The City of Sleepy Eye has ordinances that address how property owners must maintain the exterior of their property. The City issues a blight violation when an owner fails to follow these ordinances.
In an effort to keep Sleepy Eye neat and orderly, the city council discussed rewriting their blight ordnance to better be able to enforce the effort to keep Sleepy Eye clean. What the Sleepy Eye City Council hopes to accomplish by rewriting the ordinance is to hold absentee property owners accountable for maintaining their properties and levy substantial fines for those who don't comply.
Examples of blight violations include failure to maintain exterior of property, failure to comply with a snow emergency order and failure to remove snow and ice from properties, just to name a few. This ordinance was established initially to assist residents toward compliance versus a system geared toward revenue collection.
"We charge enough for snow removal and cutting grass so that property owners do not want us to come back," explained City Manager Mark Kober. "Aside from the financial end of it, folks are frustrated and angry. The frustration stems from the fact that we are a regulatory authority that doesn't seem to be taking responsibility. We are not tough enough on it and it has become a babysitting agency."
While the issue was discussed at length at Tuesday evenings council meeting, no action was taken at the meeting. More research will be done into rewriting the policy and ordinance to be more clear and assist residents in complying.