The Spring Valley City Council met on April 8, with all members in attendance (Mayor Tony Archer, Luan Ruesink, Chris Danielson, John Dols, Mike Hadland and City Administrator Deb Zimmer). No visitors had signed up to address the council.
The council heard from Spring Valley EDA (Economic Development Authority) director Cathy Enerson, who shared information regarding the EDA, including a summary from the annual report. Enerson shared that EDA meetings are now scheduled for the first Wednesday of each month at 7 a.m.
Enerson stated that in 2009, following the flooding in Rushford, Fillmore County commissioned a housing needs study, and data has continued to be updated since then. She summarized that the EDA report includes a wide array of data, including demographics such as childcare needs, wage data, age trends, and the availability and needs for rental units in the city.
Following Enerson’s presentation, Chris Danielson spoke, saying, “I’d like to make a motion, and that’s that I’d like to see us get somebody new in, with fresh eyes,… and new ideas.”
Enerson asked, “Chris, you’re brand new and this would be the first time you’ve seen the work that the EDA has done. Was there something specific as far as fresh eyes that you were looking for?”
Danielson replied, “I just think there’s a real conflict with you representing Preston and representing us.” The council voted unanimously for the motion to make a change, and to instead use CEDA (Community and Economic Development Associates). Enerson stated, “Thank you very much; I have been proud to represent Spring Valley.”
The council discussed an issue regarding a possible special assessment adjustment on property owned by Brian Owens. Deb Zimmer explained that there is an anomaly regarding his property. She said that the city owns a piece of land adjacent to Owens property, but, although there is a culvert, it was recently discovered that the culvert is on Owens’ property rather than on city land. When asked how this glitch came about, Owens said he believes that, “They dropped the ball in 1979.”
Mike Hadland suggested that Owens and the city could try to reach an agreement to “trade” small portions of the properties, to alleviate any such anomalies and to resolve a discrepancy regarding the amount of frontage (and therefore special assessment) to Owens’ property. Owens replied, “Works for me” and said this idea would allow him space to build a garage. No formal action was taken at this time, but the city will consult with Owens to work toward a mutually agreeable solution.
A request had been made by the fire department, to have a street closure during Loyalty Days (May 4 and 5); this was approved. The council considered a request from Fins and Films, for a temporary liquor license for July 5 and 6. Zimmer said the group has a non-profit status, so it meets the criteria. The council approved the request. The council also approved a request for a road closure and temporary liquor license during the “Summer Kick Off” event. Zimmer said there will be a Spring Valley 100 bicycle race, following the same route as the Almanzo.
Deb Zimmer mentioned several upcoming events, including city clean up day (set for May 11, 9 a.m. to noon) and the upcoming Flood Plain Ordinance public hearing will be held on May 13.
The council approved quarterly Ambulance bad debt write-offs totaling $17,592.32. The council passed a resolution acknowledging with gratitude and accepting the donations of $800 each (for purchase of picnic tables at the South Park pavilion) from the Essig Agency, Home Federal Bank, and Bolton & Menk.
The meeting adjourned at 6:40 p.m. The next regular meeting of the council will be Monday, April 22 at 6 p.m. As always, the public is welcome.