During the Spring Valley City Council’s regular meeting on January 10, the council heard from Ambulance Director Sue Puffer. Puffer stated, “Last year, we had a total of 482 calls, down a bit from the year before.” In explaining the reason for the decrease, she added, “I think it had a lot to do with the new four-way stop at the Kwik Trip intersection, because we had a number of calls the year before at that intersection, and we did not have those this year.” Council members present included Mayor Tony Archer, John Dols, Luan Ruesink and Greg Brooks. City Administrator/Clerk Deb Zimmer also participated. Chris Danielson was absent.
The council approved the purchase of three pieces of equipment. A copier for City Hall was approved, with Zimmer explaining that it will cost around $5000, and is similar to the old copier that needs to be replaced. She said the purchase price was included in this year’s budget.
A new street sweeper purchase was approved, at a total cost of $243,248, which includes delivery and training. An $18,000 trade-in allowance will be applied to lower the cost.
A new John Deere Gator purchase for the Park & Rec Department was approved, at a total cost of $10,934.
The mayor and council voiced kudos to citizens and organizations that stepped up to help during the December wind storm, and the resulting power outage. Ruesink said, “I want to give special recognition to our Utilities Department for all their hard work in dealing with the December storm, and getting power back up to our city so quickly.” Mayor Archer said he heard of citizens who opened their doors to welcome people from other nearby towns who were without power for significantly longer than Spring Valley.
Citizen Ken Cleveland addressed the council, stating, “I just have a question as to why the county roads that go through Spring Valley are the worst roads in town? They’re not smooth.” He went on to explain that he wasn’t referring to snow removal, but to the actual road surface itself. Mayor Archer suggested he bring his concern to county officials, and Deb Zimmer added, “County 8, coming in on Farmer Street, they’re going to redo that in ’23.”
Because John Fenske was not present, John Dols updated the council on happenings involving the Park & Rec Department. He stated, “The fourth, fifth and sixth grade basketball started their season and will be hosting their first event this Saturday at the high school. John would like to thank al the coaches who are able to help out. Without them, we would not be able to make this program possible.”
Dols then added, “The Grant Street rink is frozen and being used by many people. Special thank you to Jim Edgar for all of his work making ice and having that recreational opportunity available to our community.”
Mayor Archer read portions of Aaron Hamersma’s report of the Wastewater Treatment Plant, including, “On 12/15, power was out for close to two hours. A standby generator ran at the plant. They took the portable generator to the lift station and they could not get the pump station to run off the generator power.” He added that since that time, the voltage output on that generator has been adjusted to avoid this problem recurring. Greg Brooks asked if there is a regular schedule of testing generators, and Zimmer said the treatment plant tests and runs the generators monthly.
The council passed nine resolutions for various annual designations, including naming the official newspaper and depository, designating official mayor appointments, and setting fees for 2022. The council also approved a request from the Spring Valley Historical Society for $12,500. Zimmer said this is the same amount the Historical Society requests every year.
Dustin Johnson, the new fire chief for Spring Valley, gave an update on happenings at the fire department.
The next meeting of the council will be Monday, February 14 at 6 p.m., at city hall. The public is welcome.