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A Minute With the Mayor


A Minute with the Mayor by Lyons Mayor Andy Fuston

June, 2017

Summer is here.  Mother Nature was being kind to us there in May but turned up the burners a little here in June.  It’s keeping the pool busy anyway!  We’re off to a great start to the pool season.  We had to replace the chemical controller right at the start of the season.  The repair work we did last year wasn’t working so we ended up replacing the existing unit.  We’re back to stable Ph levels which help keep the pool on an even keel.  We’ve also been able to hire enough lifeguards to get us through the summer.  We got our insurance bill for up-coming year (starts July 1st).  Premiums when up about $3000.00 to $105,000.00 but the replacement costs for certain areas went up also.  We currently insure almost $18 million in property, automobiles and equipment.

The council talked about those buildings on Main Street that received yellow repair placards.  The city is very much willing to work with property owners as long as they show progress in repairing the portions of their buildings identified as requiring attention.  In addition to those buildings needing repair work, the council discussed the bowling alley and its timeline for demolition.  An interested party stepped forward wanting some time to explore the idea of establishing another business in the building, which the council agreed too, but since the council meeting the interested party has had difficulty locating the owner of the building and the demolition company was ready to move forward with the tear down.  In the best interest of the surrounding buildings, the council is proceeding with the demolition.

The city has completed the tarring of cracks around town that it had budgeted for this year.  More to come next year.  We also continue to work through the electrical upgrades for the Brehmer Mfg. expansion.  A representative from Habitat for Humanity was at the council meeting to discuss doing some work in Lyons in August.  They are looking for a couple of houses in close proximity to each other that could use a little TLC.  They are planning a “Rock the Block” party on August 26th from 10 am to 3 pm to provide home repair and restoration services.  Anyone is welcome to come and help and volunteer that day.  More information will be coming in August.  Dan Westerhold is replacing Sandy Posvar on the Planning Commission Board.  Thank you Sandy for your many years of service to the city and welcome aboard Dan.  Logan Valley Baptist Church has submitted a building permit for a new building and concrete work located on South 4th Street.  We’re excited to have them put down roots with a new church.  The 4th of July will be here before we know it and with that comes the Bluegrass celebration.  You’ve probably seen the fliers posted all over town listing the day’s events.  I hope to see all of you there.  The day will end, of course, with our annual fireworks display.

The pool will be open that day from noon to 3 pm and it will be free admission that day.  Talking about things that put us in a festive mood, what do you think about the new banners that are lining Main Street?  Aren’t they fantastic!  You can thank your Community Club for those.  You’ll also be able to thank them for the new Christmas light displays that will adorn the light poles this winter.  The Lyons Community Club is able to provide those wonderful “extras” for the community thanks to your support of their fundraisers they do throughout the year (like the 4th of July celebration).

Thank you Community Club for all your hard work and willingness to keep Lyons a great community to live, work and play in!  That’s all I have for now.  Stay cool and talk to you soon.

Mayor Andy Fuston

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A Minute With Lyons Mayor, Andy Fuston


Welcome to 2016! It is exciting to think about what the New Year is going to bring you. There are all sorts of possibilities and opportunities that could come knocking. You just have to decide whether you’re going to answer the door or not! The city is the same way. I’m excited to see what opportunities will come knocking on our door this year.

As mayor, I think one of the most important responsibilities of city government is to keep people excited about living in their community. Improvement in the city’s infrastructure is one way to keep folks excited and positive about their town. I believe 2015 definitely hit the mark with the new pool and remodeled city community center. Those two projects created a lot of buzz for and pride in Lyons. The conversion of the old JC building lot into an outdoor theater was another project that, although not solely a “city project” but city property, also ranked right up there as a contributor to the heightened spirit of Lyons.

But that was 2015! I believe we can do the same in 2016.  First we are waiting to hear about the grant proposal we submitted last fall regarding improvements for lighting on Main Street. If the city is awarded the grant, it will provide a much needed boost to the downtown infrastructure. It will certainly help the curb appeal of Main Street as well as increase the illumination quality of the lighting provided now. If awarded, this would consume a big chunk of the city’s energy for the year. These big projects always do. We are however up for the task if it comes to be. I can’t wait to hear what the outcome is going to be.

The city council will continue to keep an open mind moving into 2016. We are currently looking at the possibility of utilizing more solar power technology for the city. We are always looking at ways we can partner with other entities for new housing or businesses.   Much will depend on location and funding but it is an area we’ve been willing to explore.

The city has taken measures to keep Logan Valley Manor from falling into disrepair this winter because we are hopeful good things are in store for that building in 2016. I feel confident Lyons will continue to prosper in 2016. We will continue to prosper because we have creative, innovative and motivated individuals living in and around Lyons who wants to see us grow stronger and more relevant. We are blessed with a wonderful school system that not only cares about the students they are educating but about their place within the fabric of this community. We have a manufacturing business that continues to be an international presence in the world. Our small business community, anchored by a strong banking base and business/farming advocacy group, are adept at creating opportunities for them to be successful. We are a prosperous community in so many ways. The excitement is in the journey. We might not know yet what form that prosperity will takr in 2016 but I can tell you the people of Lyons, including your city government, are going to work hard to make it the best year yet! Take care and I’ll talk to you soon.

A Minute With the Mayor


 

Happy St. Patty’s Day!  Hope the luck of the Irish was with you.  I tell you it sure feels like Lyons is being blessed with a little Irish luck these days.  We are a busy little community with lots of wonderful things going on.  The pool is coming along.  They are still a little behind schedule but with the warm weather they should be able to kick it into high gear.  The roof line is taking shape on both the bath and pump house.  It is going to be a very different looking skyline down that way that will really make the pool and park a public draw.

We’ve made it to the second round for the auditorium grant from the Department of Economic Development.  We will be submitting a grant proposal for $375,000.00 to help with the auditorium renovation.  If we were to be awarded the full amount, it would effectively allow us to complete all phases of the remodel right away.  We have the matching funds, the architectural and engineering designs and the numbers to make for a compelling application.  The application has to be in by March 29th and a final decision will be made by the 30th of April.  Because this is such a big financial opportunity, we decided to delay the remodeling until after the award date.  Any money spent on the project before the award date couldn’t be used as matching funds for the DED grant.  I know this has put some kinks into renting out the auditorium for spring and summer events but we felt it was the financially prudent thing to do with such a large sum of money on the line.  The one thing that will be started before the award date is the asbestos removal around some pipes and that found in the glue holding the tile floors down.  We wanted all that done before the May 1st so the general contractor, Faust Construction, could get started right after the award date.  I would ask everyone to draw on their “Irish” luck so this pot at the end of the rainbow comes true for us the end of April!

We are also feeling quite lucky these days as Steiny’s General Store is expanding by building a new building on Main Street.  It will be on the two empty lots at 2nd and Main.  Steiny and Kay Steinmeyer have owned the lot next to the street for some time and has recently acquired the lot of the old accountant building from the city that was demolished last year.  Construction on that new building will be taking place in the near future.  Folks, this is such exciting news for our downtown Main Street!  This is a huge shot in the arm for building up our downtown corridor.  We are also expecting some additional new businesses that will soon be coming to downtown.  Keeping our commercial buildings occupied helps keep our buildings in good repair.  A full downtown also keeps people full of hope for our future.  I know we recently learned that the L&M dress shop is closing its doors but I am confident that that building will attract a new business to take its place.  Lyons is moving in the right direction and the private and public investment that is going on is proving that.

Mayor Andy Fuston

Mayor Andy Fuston

We are even seeing the positive momentum from the county wide housing survey that was recently completed.  Lyons is the place folks want to live.  By the way, I want to thank you as community members for taking the time to fill these types of surveys out when we need you to.  Lyons consistently has the highest return rate.  That says to folks in town and outside of town that Lyons as a community is committed to participating in the process.  You get it and understand that providing your feedback is a vital step in the process of continually trying to improve ourselves.  So thank you for taking the time to fill those out when you are asked to do so.  Anyway, the housing study results show we could really benefit from rental houses and moderate income affordable housing.  This isn’t really new for us but it again tells us that our partnership with Three Rivers Housing is on the right track for providing this type of housing as is our program for giving city owned lots free and clear to folks who plan to build new construction on them.  We are all in this together and together we make good things happen.  This all makes me think that we should be looking into building a new school instead of talking about consolidation.  I think we should be dreaming big.  What about you?

We can talk about the other less exciting things happening around the city but the list is kind of short these days.  We will be filling cracks in some of the streets shortly.  We donated the old auditorium chairs (the metal ones) to the fire department.  We are in the process of a water, sewer and natural gas study.  All will require some adjustments to keep up with rising costs and infrastructure improvements and up-keep.  The Center for Rural Affairs is working on their own grant that will involve Lyons and a few surrounding towns.  It will place public works of art in each community that is designed and constructed in that community.  Should be a fun project to participate in.  All of these things are resulting in making Lyons a better place to live.  I know this doesn’t happening without a lot of hard work by a lot of good and dedicated people.  Some would even say you make your own luck by putting effort into whatever you are trying to accomplish.  I would say those folks are right.  You shouldn’t depend on the lottery for your retirement savings, right!  However, I do think good luck makes more good luck and minimizes any bad luck you might have along the way.  So we’ll continue to work hard making Lyons a strong community but we’ll also take a little “luck of the Irish” along the way as well!  Every little bit helps!  That’s it for now.  We’ll talk to you soon.  Enjoy the warmer weather!

 

 

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