The March 13 meeting of the Spring Valley City Council kicked off with the assessment hearing for the upcoming Farmer Street Improvement Project, which is set to begin in approximately June 2023.
The cost for the street project will be split between the city of Spring Valley, Spring Valley Public Utilities and Fillmore County. The city’s portion is estimated at $918,000, utilities at $402,000 and the county at $1,205,000 for a total of $2,525,000.
“We are here for one of the final steps of the 2023 improvement project,” Drew Weber, of Bolton and Menk began. “From the assessment standpoint with where the bids came in and where the preliminary assessments were, these (final assessments) are much less.”
Per the city’s policy, the special assessment would be $140.23 per foot, but it was decided to try to keep the cost closer to previous street projects. The estimated cost assessment is now at $100.38 with an average assessment of $7,915.71 per parcel.
After the hearing was closed the council approved a resolution adopting the assessments.
A resolution accepting Ulland Bros. at $2,049,101.29 for the project was also approved.
Jason Boynton, of Smith Schafer and Associates, highlighted the city’s annual audit for the council. “Everything checked out as usual,” he said of the city’s financials.
According to Boynton, the general property tax levy represented 47% of the governmental revenues in 2022 and tax collections totaled $1,631,391.
On the revenue portion of the audit, the tax increment financing (TIF) collections decreased by $4,494 to $12,902. And the local government aid (LGA) revenues represented 27% of the city’s revenues at $938,478.
For expenditures, the general governmental expenditures came in at $234,998, which is an increase of $14,904. Public safety expenditures were at $481,267 for the year, public works was at $462,25, parks was at $194,568, the Spring Valley Library came in at $201,279 and community and economic development (EDA) was at $117,773.
The city’s general fund expenditures totaled $1,140,758. The unassigned fund balance came in at $1,930,748 in 2022.
“We were under budget in every category. In total we were under budget about $200,000 in the general fund in 2022,” Boynton shared.
The library was under budget by $8,156, the park was under by $8,032 and the EDA was over by $5,018.
The council voted to accept the 2022 annual audit.
Squad car discussion
Sheriff John DeGeorge approached the council with an new option for squad cars in the future. It would allow the Fillmore County Sheriff’s Department to purchase the city’s current squad cars and in return the city would pay an annual fee for use of the cars.
“We spent some time coming up with a formula that, as close as we can estimate, assessed the cost of owning and operating a squad car to the city in exchange for the county then owning the squad cars. We would do the ordering and equipping. We would do pay for fuel, tires and insurance, that kind of thing,” DeGeorge explained.
The move could potentially save money and legwork for the city of Spring Valley, while allowing the county more freedom for use of the squad.
According to DeGeorge, they have done this with Mabel and Harmony with great success for everyone involved.
The council approved a motion recommending DeGeorge create a proposal for the next council meeting.
Wastewater treatment plant equipment and repairs
Public Works Director Chad Hindt shared estimates for Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) equipment and repairs.
“This will get our north ditch back on line before the rainy season starts up so we can handle everything,” Hindt said of the first estimate, which came in at $26,459.40.
The cost of a new rail system along both sides of the ditch is $62,630.
The repair of the spare pump for the main lift station is estimated at $9,641.50.
The final estimate for the replacement influent pumps is $75,103.
“This is for the new main lift pumps out at the WWTP. We have six of them,” Hindt explained. “Three of them are working right now and this is to get the rest of them up and running so we can handle the flows.”
The council moved to approved the purchase of the new equipment and repairs.
The council approved a comprehensive plan update.
Bolton and Menk’s proposal for a zoning ordinance review was approved.
Michelle “Shelley” King, of Baudler, Maus, Forman and King, LLP was appointed as the city attorney.
Spring Valley Library Director Jenny Simon announced the formation of the Friends of the Spring Valley Public Library, which will help advocate for the library, cleaning up of the building and assist with future fundraising for the library.
Chris Hahn, EDA Director, noted they recently held ribbon cuttings for new businesses O’Reilly’s Auto Parts and Bear Creek Auto Sales.
Council member John Dols passed along Parks and Rec Director John Fenske’s thanks to the Spring Valley Area Community Foundation for their generous donation of $5,000.
Council member Luan Ruesink thanked all those involved with the Spring Valley ice rink for all their hard work and dedication on providing such a huge asset to the city during the winter months.
The next council meeting will be on April 10 at 6 p.m.