At Monday’s city council meeting, mayor Walt Marini reminded those present that he ran an April 2013 campaign on a promise to help bring pride back to Spring Valley. Marini said he took a ride around town and noticed some small improvements that could be done to help clean-up the city, including trash cans overflowing downtown and street signs that were bent or hard to read.
“I thought that these were just little things that aren’t bid ticket items, but if they are taking care of, they make a difference as to what people think of our city,” he said.
He asked that the aldermen and other officials bring these to the council’s attention so they can take care of it. He asked that the garbage cans downtown be picked up twice a week instead of once and that the signs be fixed.
Alderman Jack Narczewski agreed that many signs were bad especially in the main trafficked parts of town. The city had already set aside $7,500 to replace street signs around town this year. Superintendent of public works John Schultz said he would start by replacing signs in the main traffic areas of town, including downtown and along U.S. 6. Marini said this would help improve what visitors would think of the town as they drove by.
“We also need to get the residents to take pride in Spring Valley,” said Alderman Chuck Hansen.
Hansen said people had stop taking advantage of public programs like the sidewalk grant where a citizen could have their sidewalk repaired through a 50-50 matching fund with the city.
“Hopefully if we set an example, the people will follow,” said Marini.
Later, a group of citizens, including the former mayor Cliff Banks wife, Leslie, questioned why the city was redoing two sidewalks at Third and Terry Streets and First and Hennessey Streets and not the residents.
“We took it as a safety issue,” said Alderman James Taliano.
Taliano explained that the sidewalk had been barricaded for over a year and was uneven and a hazard to residents. Marini said former mayor Banks also replaced sidewalks without the council’s approval downtown for the same reason. Banks used part of his city funded salary to pay for the project and did the work himself.
The group of citizens questioned how much the project would cost and the council responded with it did not know yet. Leslie asked how residents could take advantage of the sidewalk program in the future.
City economic director Debb Ladgenski said applications were online for anyone interested. Taliano said he was the chairman of sidewalks, but did not want the job anymore because nothing ever comes to him for approval.
In other business:
n The city passed an appropriations ordinance for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.
n The city amended a previously passed ordinance prohibiting the use of groundwater as a potable water supply by the installation or use of potable water supply wells or any other method by added the list of streets affected.
n The council accepted a low bid of $147,160 to cut down trees around the lagoon at the wastewater treatment plant from C & H Excavating in Earlville.
n The city passed an ordinance authorizing the execution of a maintenance agreement between the city of Spring Valley and union local 393, Laborers’ International Union of America.
n The city passed an ordinance to allow the fire department to sell a 2005 Ford van.