The Spring Valley city council held a regular council meeting on June 28, at city hall. Members present included Luan Ruesink, Greg Brooks, John Dols and Mayor Tony Archer. Chris Danielson was absent. Also attending was City Clerk/Administrator Deb Zimmer.
Sandy Oeltjen was on the agenda to ask the council to consider a hunting ordinance proposal. Her proposal included, “The intent of this document is to request that the hunting ordinance be redrawn or to grant Tom Oeltjen with a special permit to hunt on Mrs. Llonamae Svebakken’s land with bow only.”
Oeltjen’s proposal included that the plan could help control the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease, and would decrease the number of deer eating from gardens in town. The proposal included several measures to help assure safety and prevent the city from having liability, since the ordinance proposal was for only private property agricultural land.
After hearing from Sandy and Tom Oeltjen, the council voted unanimously not to make any changes to the city’s ordinance. Sandy and Tom then asked if the city would consider a special permit for that land only. Greg Brooks stated, “I move to deny a special permit, because if you give one person a permit, you’re going to have to give everybody a permit. And after doing research the first time we went through this, I’m not agreeing to it at all.” The council unanimously voted to deny the special permit. Sandy then asked if it’s possible for the Svebakken land to be changed so it is no longer within city limits. Zimmer said that is something that the land owner could request.
The council heard from Jayne Overstreet, who gave a presentation on SMIF (Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation). She thanked Spring Valley for being a long term partner with SMIF. Overstreet summarized SMIF’s three main areas of focus (economic development, early childhood development, and community vitality). She pointed out that, “Over the past three years, Spring Valley has really taken advantage of the early literacy program that we have in early childhood, which is just great to see… We’ve put over $32,000 worth of books into the Spring Valley community.” She shared information on the financial impact that SMIF programs have on the local community.
Overstreet also emphasized SMIF’s Small Town Grants, and she encouraged Spring Valley to apply. She said cities with under 10,000 in population qualify, and the grant amount is $10,000. She said Spring Valley’s plans for improving “green space” could be an excellent project to target for the grant. The grant application deadline is July 15, and funding decisions will be made in August.
The council approved three quotes from Legends Concrete, to do concrete work (sidewalks, curb, gutter, and related work) near city hall and the community center. The three quotes were for a total of roughly $27,000.
John Dols encouraged citizens to pitch in and help with the city’s upcoming Ag Days celebration, as well as the Fins & Films event. He said volunteers are always welcomed.
Sue Puffer and Mike Zimmer gave an update on the city’s Ambulance services. Mike said, “We passed our State inspection,” and he added, “Everything went well. We were overdue before the pandemic. Everybody’s always worried when it goes that long.”
Luan Ruesink asked if the city is progressing on addressing violations of the city’s “junk ordinance.” Zimmer said the city is working to address some of the more notable violations, and she asked council members to notify her of any additional properties that are concerns. Zimmer said she would then go take pictures and follow up as needed. The council’s next regular meeting will be Monday, July 12 at 6 p.m., at city hall. The public is welcome.