At what point does feeding feral cats become a public safety concern?

At Tuesday night’s legislative committee meeting, the Spring Valley city council discussed a cat problem boiling around Seventh Street.

Aldermen stated there is a resident that has been feeding them, which has continued to increase the population and draw other kinds of wildlife to the area.

“We’ve had everything but a skunk,” said alderman Dave Pellegrini, who lives around the issue.

City attorney Jim Andreoni said he would look into drafting an ordinance that addresses feeding animals to the point where it becomes a health or safety concern.

Alderman Ed Jauch said he believes the Illinois Department of Natural Resources already has some language in place to address the issue.

Where to park: The city council does not want residents to park cars in their yard or on the city’s berm. An ordinance is in the works, which will mirror neighboring cities like Peru and La Salle to would prohibit residents from keeping vehicles on their grass.

However, because space is limited in some areas, such as Power Street and St. Paul Street, the council agreed that they could make exceptions on when residents could park on the berm. But if they were to park on the berm regularly, the council wants to see some sort of paved surface created instead of grass. That could be gravel, asphalt or cement.

Tree issues: Public works superintendent Jeff Norton said the city has a tree issue in the 200 block of West First Street that he would like removed before it causes any property damage.

He also said the aerial sewer over Spring Creek that runs through Western Sand and Gravel’s property has a tree lodged into it that needs to be removed.

Norton suggested hiring a company with excavating equipment to get back on the property and remove the tree before it causes serious damage for the city.

Ongoing developments

Spring Valley is continuing its search for developers to rehabilitate the former Spring Valley hotel property at 226-228 E. St. Paul St.

At Tuesday night’s finance committee meeting, the city council discussed tweaks to a request for proposal that will be sent out to generate interest among any potential applicants.

But the council is still uncertain on whether a development in the existing building will require an applicant to install a sprinkler system. Mayor Walt Marini said after looking at the National Fire Protection Association’s codes, he does not believe the building would require a system. The council said they would reaffirm with the city fire marshal if the sprinklers were required. A new system could add significant costs to the development, Marini said.

But once the RFP was posted, potential applicants would have 60 days to submit proposals to the city for the work.

No prevailing wage necessary: Economic development director Debb Ladgenski informed the council that projects with city money, such as façade grant work and request for proposal projects, do not require prevailing wage.

“We thought it was required anytime you use city funds, but it’s not,” said mayor Walt Marini.

Some aldermen expressed concern that getting rid of the wage stipulation could lead to people hiring less qualified contractors.

City engineering representative Mike Richetta said prevailing wage made no guarantee a contractor would provide quality work either.

Brett Herrmann can be reached at (815) 220-6933 or svreporter@newstrib.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SpringValley.

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NewsTribune Online Editor covering Spring Valley and Dalzell. Contact him at (815) 220-6933 or svreporter@newstrib.com

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