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Gulbranson resigns as Public Works Director

Lennox City Council approved the resignation of Jeremy Gulbranson, Public Works Director, during Monday night’s council meeting, with his final day being next week.

The City has now received resignations from both licensed operators for the City’s water/wastewater systems.

Lennox City Administrator Nathan Vander Plaats explained that after Gulbranson’s resignation was received, Vander Plaats spoke to Stockwell Engineers and requested a plan to handle municipal utilities until staff can be hired.

Vander Plaats said last week the City posted the job opening for the Water/Wastewater Specialist position. However, he stated, the Public Works Director position is a much more difficult position to fill. He shared both a short-term and long-term plan with the council on how to deal with serving the needs of the community. He proposed hiring two Water/Wastewater Specialists with current licensure to handle the day to day operation and on-call needs of the water and wastewater systems, and utilize Stockwell for technical expertise, emergency operations, and permit compliance.

Vander Plaats also suggested a temporary pay increase of 20% for street department employees Darren Mechels (Streets Foreman) and Brian Lathrop (Street Maintenance Specialist).

After brief discussion, Council approved a motion to authorize advertising and interviewing for two Water/Wastewater Specialist, and a motion directing the City Administrator to prepare a request for proposal for water/wastewater operations. It was also approved to provide a temporary pay increase for Mechels and Lathrop.

In other business Monday night, council approved Ordinance 606, which updates the City’s language and definitions around ‘sexually oriented businesses’.

Council approved the Water Tower Lease agreement with Lincoln County that had been previously tabled. Lincoln County has requested use of the City’s north water tower for internet connectivity at the new 4H building north of Lennox.

Council approved a special event application from the Lennox High School Booster Club for a glow run on March 27.

Previously known as the Tanner Bainbridge Glow Run, School Administrator Becky Kuyper explained that the Booster Club is now holding a Glow Run as a fundraiser for the Booster Club. More information on the glow run can be found on page 16.

This event will require the closure of several intersections and possibly Boynton Avenue for a short period in order to safely allow runners to complete the race. The Fire Department and Police Department have been contacted for traffic control, and both appear willing to provide that service.

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