SPRING VALLEY — The push to cleanup Spring Valley’s downtown was on the minds of aldermen at Monday’s council meeting.
Alderman Dan McFadden brought the topic to light by voicing his concerns about the dilapidated, empty buildings in the downtown and asked what could be done to either help get rid of the structures or fix them up to look more presentable.
Spring Valley City Attorney Jim Andreoni presented two options on what actions the council could take. The council could exercise their property, maintenance and occupancy code and threaten owners with fines in order to get the cleanup process moving.
If property owners are not in a position to pay the fines or fix up the building, the second option the council could proceed with would be to buy the property, pay the taxes and demolish the structure — which is the direction the council is currently taking to get rid of the Limberg building.
While the second option sounded ideal, Andreoni warned about the high expense.
“And these are not great options because eventually what you’re going to end up with is owning a bunch of vacant lots downtown,” he said.
With both alternatives not showing a solid solution to the matter, McFadden asked what the council could do to step in and possibly save the buildings from getting to a deteriorating state. He said they wouldn’t have even known about the damage to the Limberg building if there hadn’t been a fire, and witnessed the amount of deterioration on the inside.
“Are we just going to let them go until someone gets hurt in them or we have a major problem?” he asked.
Andreoni brought up using a city ordinance, which gives the right to inspect buildings in the 100 and 200 blocks of St. Paul Street.
Alderman Mike Herrmann said the city needs to get after the building owners earlier when the buildings are still viable and can be sold to someone interested in repairing the structure.
“Or once they get to a point and walk away from it, it could be ours,” he said.
The board agreed to start the process and implement an inspection plan in the buildings.
In other business the board:
• Agreed to purchase the property at 202 E. St. Paul St. for $1.
• Agreed to donate $200 to Cops 4 Cancer.
• Agreed to change the next regular council meeting to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18 due to Presidents Day.
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