The Spring Valley City Council met in regular session May 8, with all members present (Tony Archer, Todd Jones, Mayor Jim Struzyk, Jessy Betts, Mike Hadland, and City Administrator Deb Zimmer). A main issue in the meeting was the ongoing discussion about animals being kept within the city. Zimmer shared a draft of Section 10.05 “Animals and Fowl,” which now states “other animals” that are allowed includes: dogs, cats, gerbils, rabbits, hamsters, and caged household birds. It also includes a new section stating, “No person shall own, keep, harbor or maintain more than three animals of each species, not including permitted chickens, on their premises within the city or permit such animals to be at large in the city. An owner shall have 90 days from the date of birth of any new members of that species to comply with the provisions of this section.” Zimmer stressed that this is just a draft, aimed at including changes suggested by the council. A citizen addressed the council, asking about families that have more than three children wanting to show animals in 4-H or county fair events. Zimmer said some other cities allow interested citizens to apply for a “breeder license,” which would then allow a household to have up to a specified higher number of animals. Hadland suggested allowing one per person in the household, up to six of each species, with such a permit. No action was taken by the council at this time. Zimmer will bring a draft including changes suggested by the council, and will present it at the next meeting.
The council then discussed a draft of an “Exterior Maintenance” ordinance for buildings and properties within the city. Zimmer said this is just a draft, and is “a starting point” based on what she received from another city. The draft sets out guidelines for required maintenance of properties. Council members spoke in favor of such an ordinance, in part to protect the property values of neighbors. Zimmer said the draft includes language stating, “If 20% or more of a wall or other surface area…has the protective coating peeling, flaking, chipping or deteriorated, then the wall or surface area shall be restored to a protected condition.” Zimmer and council members agreed that they may wish to adjust the 20% to a different number. She asked council members, “Look through it, and get feedback to me.” No formal action was taken on this issue.
The council discussed having Roto-Rooter clean out and televise the lines on the southeast corner of town. Zimmer said the bid is for $11,500, and is an item already in the budget. The council voted to OK Roto-Rooter to proceed as planned. The council also OK’d a change order for the Industrial Drive project, in the amount of $51,883. Zimmer said this change order is “Just for the addition of Washington.”
Mayor Struzyk pointed out a news release regarding the approval for a new veterans home in Fillmore County. Zimmer said, “We’re still getting complaints about dogs in the south park,” mostly related to dog owners not picking up after their dogs. She also reminded the council of the upcoming pancake breakfast (May 21), Almanzo race (May 20), and the council’s work session on May 31 at 6 p.m. The next regular meeting of the city council will be Monday, May 22 at 6 p.m. The public is welcome.