The final regular Sleepy Eye City Council meeting of 2017 was held Tuesday evening, Dec. 12.

The final regular Sleepy Eye City Council meeting of 2017 was held Tuesday evening, Dec. 12. As happens each December, the council held a truth in taxation hearing, to answer any questions about the budget, and approved the final budget for 2018 to be certified to Brown County. In a move that doesn’t often happen, the council voted to reduce the tax levy increase that had been presented in September’s preliminary budget.

The preliminary budget called for a 3.46 percent increase ($41,600) in the tax levy. At Tuesday’s meeting Councilor Dick Zinniel proposed reducing the increase by $10,000. City Manager Mark Kober said that amount could come out of the contingency line item, set at $420,000. “We have about that amount in contingency each year,” said Kober. “But we never use it.” The contingency fund is for unforeseen emergency expenses—storm damage was cited as one example—so the fund is necessary, but council members agreed that a reduction of $10,000 would be acceptable and approved a final 2018 budget with a 2.6 percent increase over last year, or $31,600. Kober said he would make the change and send it to the county.

Brent and Rachel Kucera were in attendance to ask the city council to approve a 3.9 percent rate increase for garbage collection, due to a 12 percent increase in the landfill tipping fee—council approved the increase; and to inform the council that as of Jan. 1 the business name would be River View Sanitation (RVS). Kucera also brought a 65 gallon garbage can for the council to see. RVS is moving toward having the large, wheeled cans in the communities they serve. The containers have hinged lids and are lifted and dumped by the truck mechanism. Kucera said he expects to bring the issue to the city for approval for 2019 and estimates a cost of 75 cents a month added to the garbage collection fee.

Other council business:

•Approved fire department 2018 officers and trustees, as proposed by the department—Chief, Ron Zinniel; 1st Assistant Chief, Ron Moldaschel; 2nd Assistant Chief, Jeff Zinniel; Secretary, Clark Trebesch; Trustees, Shane Martinka, Leon Steffl and Aaron Schauman; Fire Marshal, Al Windschitl; Assistant Fire Marshal, Kevin Hardin; Fire Wardens, 1st Ward-Leon Steffl, 2nd Ward-Mike Suess.

•Approved 2018 Tobacco License renewals for Casey’s, Freedom, Meyers Bar, Servicemen’s Club and Expressway.

•Approved 2018 City Attorney contract, allowing for an increase in hours.

•Reviewed the building permit application, including a new section spelling out setback requirements, owner responsibility, and the statement, “Relocating a structure that has not met the proper setbacks will be at the expense of the owner” and requiring the property owner’s signature.