Original article published in the Mower County Independent, Thursday, April 21,2022. Reprinted with permission and gratitude.
By Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy
Spring Valley’s city council transitioned to holding the first of its twice-monthly meetings during the April 11 meeting. (The council spends the late fall and winter meeting only on the second Monday of each month and moves to gathering for two meetings beginning in April, at which time the second one is set for the fourth Monday of each month.)
A memo included in the agenda packet outlined that the City is seeking advice regarding the sale of general obligation bonds “associated with the City’s 2022 street and utility improvement project” meant to keep local infrastructure running smoothly and meet roadway needs on numerous streets. The letter was issued to the City by Mike Bubany of David Drown & Associates, a consulting firm that has reviewed the City’s financial standing as related to the project proposal and found that bonds totaling $1.95 million are in order.
Bubany wrote that “cities must cite the specific statutory authority they intend to use before issuing general obligation bonds. In this instance, we are advising the utilization of three separate pieces of authority as described below.” It went on to state, “Approximately $824,000 of the bonds should be issued as general obligation improvement bonds utilizing authority provided in Minnesota Statutes Chapters 429 and 475. By specially assessing over 20 percent of project costs to benefitting properties, the City can offer its general obligation pledge without the need for a special election and without any statutory borrowing limitations. We will pledge assessment revenue and tax levies to the repayment of this portion of the bonds…”
The letter shows that the City has planned to contribute $535,570 of its reserved funds and that there are water reserve funds totaling $504,908 to be put toward the total project construction, engineering and contingency amount of $2,193,466. The “payment and revenue requirements” portion of the memo cites, “We are projecting annual bond payments to average approximately $135,000 per year. The City of Spring Valley intends to specially assess approximately $165,000 to benefitting properties, which represents a little over 20 percent of the improvement portion of this issue. Said assessments shall be certified for collection over a 10-year period commencing with taxes payable 2023 at an interest rate of 3.5 percent.”
In other business, Fins and Films founder Greg Melartin requested via e-mail street closures for the annual car show, drive-in movie, burnout show, camping event and concerts set this year for July 29 and 30 on Broadway and Jefferson streets, as well as allowing up to 15 vintage campers to be set up on Broadway overnight, and for use of the local semi parking lot for modern camping. He added that efforts would be made to keep access to downtown businesses open during the event. Fins and Films has become a popular weekend celebration in Spring Valley that showcases the town’s movie theater history and its business revival on Broadway. Also, Broadway will once again be closed for the Spring Valley 100 Bicycle Race in May as at least 1,000 people travel to Spring Valley to bike on gravel backroads.
Further items included councilors reviewing a quote of $4,483.43 from McConnell Electric for installation of lights at the South Park ballfield; hearing information regarding the fire department buying a new grass rig, turnout gear and radios to help firefighters fulfill their equipment needs; and voting on the ambulance service’s quarterly bill write-off for a call from August 2021 with a bill totaling $325.71 – in all, the service wrote off $11,841.36 in charges last year.