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Spring Valley City Council talks chickens

Fri, Mar 29th, 2013
Posted in Spring Valley Government

By Gary Peterson

The Spring Valley City Council met on March 25th and started off the meeting by opening the Public Hearing on the proposed Chicken Ordinance. Mayor Struzyk opened the hearing by saying; “there is a need for regulation of the chickens as they have started to move into the city.” The ordinance spells out what property owners who raise chickens need to do to be in compliance. The ordinance was drafted based on examples from other cities such as Rushford.

A half a dozen people gave their opinions and had some questions regarding such issues as distances from adjoining property and when they need to have a permit and when one is not needed. Denise Caldwell of 601 Hillcrest said her lot was 205 feet deep and 82 feet wide. She asked if she required a permit and City Administrator Deb Zimmer indicated that despite all the maps there will be no need to be all that accurate if the neighbors don’t complain. The distance is 150 feet and anything less than that will need approval. Another property owner from the north section said that chickens “make wonderful pets. They are clean and love to be petted!”

Concern was also voiced about the chicken’s safety from two hawks that have been seen in the neighborhood. One person said that the chicken coops will have to be constructed with a roof over the structure to discourage the hawks.

There was a minimum amount of discussion by the Council. Tony Archer stated, “we need to start somewhere and see where it goes.” He motioned for approval and the new chicken ordinance was passed with all members voting “aye.”

The audit review was presented by Smith Schafer Associates and it showed a positive position for the city.

•The General Fund unassigned fund balance equals 120 percent of the annual general fund expenditures.

•There is also a Capital Improvement fund balance of $754,090 available for future capital needs.

•LGA (Local Government Aid) provided $797,702 while property taxes provided $892,543 in 2012 revenue.

•All debt service funds are being adequately funded and all outstanding bonds are being paid on a timely basis,

•Revenues in the City’s five utilities are generally keeping pace with rising operating expenses, servicing all debt requirements and developing needed reserves for future capital projects, although Water Fund exhausted its cash reserves in 2012.

Chad Hindt of the street department said that they are cleaning up snow and plan on filling pot holes the 2nd week in April.

Ambulance Director Jim Cooper said that he still has coverage issues because of lack of personnel.

City Administrator Deb Zimmer said that the Board of Review will meet April 8th at 5:30 pm and the City Wide Cleanup will be on Saturday, April 27th from 10 am to 1 pm.

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