The Spring Valley City Council is continuing its work to improve rental conditions in the city as a revised rental ordinance was dispersed among councilmembers to review during their meeting on Nov. 25.

According to City Administrator Deb Zimmer, revisions were made to the proposed ordinance based on previous concerns voiced by community members.

These changes include the requirement for a certain number of outlets per room based on square footage, which has now been removed from the ordinance, as well as several minor changes.

A public hearing will be scheduled once the council completes the review and receives more feedback from the community.

Zimmer first made the council aware of the issue concerning several complaints made to the Minnesota Public Health Department in regards to rental conditions during the council's Oct. 2 budget meeting. During that meeting the council members concluded they had no choice but to once again review an ordinance consisting of regulations on maintenance and occupancy for rental properties within Spring Valley.

"The problem is most of our ordinances are not for the law abiding people who follow the rules, it's for the ones that don't...unfortunately," Zimmer said in response to the complaints over the ordinance.

Fire department grant

Fire Chief Chris Czapiewski explained the FEMA-funded Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program, which he just applied for at the beginning of the month.

The goal of the program is to help meet the needs of fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations. This can include equipment such as protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources needed to keep the public and emergency personnel safe.

The department applied for a $95,000 grant to replace 13 air packs with bottles and masks, as well as an upgrade to the air compressor system.

Czapiewski stated that the air packs the department has are currently up to the 1997 standards, but there have been three upgrades to those standards since that time.

"We stand a good chance of getting that [grant], just because of how old they are and we're already three updates behind on our air packs," Czapiewski explained. "But it could be a month, six months or a year before we hear anything."

In other business

• The council approved Smith, Schafer and Associates 2013 audit proposal, though the cost has increased $500 from last year.

• According to city maintenance supervisor Chad Hindt, Spring Valley is ready for winter, as he and his crew have been servicing maintenance vehicles and getting prepared for the snowy season.

• Fillmore County deputy Tim Rasmussen reported the month of November has been much quieter than October, thankfully.

• Czapiewski announced he will not be seeking another term as fire chief, saying it is time for someone else to come through the ranks.

• Council member Tony Archer informed the council two positions are going to be open on the library board, so any persons interested are to address their letter of intent to the attention of Dianne Sikkink.

• The council's final meeting of the year and the truth and taxation hearing will be held on Dec. 9 at 6 p.m.