Many Spring Valley business owners and residents attended the Spring Valley City Council meeting Sept. 10 to provide input on the city's garbage contract and service provided by haulers.

The city's current garbage service contract with Waste Management is up for renewal Nov. 1. The city has received three proposals for the new contract, which is renewed every three years.

The city received proposals from Waste Management of Rochester, Sunshine Sanitation of Stewartville and Wm. Hanson Waste Removal and Recycling of Chatfield.

There has been interest in the provider change this year as Spring Valley business owners have asked that the city's contract cover commercial service because they are questioning rate increases and quality of service with the current provider. Waste Management handles the city's solid waste removal, but the current contract only covers residential properties. City Administrator Deb Zimmer said she decided to include commercial pickup in the bidding this year.

At the Sept. 10 meeting, Tory Keefe of Sunshine Sanitation was present - representatives with Waste Management or Wm. Hanson Waste Removal and Recycling were not in attendance - to discuss the service he could provide to Spring Valley and answer questions.

City Administrator Deb Zimmer said she had talked with Keefe about servicing the commercial district. He said different commercial businesses have different costs with hauling away their garbage. He said he feels the most economic and fair way to assess fees for commercial is to have a "pull fee" for dumpsters and calculating the charge for pickup by the weight of the trash and the number of times it is picked up in a month. Keefe said the price can change drastically with the type of trash.

Chris Czapiewski and Harlan Marchant said they have had problems with Waste Management not picking up their cardboard. Keefe said that he "likes cardboard" because he can make money on it and feels it's a "win-win for everyone."

Marchant said he felt the city would have to "look at each individual situation before we know where we are at" for the businesses. Keefe said he would be willing to do individual quotes for every commercial business.

Keefe said that he would "charge people for the trash they create."

Mayor Jim Struzyk said the council will "take notes" and at the next council meeting it will take action on the matter.

Main Street discussion

The council then discussed what was happening with the Main Street (part of County Road 1) project, with Fillmore County responsible for a portion of the cost to reconstruct the street from Section to Highway 16.

Zimmer said she has been receiving "confusing information" and is "not sure what is going on" as far as progression on the street reconstruction process. She noted that some property owners are "apparently OK with the assessments now and don't want it vacated."

She added that with the condition the street is in now, it is hard to maintain.

Zimmer said if the council wants to approve the resolutions declaring the costs to be assessed and adopting the assessments, it doesn't matter how far out the project is. She noted citizens have 30 days to contest the assessments. She noted the council could also not do anything and "see what the county is going to do."

Council member Todd Jones noted, "It would be nice if (Fillmore County commissioner) Chuck (Amunrud) could be here tonight and clarify some stuff. I would like to see the project continue."

The council members approved the resolutions to move forward with the Main Street project on its end.

Other business

• The council approved a community need plan to go along with applying for the Small Cities Block Grant. The city's top priorities, approved in the resolution, is rehabilitation of commercial properties and rehabilitation of rental units above the commercial properties.

• Council members approved Fillmore County Sheriff's Department employee Tim Rassmussen as its new policy coordinator. With the advancement of Kevin Beck to another position within the department, the position description was updated and presented to council members.

• A resolution was approved certifying the 2012 preliminary property tax levy, collectable in 2013 in the amount of $914,632. Zimmer said this is a 4.5 percent increase from last year.