Spring Valley resident Dick Harreld addressed the Spring Valley City Council during the Feb. 10 meeting to express frustration in regard to Waste Management's service.

"Waste Management this year, for some reason, has decided some days there's too much snow for them to work and then in the last weeks it was too cold. Our kids went to school, but it was too cold for them and they don't even have to get out of their trucks," he told the council.

Other complaints include trashcans ending up in the streets, inconsistency with trash pick-ups, and lack of communication between the company and its customers.

Harreld explained he feels the company is taking advantage of the situation because it is the only garbage service in Spring Valley and asked the council to review the contract to make sure the company is adhering to the agreed terms.

On Oct. 8, 2012, the council approved a three-year contract renewal after receiving two bids for the job, one from Waste Management and the second from Sunshine Sanitation.

At that time the council received varied responses from community members, making the ultimate decision a difficult choice.

City administrator Deb Zimmer informed the council she had sent an email addressing these concerns to a company representative but had not received a response, admitting communications with the company have not been as good as they had been previously.

As for communications with customers is was pointed out that only residents with a landline are able to receive a notification of changes with the pickup schedule.

Harreld said he knew of no residents in Spring Valley that were alerted when the pickup was delayed due to the cold weather.

At this point, the city is not notified of any delays or issues until community members make leaders aware of problems.

Council member Todd Jones asked to have this addressed with Waste Management so the city could at least notify residents through local channel KING 11 of any disruptions of service.

"We need to stay on top of this and see what's going on. I can see possibly with lots of snow their trucks getting stuck, but the cold weather shouldn't affect them at all," Mayor Jim Struzyk stated.

Other business

• Council members approved the country ambulance agreement, which saw no changes from the previous year.

• The following new rate changes for the Spring Valley Area Ambulance Service were approved with the current rates, new rate and average listed: $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 $1294.90.

"That's not even putting us on the high end. It's just getting us closer to the average," noted Jones.

The average rates are based on a statewide survey conducted by the Minnesota Ambulance Association.

• Cigarette license renewals for local businesses Old Tyme Saloon, Fowler Oil, Sunshine Foods and Dollar General were all approved.

Department reports

Zimmer announced plans for the upcoming Wilderfest weekend will include a new bicycle grass race on Friday, May 16.

"They are actually planning quite a vendor show and some other activities out there as part of Almanzo," she revealed. The color guard will also be a part of the start of the main race.

To date there are over 1,700 riders registered for the events.

In anticipation of all those riders, Zimmer is asking any local residents who are willing to open their homes to participants to contact her, as she works with race promoter Chris Skogen to connect the bikers with residents.

Zimmer then outlined upcoming events including the Spring Valley Area Community Foundation banquet that will be held on April 26 and will host a speaker on the Destination Medical Center.

The next council meeting will be held on Feb. 24 at 6 p.m.