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Citizens plead for plowed walking trails

Fri, Nov 14th, 2008
Posted in Government

SPRING VALLEY - Kathy Jetson and Marcia Ptacek made clear their wish to have the city maintain part of the trail at Spring Creek Park during the winter to allow for walking at the Spring Valley City Council's November 10 meeting. Councilmen Jeff Vehrenkamp and Jason Holland were absent.

During the last meeting of the council on October 27 there had been a misunderstanding and the women were not there to plead their case. At that meeting the council had voted unanimously not to plow the trails unless there was funding available for that work and more interest from city residents.

The women insisted that there is no place in that area for residents to walk their dogs or for seniors to walk other than in the street when there is heavy snow cover. They argued that cross country skiers have areas out in the country to ski and don't need the use of the trails. Jetson insisted that the streets in winter are rough and dirty for walking. She said that a lot of people would use the trails for walking in the winter and that the only thing she was requesting was for there to be a clean place to walk.

Park and Recreation Director John Fenske suggested that the Community Center is open in the morning for people wishing to walk. Jetson asked if the center allows for dogs. Fenske conceded that it doesn't. Jetson said that they weren't asking for the snow to be removed to the blacktop surface just skimmed off and made walkable. Fenske maintained if snow was left the trail snowmobiles would use the trail and damage the blacktop even though their use is prohibited on the trail.

Mayor Jim Struzyk wanted the city staff to check on the policy of other cities and to find out what the work would cost the city. Councilman Bill Bires said that for him the cost was the main reason to not plow the trails. The issue will be on the agenda again at the November 24 meeting.

Other Business

• A resolution was passed to allow the city to apply for a grant for Business Development Infrastructure. The maximum possible from the grant would be $250,000.

• City Administrator Deb Zimmer explained that local units of government and the county have put together the Fillmore County Hazard Mitigation Plan which has been accepted by FEMA. The council passed a resolution adopting the plan.

• A resolution was passed accepting the November 4 election results for the city.

• The city will advertise for bids for the pool renovation project. It is estimated that the work can be done by June 5, 2009. The project is estimated to cost over $161,000 plus an additional $17,000 for engineering. An additional cost of $20,000 is estimated for extra play features. Fenske expects that fund raisers will be needed for these extras.

The council voted to accept the plans and specifications and to start the bidding process.

• A payment of $30,771.02 to Road Constructors, Inc. was approved with the completion of the 2007 Utility Improvements. Zimmer noted that there is still a retainage until a few minor things are taken care of.

• Deb Zimmer explained that the work to remove and replace the sidewalk in front of the Community Center had been put out for bids. Only one bid had been submitted by Legends Concrete Inc., Rochester, for the amount of $6,470.00. The bid was accepted and the work is expected to be completed before Thanksgiving. The Community Center will be closed for a three or four day period while the work is being done.

• Employee Safety Training will take place on Monday, December 8 at City Hall. The building will be closed during that day, but the scheduled council meeting will be held that evening.

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