The Spring Valley City Council met Nov. 26 for its regular meeting at city hall, reviewing the 2012 budget and approving the 2012 audit proposal.

In reviewing the 2012 budget, the general fund had a current balance of $782,093 with $640,600 due yet to come in from property taxes and Local Government Aid. All departments, except the parks department, are expected to not exceed their budgets. The parks department had budgeted revenue of $164,788 and had actual revenue of $166,843. It's fund balance is $3,177. Zimmer noted the park fund will still have utility and payroll expenses taken out and will "end the year with a negative cash balance."

Zimmer said the street department is $75,000 under budget at the moment and that supervisor Chad Hindt is proposing the purchase of additional equipment.

The city administrator reminded the council members that they had spoken about the equipment purchases earlier in the year and it was noted then that if the department came in under budget at the end of the year it would be discussed then. Zimmer recommended approval of the equipment purchases.

The council approved the purchase of a sander, and a stump grinder and a sweeper for the Toolcat. It also approved converting to bulk oil. The total for the change and purchases approved was $19,141.

Council members approved working with Smith Schafer and Associates once again for the 2012 audit. The company submitted its audit proposal to the council, which has a $450 increase in costs from last year. The total for the company's proposed professional fees for the audit is $15,950.

Zimmer had asked council members to consider closing City Hall on Christmas Eve day and giving city staff the day off. The day will be flipped for another day, she noted. The council approved the closure.

During department head reports, library director Dianne Sikkink said the furnace at the library, which is unit one, was to be replaced last week. The cost of the furnace was $5,098 and the cost to wire the unit will be $1,000, Sikkink noted.

For his report, Hindt said the frame has been welded for the trail bridge located just off of Highway 16 near the city shop. Christmas lights have been put on the gazebo in Spring Creek Park and are on a timer, he noted. Signs left over from the South Broadway street project were expected to be picked up soon, he noted. Hindt concluded by saying the department is "waiting for snow" and is prepared for when it comes.

Park and Rec director John Fenske shared that the department has added an adult dance class on Thursdays in the community center. He added that the community center has been a busy place lately.

Fillmore County Deputy Sheriff and Spring Valley Policy Coordinator Tim Rasmussen submitted his written report to the council and noted during the meeting that nighttime police officers have been "doing parking ticket reminders" for vehicles parked in areas they are not supposed to be during the overnight hours. He said there has not been many.

Spring Valley Fire Chief Chris Czapiewski said the department has had a "quiet month." Three new members have been added, he noted, and the department is done with training for the year.

Public hearing on TIF district

The council convened again on the evening of Nov. 28 for a public hearing on the proposed Tax Increment Finance (TIF) District creation for the new True Value store property in Spring Valley.

Todd Jones of Spring Valley has requested tax increment assistance to build a new True Value store in Spring Valley, located in the open lot area northwest of Kwik Trip, near Kraut Valley Locker. His former store, located downtown, was heavily damaged in a fire summer 2011.

Mike Bubany of David Drown Associates was on hand at the hearing to speak about the proposal. Council member Jones, sat in the audience instead of at the council table.

Bubany said this would be a nine-year economic development TIF district where the city, county and school district would be forgoing the increased taxes due to the new development for nine years. "This is a standard, pay-as-you-go format and it is risk free from a financial perspective," he said. "This is a textbook use of this." Property taxes would still be paid on the parcel, he noted, so no taxes capacity would be lost.

The value on the current parcel is $18,500 with an estimated original tax capacity of $278. The projected new value, with the new building, will be $350,000 with a tax capacity of $6,250. The estimated amount of tax increment generated over the life of the TIF district is estimated to be $73,945.

The council approved the creation of the new TIF district. It was noted Jones would like to begin construction as soon as possible. He added, "This will help. Thank you, I appreciate it."