During the Lansing Board of Aldermen meeting on Monday, it was revealed the owners of the old Lansing School building have offered to sell the building to Greater Lansing Area Development (GLAD) for $240,000.
“If nobody does anything with the school, it will continue to deteriorate until it has to be torn down,” said Dylan Lightfoot, who mentioned the proposed sell during the public comment section of the meeting.
According to Lightfoot, the current proprietors have owned the building for eight years, and “haven’t done anything with it.” He also called the building “the architectural centerpiece” of the community.
The Lansing School building could have several practical uses for the community. During a discussion between the aldermen, it was said Lansing Town Hall could be relocated into the old school building, and the school could hold weddings and other gatherings.
Lightfoot suggested the community start a fundraiser to assist GLAD in purchasing the building. He also said this news had just been delivered to him, and he had no other details at the time.
Another issue was brought to the surface during public comment. Lansing Alderman Brenda Reeves said Jimmy Hendrix, the security guard at Ashe County Hospital, volunteered to be a town police officer in Lansing.
According to Reeves, Hendrix could help oversee a newly-formed police department, help with the paperwork, and Hendrix may have connections to reasonably-priced police cars for the town.
“This is the ideal time,” said Reeves about hiring a town officer.
According to the board, a town police officer position cannot be a volunteer position, it must be a part-time paid position.
Still, a town police officer could help combat two of the major problems facing the Lansing community, speeding and parking.
“Speeding has become a huge problem. When people come through town, they don’t slow down at all. Our speed limit is 20 mph, and they drive through at anywhere from 50-70 mph,” said Bernice Prestwood, Lansing’s town manager on Tuesday, Jan. 14.
Having a police officer in town could prevent drivers from speeding, but issuing the tickets themselves could provide a boost to the town’s funds.
The town’s parking violations, another issue that could be resolved by an officer, was also brought up during Monday’s meeting. Lansing Mayor George Rembert agreed with the aldermen that parking would become tight during the summer months.
“No one is trying to find a place to park in the winter; the spring and summer are different,” said Rembert.
The town already has an ordinance that applies to cars parked on public property for more than 48 hours.
“Our ordinance says we will put a sticker on it, and if it’s not moved in seven days, we’ll tow it,” said Rembert.
Adding a town officer could make the process easier. The officer could focus on people who speed through town, and also focus on applying stickers to illegally-parked vehicles.
The board considered other items during the meeting:
- In a 4-0 vote, the town granted Ann Rose the option to get rid of a parking space in front of her new business, Rose Mountain Butcher Shoppe, because it affected the insurance for her business. In return, Rose agreed to add two additional parking spaces next to her business.
- The board members agreed they would like the “Goodwill Trailer” to be moved onto town property. The aldermen agreed the trailer is for a good cause, is a part-time job for a local, and will drive traffic to Lansing. “The keystone of our economic plan is to get people to stop for second,” said Lightfoot.