Lennox City Council held their regular meeting on March 23 at City Hall. Meetings continue to be broadcast live on YouTube for the public.
Members present were Tracy West, Greg Poppenga, Billy Welch, Sam Bowers, Chad Reilly, Brock Rops and Chad Wulf. Members absent: None. Staff present were City Administrator Nathan Vander Plaats and Finance Officer Denise Hanson. Others present were members of the community.
The agenda was approved with one item under executive session for water/wastewater positions. No visitors were there to be heard. Council approved the Consent Agenda, which included the minutes, claims, and reports.
Under old business, Council discussed the Ambulance Policies and Procedures, due to the fact that he City has, in the past, refrained from billing fire fighters for EMS services from the Lennox Ambulance. The issue was tabled to the April 6th meeting.
Under new business, Council passed Resolution 2020-3-23-01 SDRS SRP Automatic Enrollment was approved. The City adopted a policy in 2015 that automatically enrolls employees in the SDRS Supplemental Retirement Plan.
Council also passed Resolution 2020-3-23-02 Ward 1 Redistricting: which states new annexed properties must be added to a voting ward prior to the City’s 2020 election.
Discussion was held on items that will be used for performance management. Vander Plaats gave a few examples for Police and Ambulance.
Council approved an update to the response plan for COVID-19, to include closing City Hall to the public. Staff will still work, and public can still be helped over the phone, or by email. The drop box is open for payments or other correspondence. City Hall can be reached by phone at 605-647-2286. The entire plan can be read online at www.cityoflennoxsd.com or www.lennoxnews.com.
Notice for Public Meetings and Events :
• Summer Sign-Up – This event has been canceled. An online event will be explored.
• Election Day – Election Day on April 14 will continue as planned. Voters will wash or sanitize hands upon entering City Hall and upon completion of voting. Voting stations, pens, and tables will be wiped down with a disinfecting wipe or solution after each vote.
• City Council and Planning Commission Meetings. City Council and Planning Commission meetings will continue as scheduled. However, residents are encouraged to attend these meetings virtually through the City’s live streaming service on YouTube. Residents wishing to speak during public comment are encouraged to submit statements or comments in advance to be read on their behalf and/or distributed to the City Council.
• Library Story Time – This event has been canceled until further notice.
• Non-essential employee travel will be suspended.
It was noted by Mayor West that he has been in contact with area mayors and is looking to take a unified approach. He will continue to be in communication with those other officials.
Mayor West also noted that he had a meeting with local businesses scheduled for Tuesday.
“Noem seems to be pushing it to us — the municipalities,” Mayor West said.
City Administrator Nathan Vander Plaats said at some point they will have to determine essential and non-essential businesses.
Council member Brock Rops said, “There should be some things in place that we’re going to do. Look, there are going to be, approximately, based on data here, in Lennox or the surrounding area, 1500 people that are gonna get this thing.”
He continued to explain that even if most of the people can take care of themselves at home, it still leaves a substantial number of vulnerable people that will require treatment. He added that people should not panic, and approach it in a reasonable way.
Mayor West echoed the necessity of social distancing.
Also under new business Monday night, Vander Plaats presented a list of additional seasonal staff for approval, the following individuals were approved for hire: Callie Luke, Lifeguard, $12.00/hour, Andrew Daugherty, Lifeguard, $12.00/hour, Ashlyn Rust, Lifeguard, $12.00/hour.
The Council then went into executive session.
Council was scheduled to have a special meeting of an emergency ordinance to address closing bars and restaurants.