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Council addresses resolutions, agreements, and background checks

The Lennox City Council met Monday, Oct. 23 in the Lennox City Hall boardroom to discuss agenda items brought before them including resolutions, a new fence agreement, and background checks.

Finance Officer, Denise Hanson read Resolution 2023-10-23-01. A resolution approving the special assessment roll for nuisance abatements in various areas within the City of Lennox.

“This is for the nuisance that has been sent out, there are three of them, and invoices were sent to each resident. We have not collected funds for those abatement so it is time to send it out to the County and it will go on their taxes,” she said.

Motion approved.

The City of Lennox is seeking to approve a temporary construction agreement with the owners of 504 W 1st Avenue.

“You will recall that the owners of 504 W 1st Avenue graciously allowed the City to use their property for a temporary access to N Academy Street and Sunset Circle during the Central Basin 4 Project. While it has taken some time to finalize, we have reached a final resolution on the temporary easement, and this resolution provides final approval for the City Council. I will clarify as well for those on tie-in portions of this project that we do not intend to use a special assessment on those properties. Refraining from a special assessment on tie-ins is consistent with past practice, and is a fair approach,” City Administrator, Nate Vander Plaats said.

Motion approved.

The City of Lennox has received a formal proposal for a joint project on the City’s little league field and softball field. The LBSA submitted a proposal this month to jointly make the following improvements: new fencing on the little league field to fully enclose the field at regulation distances, new backstops for the little league field and softball field, and dugout improvements at the little league field.

“The LBSA is asking the City to share in 50% of the costs, with LBSA’s maximum contribution to the effort at $13,000. The City of Lennox budgeted approximately $13,000 for this project in the FY 2024 budget. With volunteer labor, I believe these improvements are very achievable, and would greatly improve the baseball and softball experience for our families and visitors alike,” Vander Plaats said.

Motion approved.

The City of Lennox must improve background check procedures for employees and volunteers.

“For some time, the City of Lennox has used the South Dakota Unified Judicial System (UJS) to complete background checks on prospective employees and volunteers. This method is free to local governments, but does not provide a thorough search as only South Dakota criminal records are returned. The City of Lennox approached several background check providers earlier this year, and only received one proposal from Clearstar. Working with Clearstar, we have identified a plan that will work for us at approximately $35 per background check. Additional checks can be run as needed such as a CDL verification,” Vander Plaats said.

The employee checks are limited due to infrequent turnover, but safety policies require an annual drivers record check. The board agreed that the safety of the children playing sports far outweighed the cost of the background checks. Pending the City Attorney approval, motion approved.

Vander Plaats asked Hanson to look into a second option for Health Savings Account plans and she reported back with another option from the Health Pool of South Dakota.

“With HSA plans there is no co-payment so everything is paid out of pocket until the deductible is met. After that it is 100% paid. Because there is a savings between plan D and plan G, it is proposed that the City would give the savings of the health plan to the employee’s HSA plan. This would be done each pay period. For example the single health plan savings between plan D and plan G is $1630.00/year and would give the employee’s HSA account $62.69 each pay period” she said.

Open enrollment begins on November 15 and Hanson is going to do more research on the plans before that time.


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