The first meeting of the year for the Spring Valley City Council was met with a full agenda filled with annual clerical items, the proposed rental ordinance and a possible rate increase for ambulance service.

Ambulance Director Jim Cooper addressed the council about a proposed rate increase for the Spring Valley Area Ambulance.

The SVAA took part in a statewide survey by Minnesota Ambulance Association last fall. The results were recently released and showed the SVAA's rates were quite low compared to the statewide averages.

"It's been 10 years since we did any kind of a raise and everything's been going up, so I think it's high time we caught up with the rest of the state," Cooper told the council.

The rising costs of fuel, insurance and wages are all factors in the increase.

The council will further review the following rate increases:

• Mileage: $11 to $17; average: $17.24

• BLS emergency: $525 to $925; average: $935.82

• BLS non-emergency: $385 to $700; average: $763.32

• ALS emergency: $640 to $1,200; average: $1,294.90

Annual clerical items

The council approved the Spring Valley Tribune as the official city newspaper.

Security State bank, Home Federal Savings Bank, First State Bank and First National Bank, all four banks in Spring Valley, were designated as the official depository of city funds with Home Federal Savings Bank was appointed as the primary checking, payroll and HRA account for 2014.

The council approved the 2014 fees, which remain the same as the previous year except for the addition of the sewer fee of $1,500.

A resolution establishing coverage for injuries to elected and appointed officials was approved.

The council approved the resolution, which establishes reimbursable items for city personnel.

The quarterly ambulance write-offs were approved.

Kwik Trip's 3.2 liquor license renewal was approved.

City administrator Deb Zimmer advised the council that the city is now accepting sealed bid on their old snow blower, which was recently replaced. The machine is being sold as is and all bids may be dropped off at city hall before the deadline of Friday, Jan. 24, at 4 p.m.

A public hearing for the proposed rental ordinance was approved. See accompanying article for details.

The council approved the renewal of the 2014 Community and Economic Development Associate (CEDA) contract at $22,246, per the economical development authority's (EDA) request.

Volunteer growers market leader Barb Smith asked the council to discuss the possibility of moving the Spring Valley Growers/Farmers Market or even possibly discontinuing the market. No action was taken as the councilors concluded closing the farmers market is not their decision to make and would be up to Smith and the vendors.

Parks and Rec Director John Fenske asked the council to increase the health reimbursement account for city workers since their insurance increased 8.3 percent this year. The HRA is meant to help employees meet their deductible and out-of-pocket expenses. The council approved the increase of $250.

Also approved was new playground equipment for Grant Street Park. The cost of the equipment is $9,999 and comes with two free items including picnic tables and benches. The council had budgeted $10,000 for the equipment with money coming from the gambling funds.

Finally, the council approved the annual appointments:

• Emergency management directors Mike Zimmer, Jeff Kappers and John Dols

•Fire Chief Troy Lange

•First Assistant Fire Chief Brian Danielson

•Second Assistant Fire Chief Greg Stender

•EDA (three-year term): Steve Himle

•EDA (one-year term): Jim Struzyk and Jeff Vehrenkamp

•Mayor pro-tem: Jeff Vehrenkamp

•Cable access board: Bob Tiefenbacher

•Library board: Karen Cleveland and Rita Bezdicek

•Utilities commission: Lyle Danielson

•Tourism committee: Julie Mlinar

•Zoning adjustment board: Mike Lee and Jim Steinmetz

•Osterud/Winter Trust: Brian Danielson

The next council meeting will be held on Jan. 27 at 6 p.m.