The Spring Valley City Council discussed the banning of ATV (“four-wheeler”) usage within the city. Present at the meeting on June 25 were Todd Jones, Mayor Jim Struzyk, Jessy Betts, Mike Hadland and city administrator Deb Zimmer. Tony Archer was absent. Betts and Hadland said they’ve gotten many complaints from citizens regarding ATV usage within Spring Valley, especially within the past month. They said there is currently no city ordinance against this. They also said the recent complaints are about the speed, noise and unsafe driving patterns. Betts pointed out that the vehicles in question are not allowed by state statute to travel on any county or state highways, so Hadland pointed out this means Tracy Road is really the only legal path these vehicles can currently take into or out of town. Betts added that state statutes allow only Class 1 and Class 2 “side-by-side” style ATVs to be licensed for usage on state or county roads, but that is not the type of ATV that Spring Valley is concerned about. Hadland also pointed out that the term “four-wheeler” is misleading because there are three-wheeled ATVs in the city that he is concerned about as well. The council chose to hold a public hearing on July 25 to consider whether to prohibit “non-side-by-side” style ATVs.
The council discussed a request from Greg Melartin for Spring Valley to allow an automotive “burnout competition” as part of the Fins & Films event on July 7. The request was for Spring Valley to allow the closing of N. Vine Alley as the venue for the competition, but said if that were not allowed, Melartin would hold the competition on his lot at 121 E Jefferson, and he asked if Spring Valley would allow the closing of a portion of Jefferson (for a staging area) from 12-4 p.m. on that day. The council voted to deny the request to have the competition on N. Vine Alley, but approved the request to close East Jefferson from Broadway to Section, from 12-4 p.m. Jones asked if this will be a problem for the food shelf, but Zimmer said it closes by noon, so that should not be an issue.
The council heard from John Fenske regarding parks department events and status. Fenske then added, “Now it’s the bad news. The pool’s losing water, and it’s losing lots of water… Now, losing water is not a big deal. The problem is, when I lose water, not only do I have to put new water in, then I have to put chemicals in and then I have to heat that new water… We’ve spend $5,000 more on the pool this year than we had last year.” He said he doesn’t know where the leak is, but could have Roto-Rooter come to determine where the leak is, and what can be done about it. Mayor Struzyk suggested closing the pool to make the needed repairs, saying that any significant ongoing leak will eventually cause washouts underground, which might result in major problems. Fenske said the pool sold more season passes than ever before, so if it closes down, there would be a lot of money to refund. The other option is to do a “bandaid” repair until the pool could be fixed next spring, hopefully before the pool season opens. The council chose to take no action until the leak location and options are determined.
Todd Jones spoke up, voicing his concerns about an abandoned house at 801 S. Washington that has “critters” living in it. Approval has been given for live trapping to remove the animals. Jones also shared his opinion that, “I take pride in my town. I think we’ve got one of the greatest towns around… So we should take pride in everything we do.” He encourages citizens to keep this in mind when mowing, trimming, and performing any maintenance or upkeep of homes, grounds, and businesses in town. Mayor Struzyk also spoke up, asking residents to keep up with mowing, and to comply with the city’s “junk ordinance.”
The board reviewed a draft of a proposed ordinance to prohibit dogs in South Park. No action was taken at this time, because a public hearing will be held in July on this issue. Sarah Engels was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Zoning Board. The meeting adjourned at 6:45 p.m. The next regular meeting of the council will be Monday, July 9 at 6 p.m. As always, the public is welcome.