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Council approves infrastructure projects, discusses animal control laws

The Lennox City Council met Monday, March 11 in the Lennox City Boardroom. Council members heard agenda items.

Mitch Mergen, with Stockwell Engineering, joined the meeting to get board action to approve Change Order #1 for the Central Basin 4 project. 

“We have a few items from last year’s project that we need to get the contractor paid for and we can walk through the items to get you familiar with it. There were some small things added to the project that were eligible for state funding. We have some work coming onto the project that’s not eligible, but that has more to do with the side streets that weren’t in the best shape to begin with. The project staff has decided they want to repair those areas and add that to the project. So, we have to be a little careful how denote that in the change order because the funding people won’t pay for those things that are outside the project,” Mergen said. 

There are additional project improvements that are to take place with the bid which include pedestrian barricades, hydrant extensions, electrical work on a light pole on private property, concrete stairs and more. 

“We would use second penny sales tax bonds that are still available, we’ve got about $610,000 that is still available,” said City Administrator, Nate Vander Plaats. 

Motion approved.

Mergen also requested the board award 2024 slurry seal project bid to Asphalt Surfacing Technologies. 

“If you remember this is a project that the City of Sioux Falls lets and the neighboring communities participate in that letting. They had two bidders this year and the lowest bid was for Asphalt Surfacing Technologies out of St. Cloud, Minnesota. I’ve never worked with them, there are a lot of these slurry seal contractors that come through and we don’t see them very often because they’re regional, but I know Sioux Falls is planning to award their contract to Asphalt Surfacing Technology, so I would recommend you do the same if you want to participate this year,” he said. 

Motion approved.

The City of Lennox wishes to join the South Dakota Water and Wastewater Resources Network. “This is an agreement we’ve executed before; I think back in 2019, it is a emergency response kind of a mutual aid agreement between water and wastewater systems throughout the state. There’s no cost to participate if we opt to provide personnel or equipment or material to another system, that is reimbursed and same thing if we request from someone else for assistance. You hope you never need something like this, but we have had instances in the past five years where we probably could have used some help, there are towns and systems that have definitely needed and gotten the help over that same time frame,” Vander Plaats said. 

Motion approved.

Brian Lathrop, Street Superintendent, joined the meeting to get board approval for a replacement street sweeper. 

“The Street Department is looking at purchasing a new street sweeper. The one that we have, we bought brand new in 2002. Since 2019, we have had roughly $21,000 in repairs due to it’s old and it does the dirtiest job in town. We are now at the point where all of the mechanical sweeping elements need repairs. The price they quoted me on was quite a bit more substantial, it was over $20,000 and the machine is worth maybe $5,000,” he said. 

Lathrop would like to accept the bid for a 2014 Elgin Pelican NP from Midwest Machinery in Omaha, Nebraska for $77,750. Motion approved.

Alderman Billy Welch and Chad Reilly requested an agenda item for a discussion of existing leash laws and laws relating to animals at large. 

“I think we’ve had lots of instances in town of animals at large and so either we need to do something different or have more strict ordinances in place and I’m guessing there are other options form what we currently have. If we can strengthen them and hopefully get people to be responsible pet owners along the way, I don’t have a magic wand, but you can wish,” said Mayor Stacy DuChene. 

Alderman Britney Mower asked if there are more things being done in other communities that aren’t being done here. 

“Not really, for the size of our municipality. Our enforcement rate on animals at large is on par, in doing some research, we had 107 animal calls in the past 12 months. The way we enforce our city ordinances typically is if we catch a dog at large, we will warn them and give them the benefit of the doubt that that’s their mulligan, the second time they’re going to get cited. Some people, you can cite them 50 times and they don’t mind paying the fine is what I take out of that. I have had heart-to-heart conversations, I’ve pled with them, begged them, but at the end of the day, they refer to the well it’s only $100,” said Police Chief Will Ericksen. 

In the last 12 months, there were 107 total calls, 15 animal bites, 65 animal calls, and seven missing animal calls. Ericksen believes less than 20 citations have been given out through the last 12 months. Ericksen will be in touch with the attorney to find out what options are available to the City.


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