To the editor:

Throughout the last two months, the city of Lansing has worked hard to spread the word about their upcoming mail ballot sales tax election. If approved by Lansing’s voters, this would increase Lansing’s sales tax from 8.5 percent to 8.95 percent. While this would be an increase, it would still keep Lansing on the lower end of the spectrum of cities on the Kansas side of the KC metro area. Approval of this sales tax would allow the city to move forward with needed upgrades, like DeSoto Road from Eisenhower to Ida Street, and further development of Bernard Park. The city has been discussing these improvements for over a decade and the time for action is now.

The DeSoto Road project will improve the intersection of Eisenhower and DeSoto by adding dedicated left turn lanes, alleviating problems of two lanes merging into one, and backlog issues on Eisenhower at rush hour. When added, the dedicated left turn lane will reduce the amount of time people get backed up behind someone turning left. The city was awarded $2.2 million in grant funding from the federal government over a decade ago, and if the project is not completed in the next two years, Lansing will forfeit the grant and have to pay back money already spent on engineering. This project will make Eisenhower Road and DeSoto Road much safer and improve the flow of traffic.

Bernard Park is due for many enhancements. Although the city has a serene lake and terrific playground equipment at Bernard Park, the city still does not have utilities at this location. These funds will help the city to continue further improvements at Bernard Park, and sets the foundation for future baseball and soccer fields.

When the time comes to return my ballot, I will be voting yes for Lansing’s future.

Gene Kirby is a member of the Lansing City Council.