay for a while, and while our snowfall has been limited so far this year, please remember Lansing City Code requires sidewalks to be cleared 24 hours after a snowfall. We have a lot of children walking to and from school and the bus stops, and they all tend to take the path of least resistance. So, if the sidewalks are full of snow, they will likely choose to walk in the streets. While it doesn’t make the shoveling any easier or enjoyable for that matter, our motivation to get a path on the sidewalks is to ensure the
safety of our children. So we ask for your assistance in this endeavor. Over the past few months, we have also experienced some drastic temperature changes, which typically results in something we all dislike…potholes! As spring approaches, and temperatures get warmer, please inform the City of any potholes you may encounter so our Public Works department can repair them. Also, if you notice any severe deterioration of the curbs and gutters in your area, please let them know that, too. This will both help out our Public Works department and save everyone unnecessary wear and tear on their vehicles. The City’s infrastructure
improvements and maintenance remain high on our priority list this year and will be a major focus as we move closer to spring. There are several projects that will be underway that may have an impact on the citizens in our Ward. The first is a major Sewer Project that may impact some residents who live along the golf course, and the second is the start of the Desoto Road project, which will affect anyone who typically takes Desoto Road north to Eisenhower. The City will provide more information on these projects as we get closer to the project start dates. As discussed in this edition of the Connection, we have made the decision to opt-out of the current LCFD #1 inter-
local agreement. If you have any questions about that decision after reading the article, feel free to contact us for more information. As a reminder, our regular City Council meetings are held the first and third Thursday of every month, and those meetings along with any scheduled working sessions are open to the public. Any resident can attend the Council meetings, so if you are interested in sharing your opinion in person, please consider attending one. If you are too busy to attend in person, then please just send one of us an email or give us a call and voice your opinion on the budget or whatever else is on your mind. Also, if there is something on the upcoming
agenda that you feel strongly about or if you are bringing something up for a decision at a Council meeting, please let us know prior to that meeting so we are aware of it. We certainly welcome any input you have either way, but we would much rather you call before an issue is voted on, so we can make a more informed decision on your behalf. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact myself or Gregg Buehler at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Remember…the City’s Public Information Officer sends out a weekly “eBlast” via email, and the City also has a Twitter feed, a Facebook page and belongs to the social media site Nextdoor. These
WARD 1 NEWS Councilmember Gene Kirby
WARD 2 NEWS Councilmember Don Studnicka
and a small part of Leavenworth. Chad Schimke, Troy Smith, and Hank Spellman are candidates in this race. There will be at least one forum that I am aware of date, place and time to be determined. Further information will be coming soon. Rumors, ah rumors. Does it sound too good to be true? Does is seem unreasonable? Want the truth? Contact City Hall at 913-727-3233 or your Council member. Just because you saw it on Facebook or anywhere else on the Internet, doesn’t make it true.
WARD 2 NEWS Councilmember Andi Pawlowski
WARD 4 NEWS Councilmembers Tony McNeill & Gregg Buehler
apps are all great ways to stay connected. If you are interested, you can access any of these via the City website @ http://www.lansing.ks.us/357/ Public-Information. Tony McNeill and Gregg Buehler
FOR MORE INFORMATION - CHECK OUT WWW.LANSING.KS.US Special Election March 26, 2019 By Sarah Bodensteiner, City Clerk
The Leavenworth County Commission is being expanded to a five (5) member board and with the approval of the new County Commission Districting, a special election is slated for March 26, 2019 to fill the new 4th and 5th District County Commissioner seats. Lansing residents need only to vote on the 4th District, as that area covers all four wards of Lansing. Be on the lookout in your mailboxes in the latter part of February, early part of March as the County
Clerk’s Office will be mailing a letter to each voter within the two new districts explaining the election. It will also include a ballot application for those who wish to vote by mail. March 5 is the last day to register to vote for the Special Election. To find out if you are currently registered or to find your polling place, you can visit www.voteks.org or contact the City Clerk’s Office. Voters can begin voting in person and by mail on March 6, 2019. If you wish to advance vote in person, the only location available to do so will be at the Leavenworth County Courthouse located at 300 Walnut,
Leavenworth, KS 66048. To register for the March 26 Special Election, you may request a Voter Registration form at Lansing City Hall, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or online at www.voteks.org. You must reregister each time you change your name, address or party affiliation for voting. You may return your completed application to the city of Lansing or the Leavenworth County Clerk. If you choose to register, your information will be kept confidential and will be used for voter registration purposes only. According to the Voter Registration Instruc-
tions issued by the Office of the Kansas Secretary of State, to register to vote you must: • Be a U.S. citizen and a resident of the State of Kansas. • Reach the age of 18 years before the next election. • Receive final discharge from imprisonment, parole, or conditional release if convicted of a felony. • Have abandoned your former residence and/or name. For additional information regarding voter registration, contact the Lansing City Clerk’s office at (913) 727-3036.
Lansing DAZE will be held on Friday, May 3 & Saturday, May 4, 2019. Sponsorships are due by Monday, April 1 and made payable to the City of Lansing. Please mail or give to Tim Dossey, 730 1st Terrace, Suite 2, Lansing, KS 66043. Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org or 913-727-5488.
Name on Sponsor Banner, Cookʼs Apron, free vendor booth at DAZE and other promotions
Logo on Sponsor Banner, Cookʼs Apron, free vendor booth at DAZE and other promotions Banner on Stage for Entire Event (supplied by sponsor)
12 Peopleʼs Choice Tickets Free vendor booth and logo for all promotions for these events: Lansing DAZE, Lansing City Limits, Independence Day. Fall Festival Logo on Sponsor Banner, Cookʼs Apron, and other promotions Banner on Stage for Entire Event (supplied by sponsor)
Grand Champion ($1500)
FOR MORE INFORMATION - CHECK OUT WWW.LANSING.KS.US Baseball, Softball and T-Ball Registration Coming In March Lansing Parks and Recreation will be accepting registrations for the summer 2019 Youth T-Ball, Baseball and Softball programs March 1 - 29. Registrations may be completed in person at the Parks and Recreation office, located in the Activity Center at 108 S. 2nd Street in Lansing. Office hours
are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Registration forms are also available online at: www.lansing.ks.us Registration fees are $40 per youth for Lansing residents; Registration fee includes jersey. Non-residents are wel-
Age divisions are as follows (all ages as of June 1, 2019): T-Ball (co-ed) 5 – 6 years BOYS BASEBALL Coach Pitch 7 –8 years 10 and under 9-10 years 12 and under 11-12 years 14 and under 13-14 years come to register at an increased registration fee of $45 per youth. A scholarship program is available for qualifying individuals. For more information, please contact our office. The deadline for scholarship applications is Fri., March 15. Practices will begin mid-April; practice times are dependent upon the coach. Games begin in late May and run through mid-July. Age divisions other than T-Ball and Boys Coach Pitch Baseball will potentially travel to the following cities: Basehor, Bonner Springs,
Lansing Fishing Derby In May Lansing Parks and Recreation will be hosting the 18th annual Fishing Derby at Bernard Park on Sat., May 11 from 9 a.m. to Noon. Fishing will occur from 9 - 11 a.m. after which time lunch will be served. Award presentations will follow lunch. Registration for this event is $5 per child. Cost includes bait and a picnic lunch – be sure to bring chairs or a blanket! Youth up to the age of 15 years may participate in the derby. All participants will need to bring a fishing pole and MUST be accompanied by an adult. Only one fishing pole per participant will be allowed. Anyone not participating but attending may purchase a lunch ticket for $3 on the day of the derby. Beginning April 15, registration forms will be available at the Lansing Parks and Recreation office, located inside the Lansing Activity Center and may also be downloaded at: www.lansing.ks.us ONSITE REGISTRATION ON THE DAY OF THE DERBY WILL BE OFFERED FOR AN INCREASED PARTICIPATION FEE OF $10.00 PER CHILD. PRE-REGISTRATION MUST BE RECEIVED BY 4:30 P.M., MAY 10. If you have any questions about this event, contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 727-2960 or by email at: email@example.com In the event of inclement weather on the day of the derby, call the information line at 727-5555 for cancellation notice.
GIRLS SOFTBALL 8 and under 7-8 years 10 and under 9-10 years 12 and under 11-12 years 15 and under 13-15 years Edwardsville, Tonganoxie and Turner. Late registrations may not be accepted. If late registrations are accepted, a late fee of $10 per participant will be assessed. Refunds will NOT be offered after the uniform/equipment order is placed on APRIL 22, 2019. Contact us with questions at: 913-727-2960 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
LANSING COMMUNITY LIBRARY/PUBLIC INFORMATION
#LansingLibraryRocks By Terri Wojtalewicz, Library Director
2018 at the Lansing Community Library was another growth year. We saw a 26% increase in patron visits and a 46% increase in digital checkouts (eBook, audiobook, and movie downloads). Our patrons checked out 48,630 items with 20,662 patrons utilizing our free Wi-Fi. Our new library hours have been in in effect for a month now and seem to be a positive change for the community. Our new hours are: Monday Tuesday – Thursday Friday – Saturday Sunday
9am – 6pm 9am – 7pm 9am – 5pm Closed
The Winter Reading Program was a huge hit. We had 94 people read 1,958
books! Last year, we had 76 people reading 432 books. Many thanks to the Friends of the Library & the Twice the Ice Machine Co. for sponsoring the prizes this year. We couldn’t do it without our business partners in the community. If you are interested in sponsoring other events like the Reading Programs and special events throughout the year, just let us know. Our patron favorite programs are continuing in 2019. Check out the fun activities like our Lego Club, Kids Create, Thursday Evening Book Club,
Master Gardener Series, and Art Night Out. We have new Saturday programs beginning in February for toddlers through school-aged children. Be sure to stop by and check out the fun happening at the library. The Lansing Advisory Board will be hosting a Question & Answer Session on February 26th from 5pm – 6:30pm here at the library. We want to hear from you. Join us for some refreshments as you share your ideas, suggestions, and comments with us. The 2019 National Library Week theme is “Libraries = Strong Communities.” We will be celebrating this year the week of April 8. Be on the look out for the annual library bookmark contest. Information will be available at the library, on our website (www.lansingkslibrary.org), in our newsletter, and on Facebook. The next Friends of the Library Paint & Sip fundraiser will be on Fri.,
Pool Time This Summer – Are You In Compliance? By Rebecca Savidge, Building Inspector
Summertime is right around the corner, and with the warm weather comes pool time. Citywide, we have seen an increase in pools installed without meeting the required ordinances. These requirements are for any type of pool that is capable of holding 24” or more of water. Most people have the misconception that blow-up pools are exempt. A survey of the City has been completed and any pool not meeting these requirements will be receiving a reminder letter. A pool permit is also a requirement of the ordinance. The following are requirements for putting up a pool within the city of Lansing: 1. Pool/Hot Tub must be enclosed by minimum 5' fence (measured at the fence itself, meaning the fence
needs to be 5’ in height itself) with lockable gate. 2. Gate must be locked at all times when not in use. 3. No electrical overhead or underground power within 15' of pool/hot tub. 4. Electrical equipment must be used with GFCI outlet and cannot be used with more than a ten foot extension cord. 5. All pools/hot tubs must be 8' off of property lines. 6. Must call for inspections. Please be safe this summer and bring any non-permitted pool into compliance for your safety, as well as the safety of others. All that is needed to make application for a permit is a site drawing of proposed placement of the pool, with property lines and power designations on it. If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact Rebecca Savidge at 913-727-2400.
March 8. Doors open at 6 p.m. and painting begins at 6:30 p.m. Join us for a fun evening. The Friends organization provides light snacks and water. This is a BYOB, so you can bring whatever you choose to drink for the evening. To keep up with the latest going on at the Library you can sign up for the newsletter by going to our website (www.lansingkslibrary.org)
Remodeling? Have spring time projects? Just a reminder that certain work you do inside or outside of your home could require a permit. Some examples of work needing permits: -Accessory Structures -Pools -Fences -Decks -Additions or Remodeling/Restoring House -Basement Remodeling -Windows/Siding/Doors -Roofing A site plan, declaration of construction value, and plans for projects are needed when application is made for construction.
Reminders when doing construction: ** Any work constructed without a permit is subject to penalties and condemnation. ** Any contracted construction work should be completed by a city of Lansing licensed contractor. (Occupational License) **The city of Lansing requires that all persons performing electrical, plumbing, and mechanical work be properly licensed by the city of Lansing, Kansas (Trade License) **Homeowners can complete their own work as long as it passes adopted codes and they are the occupant of the property.
LANSING TRADITIONAL & SOCIAL MEDIA INFORMATION GoLansingKS! • Our mobile app is available for iPhone, iPad and Android Tablet and Phone Users • It is Free! • Register for City Events • Find Contact Info for City Offices • Connect with Local Businesses • Fill out a Fix-It Form Instantly
City Website Features • Check out the city of Lansing Website • More Modules so Residents Can Interact with their City Government • Use the Web Calendar to Check on Dates for City Events and Meetings
• View the Latest City Council Meetings and Newsmaker Interview Shows • Pay Your City Bills Online • Report a Pothole or Other Maintenance Issue • Register for youth sports leagues or city events!
City’s Social Media Update • Lansing now has a NextDoor Presence Accessing 663 residents! • Lansing’s Facebook Page has more than 3,200 Follows • Lansing’s Twitter Feed has more than 950 Followers • Links to City Videos • Check out photos from city staff and the community • City Job Opportunities Announced
• Updates from Lansing and KDOT Tweeted Instantly! • “Like” Our Library, Parks, Police and Happenings Facebook Pages, Too
LGTV - Channel 2 Update • Local Time and Temperature Instantly! • City Council Meetings Rebroadcast 10 Times per Week • Legislative Forums • Historical Documentaries about Lansing & Leavenworth County • Get Your Local Weather Forecast • Cool Music to Get Your Day Started • Complete Program Guide on www.lansing.ks.us.
Quarterly newsletter for the city of Lansing, Kansas