Kevin Kelleher addressed the Spring Valley City Council as a representative of Minnesota's Shovel Ready Certificate Program at the council meeting on Monday, April 22.

The purpose of the program is to attract new industries to local communities by certifying shovel ready sites.

The program was created by the Positively Minnesota Marketing Partnership along with the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to encourage more businesses to relocate to the Minnesota area.

To become certified a community or private owner must have a potential site under its control and all of the planning, zoning, surveys, title work, transportation access, utilities, and environmental testing completed.

As Kelleher stated, "This keeps you ahead of the game when companies come around and reduces their time and upfront costs."

As part of the program, they will be added to a list of certified sites, which is given to prospective companies. According to Kelleher, last year 150 potential companies contacted his office for this information.

The cost of the program is $3,000; this includes the assistance of a consultant and the certification.

Currently, there are 15 sites in the state certified through the program with five to six coming this spring. But few sites are in southeast Minnesota, so Spring Valley would be at a competitive advantage.

Kelleher finished by stressing, "Be prepared; with companies wanting to move in quickly you want to be in a position to fit that and say 'we're ready and we want you to be in Spring Valley and create jobs here.'"

The council had no questions, but will further review the Shovel Ready Certificate Program.

Other business:

• The resolution for the quarterly ambulance write-offs was approved.

•The gambling permit for the Kingsland Athletic Booster Club for use in Rack's Bar and Grill was approved.

•The city of Spring Valley will be getting a new copier, as approved by the council. This will save the city an estimated $560 on maintenance costs.

•Now that weather is finally cooperating, Chad Hindt, the maintenance superintendent, said they would be able to start filling potholes this week.

•John Fenske gave a very big thank you to Shane Simonson, Tim Howard, Chris Rolli, Matt Jacobson and Mark Dornick from Public Utilities for their help in getting the sand out of the pool saying "it was a great example of the city helping each other out."

•Fenske also mentioned to the council that he was approached by community members asking to have the new south park west side softball field renamed Del Bicknese Field. This will be added to a future agenda.

The next council meeting will be May 13 at 6 p.m.