Progress & Industry: Valley Springs eyes development, infrastructure upgrades

By: 
Staff report
Rod Kuipers is in the process of purchasing more than 30 acres of land in Valley Springs that he intends to turn into a residential and commercial district. 
The local developer shared plans with Valley Springs commissioners Jan. 14 to gain feedback on his idea, which includes opening a development for 60 to 80 homes south east of the West Acres Addition along Valley Drive. The plan also shows potential for shopping plazas along the highway.
“It’s probably a five- to 10-year buildout plan,” Kuipers said. “My pockets are not real deep. If we can get it done, I’d like to work with the city to benefit both – get a good, viable development to bring more people into the city.”
Kuipers inquired about assistance from the city in connecting the development to water and sewer. 
“There’s plenty of capacity on that (sewer) line, that’s for sure,” public works superintendent Ryan Nussbaum assured. 
Kuipers hopes to start dirt work this spring and summer and follow up in the fall with water, sewer, curb and gutter. Building and paving would take place in the spring of 2021.
“We’re going to open this up to any and all builders, too, and do it in phases,” he said. “I want to make sure everything works for us and for the city.”
Kuipers said he recently built a home that sold for $334,000 before it even hit the market, and last year he received two to three inquiries per month about available housing in Valley Springs.
“We’ve definitely increased the market value of Valley Springs,” he added. “I think it’s a good opportunity for growth for the city.” 
The commission suggested contacting the South Eastern Council of Governments for possible assistance. 
“We’ll have to get ahold of some people here,” added mayor Carl Moss.
The city of Valley Springs is also about to embark on a $3.38 million water and sewer project. 
The city is looking at a $3.38 million project to replace water and sewer mains along Cliff Avenue, Valley and Dunham drives.
However, the project isn’t anticipated until 2021, and how much water and sewer rates increase, will depend on how much funding the project receives from the state.
This past fall, city leaders submitted an application for funding to the Board of Water and Natural Resources. 
They expect to be notified of the request in late March.

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