Oct. 9 City Council meeting report.

The Sleepy Eye City Council is slated to select a new City Manager at the conclusion of a two-day interview process on Jan. 7 and 8, 2019. Liza Donabauer of DDA Human Resources, Inc., the company hired to conduct the search, was at the Oct. 9 council meeting and received approval of the position profile, job description, salary range and hiring process.

DDA’s next step is posting the position to recruit candidates, then review and rank applicants so the council can select finalists on Dec. 11. DDA will then complete items such as background and reference checks and prepare finalist packets in preparation for the Jan. 7 and 8 interview process.

There has been previous discussion on expanding the campground at Sportsmen’s Park. Parks Director Steve Lingen told the council the first step in moving forward is an application for approval from Brown-Nicollet Environmental Health. Lingen was given approval to complete the application. The proposal is for a road and eight campsites, to be located north of the cabins. Lingen said the campground is full every weekend during the season, with a waiting list to get in.

City Manager Mark Kober told the council that the county requested approval to sell five properties in Sleepy Eye, forfeited for nonpayment of property taxes. The other option is the city could request the county give the property to the city. Four are residential properties and the fifth is the former Shane’s Tire property, which has been discussed as a possible site for a visitor center and chamber of commerce office. The council discussed accepting the Shane’s Tire property, which they could lease to the chamber. Chamber Director Christina Andres said the chamber can apply for grants for site clean up and building renovations. Councilor Dick Zinniel said he felt the council needed more time to decide about acquiring that property. Kober suggested, and the council approved, a resolution to allow the county to disburse the four other properties, while holding Shane’s Tire to allow the council more time. The council will make a decision on the property at the (noon) Nov. 8 meeting that was scheduled to canvas election results.

The final big issue of the night, was Police Chief Matt Andres’ proposal to add an Investigator position to the police department in 2020. Chief Andres spoke about the strain and burnout effect on current officers who work shifts on patrol and conduct investigations, working many extra hours. Andres said much of the investigative work is on child protection cases. He said he wanted to start the discussion now for the future budget item. The council response was favorable to the proposal.