Some vital information that I’ve shared in previous columns bears repeating, because I’ve heard comments from people who apparently missed the information in the past.
Some vital information that I’ve shared in previous columns bears repeating, because I’ve heard comments from people who apparently missed the information in the past. Specifically, there still seems to be an undercurrent flowing around that our City is not financially well managed and that our City Manager “is spending all our money.” Let me put that rumor to rest because it is simply NOT the truth. The truth is we’ve been blessed with good, sound management and our financial position is excellent. Allow me to cite two examples, although there are many more.
First, our City’s taxes are LOWER than any of our neighboring communities, and frankly lower than almost all in our region. Sounds like what we’d want from good management, doesn’t it?
Second, our City’s excellent financial condition was just affirmed by the City’s auditor, Dennis Oberloh of Redwood Falls. Mr. Oberloh’s firm audits many municipalities and he affirmed the quality of the audit findings at a recent City Council meeting when he presented the audit for the financial year ended December 31, 2017.
Keep in mind that our new event center is fully paid for without borrowing one dime. That, folks, addresses our true financial condition.
I attended the Ron Drake presentation the other evening, and again, it was gratifying to see 50 to 75 people in attendance, all interested in the future of Sleepy Eye’s Main Street. Kurk Kramer, our EDA Coordinator, did a nice job of summarizing the information and answering questions from the crowd. But most gratifying of all was to know that there is significant progress and broad interest in changing the face of Sleepy Eye’s downtown. Often these private parties don’t want their information to get out prematurely, but be assured that things are happening behind the scenes. I’m convinced that two years from now, we’re all going to be pleased with the progress that has been made.
One potential change that I can talk about is one that the City is involved in. There is a serious effort underway to move the Chamber Office from the Community Center to the Shane’s Tire building on Main Street. That move would give our Chamber greater visibility and enhanced access to travelers coming through town. I’ll share more as this is investigated and more information is available.
I feel sorry for our business owners and construction crews on Main Street. Brian Mathiowetz, of Mathiowetz Construction, informed me several weeks ago that they had scheduled eight days to complete the sidewalks on the south side of Main. With weather delays they are now on day 32 of that eight day project.
At a special City Council meeting on Wednesday, June 27 at noon, the City Council gave the “go ahead” to the police station upgrade to the City building. Bids will now be solicited, with construction to be completed in mid-December. The architect’s building cost estimate is $750,000. The Council has not decided whether to pay cash or borrow the money. Low interest rates make borrowing look somewhat attractive. Referring back to earlier comments about the City’s financial condition, isn’t it nice to know that we have the money to do the project?
All the good progress happening around town is in part due to progressive, positive, “can do” leadership. It’s important that our leaders look at the community with progress and growth in mind. Without that, everything stalls.