Lennox City Council discuses baseball field use policy



Due to some scheduling issues, the Lennox Council meeting started at 8 p.m. on Monday. A large chunk of the meeting was spent on discussion of baseball field use policy. This agenda item was added at the request of aldermen Sam Bowers and Chad Reilly. Reilly voiced concern over having non-Lennox Park and Rec teams use the field without compensation, with exception to the Legion and Amateur teams. Lennox City Administrator said current policy states that there will be no fee if the team is comprised of 75% of kids from the municipality. Alderwoman Britney Mower said that the Lennox Park and Rec program includes kids from the Lennox School District. She stated that field use is scheduled by the Park and Rec teams first and schedule times open after that. New Legion Baseball Coach Curt Lottman addressed the council and said the Legion would discuss taking on the 13 year old team. No action was taken, or recommendations made.

Other additions to the agenda included personnel — staffing the pool and police department. One visitor spoke to the council stating their support for the Lennox Senior Center.

The consent agenda was approved as presented, which included Minutes of previous Meetings, City Administrator’s Report, Claims, City Engineer’s Report, and the Finance Report. For more information on the reports see page 12 or visit www.cityoflennoxsd.com.

Council approved the second reading of Ordinance 627. There have been no changes to this ordinance after the first reading on February 28, 2022. The City of Lennox is proposing updates to the City’s ordinances for excavations and building codes.

Council approved the second reading of Ordinance 629, also with no changes since the first reading. The City of Lennox Planning Commission requested that language be drafted that would allow milled asphalt for use on parking areas within the Light Industrial and Heavy Industrial zones.

Council accepted the bid from Asphalt Surfacing Company in the amount of $120,707 for the 2022 Slurry Seal project in Lennox.

Council approved to advertise for bids for the South Ash Street/South Main Street Improvements Project.

There was a first reading of Ordinance 628, this includes an update from the last City Council meeting to include residential steel roofs as allowed. Vander Plaats explained in a memo, “Several years ago, Lennox Zoning Ordinances were changed to restrict the building materials used on churches and schools that are within the Single-Family and Multi-Family zones.”

Vander Plaats continued, “I would consider these to be aesthetic in nature, as the banned materials are typically allowable in modern buildings. As such, I would recommend doing away with such aesthetic requirements, and simply rely on the building materials permitted by the International Building Code and/or the International Residential Code.”

Council approved a three year maintenance agreement with Pipe Detectives in the amount of $19,800. Utilities Superintendent Kyle Ramynke had reached out for quotes for this year’s budgeted cleaning of sanitary sewer — Pipe Detectives from North Dakota came through with the lowest price for this year, as well as a multi-year contract to cover all of Lennox.

Four life guards were approved for hire and the vacant police sergeant position was discussed in executive session. Following executive session no action was taken.

Highlights from reports include the following:

The City Administrator Report — Department heads are meeting monthly to discuss and provide information on improvements we can make in community engagement. In February, staff discussed possible social media calendars with timely information shared from each department. The survey designed last month has now been activated, and distributed by Facebook.

Bids for the Boynton Avenue Project were opened on March 2, and awarded on March 7. We anticipate a pre-construction meeting being scheduled in the coming weeks, with construction scheduled to start May 1, 2022. We have received a number of the necessary easements and H-lots, but some important ones are still outstanding. Staff will continue to work to secure the H-lots and permanent easements, with temporary easements being a secondary concern.

Last but not least, the financing package has not been finalized yet, though we have received word that will help move that process along.

1) DOT Transportation Alternatives Grant. The City’s application was approved.

2) DOT Community Access Grant. We received a denial on this $500,000 grant.

3) ARPA Funds. As part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, local governments are receiving funds to spur local economic recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic. Lennox has received half of their approximately $440,000 so far, with the second payment scheduled for this year. In January, SD DANR announced that communities pledging those funds toward water and sewer projects would receive matching funds from the State’s ARPA allocation. At this time, we are hoping to be able to dedicate these funds to Boynton Avenue, though DANR has not issued guidance on whether previously approved projects would be an acceptable use of the funds.

The City Engineer’s Report — Boynton Avenue Project construction contract was awarded to Hulstein Excavating, Inc. Contracts are being prepared and will be routed for signatures. Over the next several weeks, Stockwell staff will assist the contractor in reviewing submittals and preparing schedules for the project. Stockwell continues to assist in acquiring easements for the project.

For the 2022 Street Improvements Project, the City plans to improve Main Street south of Hwy 44 and Ash Street north of 5th Avenue during the 2022 construction season. Work along Main Street will include removing the existing roadway pavement, extending sanitary sewer facilities, stabilizing the roadway subgrade and constructing a concrete roadway. Improvements along Ash Street include upgrading the gravel street section to an urbanized street section with curb and gutter and asphalt pavement. Minor improvements to underground infrastructure will be included.

Since our last report, Stockwell staff provided force account services for the following projects: SRF Funding Applications ▪ Slurry Seal Project ▪ Pre-annexa