The Spring Valley City Council met in regular session on Monday, March 13. All members were present: Tony Archer, Todd Jones, Mayor Jim Struzyk, Jessy Betts, Mike Hadland and City Administrator Deb Zimmer. No visitors had signed up to address the council.
Joe O’Connell was on hand to discuss the “former elementary school property” on which he is planning to put homes. Zimmer shared that, regarding the property, “The bottom third, Joe and Patty own. The middle third, the school still owns, and the north third, the city owns.” Council members discussed the expectation for the property to be platted and asked how soon O’Connell could have that done. He said he can have that completed by the council meeting on April 10. There was also discussion that there have been complaints about the dirt piles on the property. O’Connell said it will be used for backfill as the project progresses, but that in the meantime he’ll put snow fence around the piles, and will add grass seed.
The council also discussed the recently collapsed building downtown (the “old café” on South Broadway). Zimmer said she had checked with the League of Minnesota Cities, and was told that the city could pursue legal options for getting the building cleaned up, but the legal costs would be extensive. Joe O’Connell submitted an estimate of $50,000 to do the job, which includes clean-up and disposal, sealing the sewer and water connections, filling the basement, grading the lot for drainage, and the additional processes for disposing of asbestos safely. He added that the estimate is a “worst case scenario.” The council approved O’Connell to proceed according to the estimate. Clean-up work will begin shortly after O’Connell gives the state a ten-day notice as required. After the work is done, the city will put the cost on a special assessment.
The council approved Resolution 2017-11, Resolution to Authorize a Planned Unit Development Concept for North Park Drive Subdivision. The resolution approved the PUD for lots 7 through 18. It was discussed that the original plan was for storage units on each end, but after some objections this has now been changed to “patio homes” instead. The council also voted to advertise for bids on the Industrial Drive project.
Zimmer pointed out that the city will soon be starting the annual “tour” of checking for junk ordinance violations within city limits, including non-operational or non-licensed vehicles. There was discussion of the challenges in finding which properties are in violation, and in getting those properties back into compliance. Council members strongly encouraged citizens to take this opportunity to get vehicle and other “junk” items cleared up, so that legal issues can be avoided. The next regular meeting of the city council will be Monday, March 27 at 6 p.m. Zimmer said that auditor Tom Wente will attend this meeting, and will give an audit presentation. The public is welcome.