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Lennox council moves to open Rubble Site 24/7

Lennox City Council held their second regular monthly meeting on Monday, August 26, 2019. Council approved the agenda with adding grant application to new business and the ambulance report was moved to the next meeting. Ambulance personnel had a call prior to the meeting and were unable to attend.

Under visitors to be heard, one resident asked for details about the recent Facebook post made by the City of Lennox that stated 160 tons of asphalt have been used.

City Administrator Nathan Vander Plaats and Utilities Superintendent Jeremy Gulbranson answered with several examples of where street work has been done.

The public hearing for the Cedar Street Special Assessment was opened by Mayor Tracy West. The purpose of this hearing was to have Lennox City Council consider any objections to the proposed resolution by owners of the property liable to be assessed. One resident was in attendance to speak to the topic, he asked for details on the project.

Finance officer Denise Hanson explain that residents had petitioned in 2018 to have that block of Cedar paved and the city was completing that now. The resident asked for a more specific date of when work would be done.

Vander Plaats said it would likely be the last week of September/first week of October.

The public hearing was closed. Council then went on to approve the minutes of the Aug. 12 meeting and the claims as presented.

Under reports, city librarian Audrea Buller said that the summer reading program had ended with a picnic. Buller said that 78 people were served. She expressed her appreciation to Todd Shuman of Lennox Sunshine Foods for his donation of buns and water.

Buller added that the final numbers for the reading program were just under 1,100 in attendance at summer events. Story time will begin this fall.

Council then considered a proposal to adjust the hours of the Rubble Site to keep it open around the clock for residents to use at their convenience, and to layoff all Rubble Site Attendants, effective October 1, 2019.

The City of Lennox operates a Rubble Site under a DENR permit. This site is open from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, and from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays.

Vander Plaats said the current hours of operation for the Lennox Rubble Site are restrictive and difficult to staff consistently.

His recommendation was to adjust the hours of the Rubble Site to keep it open around the clock for residents to use at their convenience, and to layoff all Rubble Site Attendants, effective October 1, 2019. Water and Sewer staff will be responsible for inspecting the site daily and taking the appropriate disposal and documentation actions. Additionally, he recommended doing away with Rubble Site Passes, though this will reduce the funding available for disposal of unacceptable materials.

Council members supported the extended hours. Council member Chad Reilly questioned getting rid of passes however.

After discussion, council approved the change amending it to include keeping the cost of passes for residents and businesses. The site will be monitored by security cameras.

Shane Waterman of Clark Engineering presented information about the company to the council. Clark engineering professionals are registered in 46 states and three Canadian provinces. They serve clients throughout the United States and internationally from their headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with locations in Aberdeen, Huron, Pierre, Sioux Falls, and Watertown, South Dakota.

Council approved the first reading of Ordinance #594: R2 Multi-Family Housing District. The ordinance reduces the minimum lot area of a single family detached home to 6,000 sq. ft. (from 8,000), minimum lot width to 50 sq. ft. (from 65) and the side yard to 5 ft. (from 7) in an R2: Multi-Family Residential District.

Vander Plaats explained that Lennox Planning and Zoning Regulations hold residential structures in the R2 MultiFamily Housing District to the same requirements as R1 Single Family Housing District.

He said, “The City of Lennox met with Nielsen Construction in July to discuss zoning and sub-division requirements for the Countryside Addition. During that discussion, the participants reviewed and discussed the lack of difference between R1 and R2 Zoning Districts. As currently written, Lennox Zoning Regulations provide for odd differences and similarities for lot size, width and side-yard width between R1 and R2 housing.”

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