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Spring Valley City Council organizes for 2014

Fri, Jan 17th, 2014
Posted in Spring Valley Government

The Spring Valley City Council met on January 13 and approved a long list of first of the year business. The minutes from the December 9 and December were approved. The January Preliminary Accounts Payables consisting of eight pages was approved along with the designation of the Spring Valley Tribune as the Official Newspaper.

The Security State Bank, Home Federal Savings Bank, First State Bank and the First National Bank were all designated as the official depositories of city funds for calendar year 2014 with Home Federal Savings Bank being designation as the depository of the city’s primary checking, Payroll and HRA accounts.

The corporate authorization resolution was approved in the names of Mayor Jim Struzyk and City Administrator Deb Zimmer. One of their duties is to endorse checks and orders for the payment of money or otherwise withdraw or transfer funds on deposit with this financial institution.

The list of required license fees and permits stretched from a $35 annual Cigarette License Fee to a $1,500 sewer connection fee. There are 24 different permits or fees that make up the list. It would appear as though the dogs and cats are under scrutiny. First of all a dog or cat license costs $10. The late fee is $25.00, the dog or cat shelter fee is $25 and a dog or cat at large is $25 for the first offense, $50 for the second offense and $75 for the third offense and the fourth offense amounts to $150. Other permits cover On Sale Liquor, Excavator, parking, obstructions, permit application fee, preliminary plat fee, zooming permits and special assessments. One permit that apparently missed the list is that of licenses for chickens. A quick check with Deb Zimmer indicated that the “hens should require a $10 permit.” Roosters are apparently excluded.

A resolution was passed which establishes coverage for injuries to elected and appointed officials.

Reimbursables were established for the city personnel policy. Mileage $0.56 per mile, dinner not to exceed $15 if travel is later than 6:00, lunch is $10 and breakfast not to exceed $7.00 if the employee left home before 6:00 a.m. The total combined reimbursement per day shall not exceed $32 and there is no alcoholic beverages. Overnight lodging cannot exceed $140 per night.

A resolution was passed approving write offs of certain uncollectible ambulance accounts with the Spring Valley Area Ambulance Service. The total write offs per this resolution is $21,290.12.

The mayor announced the designating of official appointments. The Emergency Managers named were Mike Zimmer, Jeff Kappers, and John Dols. Troy Lange was appointed Fire Chief, the 1st Assistant Chief is Brian Danielson and Greg Stender was appointed 2nd Assistant Chief. Steve Himlie was appointed to a three year term on the EDA and Jim Struzyk and Jeff Vehrenkamp were appointed as one year terms. Bob Tieffenbacher was appointed to the cable access Board for a five year term and Karen Cleveland and Rita Bezdicek were named to the Library Board for three year terms. Lyle Danielson was appointed to the Utilities Board replacing Lee Himlie. Julie Mlinar will have a three year term on Tourism. The Zoning adjust board will have Mike Lee and Jim Steinmetz and the five year term on the Osterud/Winter Trust will be filled by Brian Danielson.

Mayor Struzyk and council members expressed their “Thanks” to all of the people that have served on boards and Commissions in the past and currently.

Ambulance Director Jim Cooper appeared before the council and asked them to consider enacting a proposed rate increase conducted by the Minnesota Ambulance Association on ambulance rates. According to Cooper the survey showed that “we are quite low compared to the statewide averages.” The average mileage is $17.24 statewide and the Spring Valley Ambulance Association charges $11. The average for BLS Emergency is $935 and Spring Valley charges $525. BLS Non-Emergency statewide is $763, Spring Valley is $385. ALS emergency average is $1294 compared to $640 with Spring Valley. Cooper is recommending that mileage be increased to $17, BLS Emergency from $525 to $925, BLS Non-Emergency from $385 to $700. ALS Emergency from $640 to $1,200. Cooper asked the council to consider the change in rates. He also pointed out that the last time a rate adjustment was made was in April 1, 2003. At that time the ambulance garage was still in the old gas station.

A Fire Service Agreement was approved between the City of Spring Valley and the Spring Valley rural Fire District, which is composed of Townships of Frankford, Bloomfield, Forestville, Sumner, Spring Valley and Racine. The district is a joint powers entity formed under Minnesota Statutes, Section 471.59 and is authorized to negotiate and enter into a single agreement on behalf of its member townships to obtrain fire service for the portions of the townships included in the district.

The ordinance Providing For The Regulation, Maintenance, and Occupancy Of Rental Housing In the City Of Spring Valley was brought out and a couple of the council members asked questions about it and asked Deb Zimmer if it would be on the agenda on either February 24 or March 1. She said that it probably would be but for sure there would be another Public Hearing. Meanwhile the council will study the Proposed Ordinance and decide what parts of it need to be enacted or changed to meet the purpose of the ordinance.

Barb Smith furnished the council with a report on the Spring Valley Growers/Farmers Market End of Year Report for 2013. She said that they had 12 paid vendors last year and has a balance of $175.48 as of January 3 of 2014. Smith’s letter continued and indicated that some of the vendors requested hours be changed and possible moving to the Tourist Information Center or perhaps discontinuing the market and giving the money back to the vendors. She cited that on the first of May the parking lot was filled with snow, mud and water. Later on in the summer the vendors faced other usual challenges hot weather, rain and wind but they still persevered. The council listened but took no action.

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