Council approves two new EMRs

The Spring Valley City Council in a very short meeting Monday, Nov. 25, approved the hiring of two people for the Spring Valley Ambulance Service.

The two individuals — Kate Grogert and Mason Montgomery — had recently completed the emergency medical responder (EMR) class in October. Because the service already has one brand new EMR and another one who is working into the system, the hiring will be effective after the first of the year.

Ambulance co-director Sue Puffer told the council Montgomery is a student at Kingsland High School, but she and the other directors agreed he wouldn’t be responding from school. “We are going to push that he needs to be a student first and an EMR second,” she told the council.

In department head reports, Mayor Tony Archer reported for Jenny Simon who wasn’t able to attend. He noted the Library Board will have two openings and a staff person was also hired (see related story on Library Board). He also pointed out that the fireplace room has on display the VFW’s original charter certificate from 1919. Simon also asked him to remind people that the recycling bins are no longer there and if people drop off things at the door, it will be considering littering.

Parks and Recreation director John Fenske reported that park and rec basketball is starting up again. He added that the south park is winterized with a new lock put on the bathroom by Todd Jones.

Waste water treatment plant operator Aaron Hamersma reported that it has been a quiet month with no sewer calls. A new control panel for the electric pump at the lift station arrived and will be installed soon. He also had the plant ready for winter.

In the ambulance report, Puffer said it has been busy, but the service has been keeping up with calls. The previous month, the service needed mutual aid from LeRoy to transport a patient because the Spring Valley units were out on trauma incidents. The service will also soon be inspected by the state, she added.

In another ambulance matter, Puffer reported that a letter sent by Zoll Medical Corp noted that as of February 2021 it would no longer offer technical support or parts for the two monitors used by the service. A rough ballpark price for the monitors is $24,000 each for new models, so the service is looking for grants to help in replacing the two units.

In the administrator’s report, city administrator Deb Zimmer reminded the council that the Truth in Taxation hearing is Monday, Dec. 9, which is the only meeting for the council in December, although there will be a special meeting to only approve accounts payable later in the month.

Zimmer also told the council that Bruce Kraut of JJBK Construction will be sealing the bricks soon, but until it is sealed, there is a very strong odor that may necessitate her working remotely in the ambulance building, library or somewhere else. City Hall is in the midst of repairs, which caused the council table to be moved into the center of the main room. Once the work is done she will get an estimate of doing cleaning, including the ducts and carpeting.

In council reports, Chris Danielson said she hopes everyone shops locally during Shop Small Saturday to support local businesses.

Councilor Luan Ruesink added that she hopes people take part in Christmas on Historic Broadway, which is the following week.

In the mayor’s report, Archer said he received a letter from Kingsland school officials thanking the city for allowing them to speak at a council meeting and helping with the operating levy referendum. They were pleased with the turnout.

Archer added that he would like to see fewer “silos” isolating local groups as “working together between the schools and the city is something very important to me.”