Council approves bond sale for 2018 street project

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David Drown, president of David Drown Associates, Inc., addressed the Spring Valley City Council Monday, May 14, on the sale of the city bond for the 2018 street project.

“As part of this process we did renew the city's credit rating and your credit rating did stay the same at A+, which is good news,” Drown said. “Their rating report didn't say anything remarkable, but they like what they saw in terms of how you are managing the finances of the city.”

Out of the four bids, Northland Securities, Inc., gave the winning bid for the $5.785 million bond with 3.0351 percent interest.

“We are within three-tenths of a percent of what Mike (Bubany) told you to expect in terms of an interest rate and that that interest rate is lower. This is better than projected, so that means the revenues we need for this bond issue are slightly smaller than the numbers you were told about a month ago,” Drown said.

The council approved the sale of the bonds.

Tourist center

The council then went on to discuss the future of the tourist center as the city recently began taking bids on it after a massive water leak was discovered last winter.

According to city administrator Deb Zimmer, the city received three bids with Mike and Julane Gehrking giving the winning bid of $950.

The council approved the Gehrkings' bid.

The city's insurance offered two options for the council to consider. If the council would decide not to replace the center it would receive $19,000. If the city would replace it with a comparable building the city would receive $33,000.

“There has been some discussion about an electronic sign, but that wouldn't cover the cost of an electric sign. The cost I'm getting for estimates is between $40,000 and $50,000,” Zimmer shared. It is believed the sign may need to be specially designed, so it can be viewed easily on the corner.

The city will have to work with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT) to determine the setback requirements for such a sign, as well.

“I was around back in the days where they used it a lot; it was a hopping place,” council member Todd Jones said of the center. “But, since smartphones, it hardly gets used anymore. It is harder to find volunteers to sit there for hours. I think a useable sign would be beneficial.”

Council member Jessy Betts agreed, “I know from the Making it Home survey they did that was one of the main things; people have a hard time telling what's going on in this town, so I think something like that would be beneficial.”

The council determined it would not replace the building and would instead focus on bringing an electronic sign to the site.

Other business

• The purchase of a new sampler for the waste water treatment plant was approved.

• The council granted permission to the Southeast Minnesota Amateur Radio Club to remove its repeater from its location on a city-owned antenna. According to Spring Valley Emergency Management co-director Mike Zimmer, this will not affect the city's emergency coverage.

• The community center will soon have 300 new chairs, as the council approved the purchase up to $7,500 which was budgeted in the capital fund. The city may look into selling the old chairs or letting other city departments, such as the Fire Department use them.

• The council granted the request from the Friendship Wagon Train to set up a camp near the waste water treatment plant location during its stay in Spring Valley.

• The next council meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 29, at 6 p.m.