Spring Valley Council

Approves animal ordinance

Prior to the June 12 meeting, the Spring Valley City Council held a public hearing to discuss a proposed animal ordinance for the city.

The ordinance would limit how many animals per species are allowed per household and correlates with the city’s chicken ordinance.

Spring Valley resident Candice Stahl asked the council to consider raising the number of rabbits allowed. The ordinance allows up to five rabbits per household. Stahl noted she currently has eight rabbits, many of which she and her children show for 4-H and American Rabbit Association shows.

“You are going to probably have to find someone outside of town to house some of them. Looking at it from a neighbor aspect, I know if it was by my house I wouldn’t want a whole lot of rabbits there. I don’t think there is a need for a major amount of rabbits and to me five is going to be more than acceptable,” council member Mike Hadland responded.

After closing the hearing and opening the regular meeting, the council approved the ordinance and the permit fee of $10.

Spring Valley EDA

Hears about Shovel Ready

On June 14, Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) program representative Natalie Siderius spoke to the Spring Valley Economic Development Authority (EDA) about DEED’s Shovel Ready program.

This program was created to help communities statewide, stand out to businesses that are looking to start up, expand or relocate and has become a popular tool for companies and site selectors when choosing a site. The EDA had previously discussed enrolling the city’s industrial park in the program.

The EDA members agreed they would continue to search for marketing opportunities, but at this point they would not be pursuing the Shovel Ready program.

Kingsland School Board

Votes to close KIS

Without lengthy discussion by the board or opposition voiced from members of the gallery of approximately 15 people, the Kingsland School Board decided to close Kingsland Intermediate School (KIS), or Kingsland’s school site in Wykoff, on a unanimous vote during a special meeting Thursday, June 15.

All Kingsland School Board members were present during the vote that occurred after board Chairman Doug Plaehn read a resolution written to carry out the action that will end the use of the building for intermediate students, effective June 30.

SV Library Board

Gets summer update

Summertime, and it’s time to “Build a Better World” at the Spring Valley Public Library (SVPL), according to Spring Valley Public Library director Jenny Simon, who updated the board on the children’s summer reading program and how busy the library has been since it began with the first days of June.

Registrations for the reading program are coming in, noted Simon, and the staff is seeing some new faces as well as many familiar ones.

Additionally, Simon spoke about maintenance and repair work that needs to be done at the library.

Fillmore County Board

Holds board of appeals

Fillmore County commissioners held the county’s annual board of appeals meeting last Tuesday evening, June 13.

County assessor Cynthia Blagsvedt first reviewed the role of the board of appeals.

Brent Hagan of Spring Valley came before the board to appeal the value of his investment property – the former Olmsted Medical Clinic building on Tracy Road – because he felt the $185,500 market value was too high for a building he purchased for $58,000.

The motion to reduce the value from $185,500 to $100,000 passed.

Wykoff City Council

Holds June meeting

At Wykoff’s June City Council meeting Mayor Al Williams opened the meeting, then went into discussion regarding what the definition of the word “minutes” is in relation to the information provided them in their agenda packets by city clerk Becky Schmidt.

Schmidt answered a councilor’s question about why there was no transcript of the May meeting included in the packet, saying, “I contacted the city attorney who said that a word-for-word transcript is not necessary.”

Schmidt explained that every month, transcribing the meetings from recordings was taking four to five hours and that she felt that her time was better used doing other tasks.

Fillmore County Board

Clarifies mapping for buffer laws

Fillmore County commissioners had several issues to address during their meeting on Tuesday, June 13, beginning with vegetation and crop buffers.

County Attorney Brett Corson shared information regarding the adoption of a resolution for the state’s watershed buffer law, particularly to allow a county or a watershed district to affirm jurisdiction to carry out compliance provisions. In other words, the state has addressed how close to a stream or water source farmers may plant and that they are required to maintain vegetation of a certain kind next to it.

The county is working to determine how it words its version of the legislation to properly address the needs of farmers and the soil and water conservation district (SWCD).

Chatfield City Council

Looks at funding options

Chatfield’s City Council and administration held a committee of the whole (COW) meeting once again last Monday, June 12. This meeting, in particular, was called as the effort to develop Industrial Drive on the city’s south end that has reached a point where city administration needs to identify funding sources for the project.

City engineer Tom Kellogg, of WSB, was not present during the COW meeting, but City Clerk Joel Young explained that Kellogg had split the project into segments and into categories such as water, sanitary sewer, storm sewer and roadway improvements.

Young stated the project, in its entirety, is expected to cost slightly over $1.4 million, and the funding could come from the general tax levy, the city’s water fund, the sanitary sewer fund or the storm water fund. Revenue sources could also include tax abatement, small city aid and sale of the developed lots.

Spring Grove EDA

Reviews properties

The Spring Grove Economic Development Association (EDA) considered raising rent on EDA-owned properties during its June 12 meeting.

EDA director Courtney Bergey presented a summary of the current annual income and expenses associated with three properties – the incubator building, Winneshiek Medical Center (WMC) building and industrial park.

Bergey said one option would be new lease agreements for all EDA-owned properties that would result in a combined 10-percent yearly profit.

Mayor Sarah Schroeder made a motion to develop new lease agreements for EDA-owned properties to account for a 10-percent annual profit beginning Jan. 1, 2018. It received a second from Lorilyn Dehning.

Bergey said she would communicate the EDA’s intent to the tenants and work with city attorney Joe Hammell to draft new lease agreements outlining the proposed new terms.

Chatfield City Council

Councilors discuss garbage

The cost of keeping garbage and recycling trucks rolling came up for discussion during the Monday, June 12, Chatfield City Council meeting. The council voted to direct City Attorney Fred Suhler, Jr., to draft an amendment to the city’s agreement with Wm. Hanson Waste Removal to increase the number of recycling pickups to weekly instead of twice monthly so residents aren’t storing stinky milk or lunchmeat cartons in their homes or garages. The council voted in favor of weekly recycling pickup at an extra monthly cost of $1.93 per household.

Preston City Council

Considers North St. development

Preston resident Andy Bunge approached the Preston City Council on Wednesday, June 14, to propose a North Street Redevelopment Project.

According to Bunge, this project is an idea he has had for nearly 15 years and involves building up to nine duplexes geared toward retirement-age residents.

The next step, according to City Administrator Joe Hoffman, was for the council to determine if it would like to enter into a development agreement to acquire the Jerome McCallson property as this is where the first proposed duplex would be located.

After more discussion, it was determined the council would not enter into a development agreement with Bunge at this time, though the agreement could be reconsidered if the city’s cost is lowered.

R-P School Board

Looks at budget

The Rushford-Peterson School budget was the primary topic of discussion at Monday night’s School Board meeting. Business manager Toni Oian provided a rundown of the expected budget for the 2017-2018 school year while also providing a recap of the previous year’s budget.

With the new school set to open, Chairperson John Linder noted that some guess work went into the budget for next year. Oian agreed and said the district will have to take each day as it comes.

However, Oian’s estimates should be a very solid starting spot for the district. Some of the budget changes include a $12,000 decrease in transportation spending, as the middle school is now consolidated into the same building as the other grades.

Peterson City Council

Adjusts fees

The city of Peterson Council spent most of their June 14 meeting analyzing their zoning and utility fees.

“We’re not that far off on prices,” said Clerk/Zoning Administrator Chris Grindland, comparing Peterson’s fees to other local municipalities.

One of the highest discrepancies for Grindland was the $500 fee for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP). Grindland suggested a price of $75 for a CUP, and the council agreed.

An existing item on old business has been the permit fees for installing a hoop shed. Mayor Tim Hallum suggested that a hoop shed should be treated like an unattached building, which requires a permit fee of $5 per square foot.

Canton City Council

Updated on meter project

Mayor Donivee Johnson and Clerk Lolly Melander updated council members on the progress of the water meter replacement project at the June Canton City Council meeting last Wednesday evening.

According to Melander, there were 108 meters replaced in the first week of the project.

There were 70 remaining as of the June 14 meeting, with 12 to be installed in trailer houses, three large meters and four abandoned properties not to be replaced.

Lanesboro School Board

Transfers title

A couple of months ago, the Lanesboro School Board members began discussing what to do with property at the Bass Pond, which had been determined to belong to the school. At the School Board meeting on Thursday, June 15, the board decided to transfer the title over to the city.

Board member Steve Snyder, who is also a member of the property committee, noted the land may have been part of the original football field area that was once located there.

Because the city has been maintaining it for years, his recommendation would be for the school to give it to the city through a quick deed.

The rest of the board members agreed with his recommendation, providing the city pay the fees for the quick deed. This was approved.