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Village researches municipal ownership of SVHRC

The Spring Valley Health and Rehab Center has seen financial challenges escalate over the last six months. Administrator Kevin Larson said it was important for the nursing home to open up lines of dialogue with the community to keep the facility operating. Matthew Lambert / RiverTown Multimedia

Discussion at the Jan. 3 Spring Valley Board meeting covered a variety of topics from the need to reduce phosphorus levels from the Wastewater Treatment Plant, to options with the Spring Valley Health and Rehabilitation Center, to building construction at the Westland Meadows Business Park.

Spring Valley Village Clerk Luann Emerson said Dean Schilling will be moving his Asphalt Maintenance and Paving company to the Westland Meadows Business Park. Schilling will have to have his building completed by the end of 2018, said Village President Marsha Brunkhorst.

Schilling asked the board in writing if the Village Board would consider allowing him to build a pole building on the 6 acres he purchased at the business park.

"The board voted that there would be contingencies to a pole building and they would be spelled out in the developers agreement with board approval at time of building approval," Emerson said.

Trustee Mary Ducklow said she is happy to see a business going into the area.

"I'd rather have buildings out there, that's what it was meant for," Ducklow said.


Brunkhorst presented information about SVHRC possibly becoming municipally owned after discussions at the Care Center with lenders, consultants and management companies. Right now, Brunkhorst said she is just looking to see what questions the board has and if this is something the Village should consider.

One reason to make the nursing home municipally owned would be a cost savings to SVHRC. Brunkhorst said potential savings could be $100,000 annually.

Board members raised questions such as village cost, is there potential village responsibility for the current loan, is there any way to lessen risks to the village if the nursing home goes under?

Brunkhorst said she will try to find answers to all these questions and present them back to the board for consideration.

Wastewater treatment plant

Municipal staff engineer Isaac Steinmeyer spoke to the board about the Department of Natural Resource's requirement that the village try a new chemical RE-100 to reduce the amount of phosphorus being discharged from the wastewater treatment plant.

Currently, Steinmeyer said per the DNR, the Spring Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant is discharging too much phosphorus; the DNR recently changed its guidelines concerning an acceptable amount of phosphorus discharge.

The Wisconsin DNR website said that increases in phosphorus levels has led to changes in area waters.

"Small increases in phosphorus can fuel substantial increases in aquatic plant and algae growth, which in turn can reduce recreational use, property values and public health," it states.

The board approved a motion for the Village to spend $12,950 on the new chemical, which pays for 60 days worth of the chemical. However, the price could lessen if the Village buys the chemical in bulk amounts later on.

"If the new chemical is not effective, the Village will apply for a variance," said Steinmeyer. "The variance will extend the timeframe for the Village to meet the new phosphorus limits. They are not eligible for this until we see the results of the RE-100 trial."