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Filling the Third Ward seat

Marini makes suggestion to council

SPRING VALLEY — Spring Valley Mayor Walt Marini has announced his selection to fill the open Third Ward alderman seat on the council.

Marini introduced Spring Valley resident Deb Baltikauski at Monday’s meeting. Marini said after thinking long and hard about the open position, he felt the council — which is currently made up of seven men — could use the prospective of a lady.

“This would enhance the council,” he said. “We all know women look at things differently than men. I think that outlook can be beneficial to our decisions and the people of Spring Valley.”

The council will vote at the next meeting on whether or not to seat Baltikauski. If seated, she will fill the position until the next election in April 2015. Baltikauski will then have to run for the position if she wishes to keep her seat.

Update on west interceptor project

Alderman Dan McFadden asked Spring Valley City Engineer Larry Good for an update on the west sewer interceptor project, where the city is building a road to the interceptor in order to better maintain its services.

Good reported on the lack of communication with Homer Tree Service, the company hired to complete the tree removal portion of the project. There are still a list of items the company is expected to finish, Good said.

“We’re in the process of sending another letter out and contacting the city attorney to try to get attention from someone,” he said.

If the city doesn’t hear back from the company, Good said they will figure how much work will have to be deducted from their final payment.

Regulating the new LED signs

McFadden reported on discussion held at the most recent Legislative Committee meeting, in which aldermen discussed ways to better regulate the new LED business signs. It was mentioned that complaints are still being heard about the newest signs, which were installed on Dakota Street earlier this month.

“I don’t think we can do anything about the existing (signs), but we’re trying to establish something for future signs because there’s going to be more coming,” McFadden said.

Right now, the committee is looking into other cities’ ordinances regarding LED signs for ideas to help better regulate the issue.

Talking street improvements

Alderman Chuck Hansen gave a brief update on the most recent Streets and Alleys Committee meeting. Aldermen were asked to select a street in their ward that needed the most repairs for this year’s street program.

Hansen expressed his frustrations with having the lack of funds for street repairs, especially since this year’s need may be greater following the harsh winter weather conditions.

“I’ve been chairman of this since 1993, and I want to say we had more money back then to do the streets than we have now,” he said.

Marini agreed, and said that’s why the city pushed for the sales tax increase in the last election. The money collected from the tax would have helped fund street repairs.

“People think their property taxes go towards it, and it doesn’t,” Hansen said.

Marini wants to put the referendum question on the ballot again in next election, in hopes residents will rethink the need and vote yes for a sales tax increase.

City clean-up day

Economic Development Director Debb Ladgenski announced the annual Spring Valley Booster Club’s citywide clean-up day will be on April 26. Anyone is welcome to join in on helping to clean up trash around local parks and other parts of the city. The cleanup begins at 9 a.m.

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