top of page

City Council addresses Museum repairs, and water system expansion

The Lennox City Council met Monday, August 14 in the Lennox boardroom. Agenda items discussed included property neglect, maintenance to the Lennox Museum and the Lewis & Clark Water System expansion.

City Administrator, Nathan Vander Plaats, presented the City Council with an issue of neglect to a property on Cherry Street.

“The City of Lennox has taken civil action against the property owner for neglect of this property. Because that process may take some time to complete, the City is seeking to prevent further issues with grass and weeds,” he said.

Lennox Municipal Ordinances Chapter 3.0104(E) allows the City to name a property owner a habitual violator if two notices to abate have been issued within the preceding 24 months.

“Those notices were issued on May 22, 2023 and June 21, 2023. Naming this owner a habitual violator will allow the City to let a contract to mow the property as needed for the next 24 months, with the costs assessed against the property,” Vander Plaats said.

With no discussion on the agenda item, motion approved.

The Lennox Museum is in need of repairs and maintenance to prevent damage to the building including a tuck-pointing project and roof repair. The building is the only property in Lennox that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“We have a portion of the funding necessary for these two projects prepared. This year’s budget included $40,000 for repairs at the museum, and the Historical Society secured an additional $10,000 grant from the Deadwood Foundation. To complete the tuck pointing and roof project, the City must secure approximately $70,000,” Vander Plaats said.

The Sales Tax Fund would be a likely source for the funding. The current cash balance as of July 1 was over $2 million.

“Approximately $750,000 of this balance is due to the proceeds of two sales tax bonds issued in 2021 and 2022. The remainder of the fund is simply set aside for eventual use in capital improvement projects. Additionally, I anticipate ending fiscal year 2023 with a net gain of approximately $85,000,” Vander Plaats said

Alderman Swier asked Vander Plaats if the proposal has been out to bid.

“The Deadwood Foundation Grant required three quotes and they did get those,” Vander Plaats said.

The City of Lennox agreed to an expansion of the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System in 2021. This expansion would bring Lennox’s water capacity to approximately 650,000 gallons per day.

“The LCRWS Board, on which I serve as Treasurer, has held ongoing discussions on the wisdom and feasibility of accelerating the schedule for this expansion in the interest of reducing the overall cost of the expansion project. A determination on acceleration is expected to be made at the August board meeting, and I would appreciate Council discussion on the matter prior to that meeting,” Vander Plaats said.

Two payment schedules were provided to the City Council and Vander Plaats detailed the differences between them.

“Under both schedules, our first payment would be due starting in 2025. The accelerated schedule shows us completing the system in 2030 instead of 2031. This acceleration results in a cost savings for Lennox of approximately $60,000 or approximately 4% of the project. For LCREWS though, this acceleration would save all members approximately $5 million. In terms of water needs, we have no reason to need this water today, but as the community grows, so will our demand on already allocated water. We do not know when we will need access to additional water, but it is wise to plan for its use sooner rather than later,” Vander Plaats said.

Motion passed.

Vander Plaats requested a motion to approve a grant application for the Xcel Energy Economic Development Grant.

“Lennox las applied for this grant in 2020, and received funding to help improve the softball field. The grant typically funds similar projects, but has funded a number of welcome-type signs to small communities. This grant requests $10,000 to reduce the overall costs to the City for the planned marquee sign at the intersection of Highway 17 and Boynton Avenue,” he said.

Motion approved.


bottom of page