The Spring Valley City Council held a regular meeting on June 13. All council members were present (Mayor Tony Archer, John Dols, Chris Danielson, Luan Ruesink, and Greg Brooks). City Administrator/Clerk Deb Zimmer was absent, so Chris Hahn participated in her stead.
The council discussed a price quotation from RCM Specialties, for filling potholes and other patchwork needed on city streets. Council members said the city had been pleased with work done by that company before, and the council voted to approve the work to be done as listed in the quote, at a price of $25,000.
Next, the council considered operations at the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). A proposal was received from the firm of Bolton & Menk, for “interim assistance” on operations at the WWTP, until the city can have a fully certified and trained operator in-house. The council voted to accept the proposal from Bolton & Menk. The council also approved two new employees for the city: Ben Chopp as WWTP Operator, and Jordan Lieffort as Deputy Clerk. Chris Danielson mentioned that she sat in on the interviewing with each, and feels they will be good employees.
A Spring Valley wage study proposal was received from David Drown Associates Company. The council discussed the various services included in each of the several options presented. After discussion, the council voted to move forward with the plan, selecting the second option, which is a “Market Study only.”
Tim Penny, President and CEO of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), addressed the council about SMIF, and the benefits it provides to the local community. Penny shared packets of SMIF information, including SMIF’s annual report. He stated, “We are a regional economic and community development foundation. We have about $5 million annually that we expend across a 20 county region here in south metro/southeast Minnesota. And we concentrate those programs in three areas. One is early childhood… another is economic development and entrepreneurship… and then thirdly, we’ve got some small town programs.”
He explained that various grants are available, and that overall, for every dollar donated from Fillmore County, $29 is invested back into Fillmore County communities. This, according to the packet information provided, means that since 1986, the $392,000 in local investments for Fillmore County has resulted in $11.5 million in impact through grants, loans, and programming to help kids, businesses and communities. The council thanked Penny for the presentation and reminder of current grant application deadlines upcoming.
Council members Ruesink and Brooks and Mayor Archer each spoke on their concerns that all citizens remember to keep lawns mowed adequately, and to assure that grass clippings are not deposited onto city streets. Brooks noted that even a small amount of clippings can be enough to cause a motorcycle or bicycle crash. Danielson added a reminder for drivers to follow posted speed limits, since she’s noticed drivers going “extremely fast” in some areas.
Mayor Archer stated that the city will have lots of summer activities going on, especially in July. He noted that, thanks to a generous donation from K & S Heating and Air Conditioning, Spring Valley’s July events will be advertised frequently on radio station 97.5 FM (KNXR) throughout July.
Pay Estimate #2 on the 2022 Fremont Street Improvement Project was considered by the council. The council unanimously voted to pay the invoice, of $87,749.66.
The next meeting of the Spring Valley City Council will be Monday, June 27 at 6 p.m., at city hall. The public is welcome.