An extremely important decision lies just ahead for the City Council and Public Utilities Commission.

An extremely important decision lies just ahead for the City Council and Public Utilities Commission. That decision is the hiring of a new City Manager to replace soon to retire Manager Mark Kober.

David Drown Associates, our search organization, reported to us that they have over 20 candidates interested in the position. Information and credentials on the candidates will be delivered to the City Council and the PUC this week. The task given to this group will be to narrow the field down to six candidates the evening of the City Council meeting, Dec. 11.

These six candidates will then be interviewed by the Council and PUC on Jan. 7 and 8 and a final decision reached at the City Council meeting on Jan. 8.

The budget for 2019 is slated to be approved at the Dec. 11 Council meeting. As we’ve stated earlier, there are two increases proposed other than simple cost of living increases. One increase is $100,000 for street improvements and the other is $100,000 to assist folks fixing up buildings and facades on Main Street.

The City recently signed contracts with Frontier Labs, who will be constructing a new facility just south of Kibble Equipment in the Snow Addition next spring. We welcome Frontier Labs who anticipate employing about 18 people at this new site.

The City Council recently received the results of the survey comments from those who completed this recent second survey. There were many comments, but a large number addressed blight in the community with the hope that this time something will actually change. A number of those commenting on blight felt that their property values were declining because of the way their neighbor took care of the property next to them. We share your concern.

The blight committee is making progress, but its not all going to happen overnight. They have a large job to do, but are addressing properties one at a time. Main Street is one of their priorities. Matt Ibberson is the City’s Blight Inspector. Sara Hornbrook is the chairperson of the Blight Committee and Doug Pelzel and Dick Zinniel represent the Council on the committee.

We extend congratulations to Nate Stevermer, Doug Pelzel and Gary Windschitl who were recently elected to the Council. We also extend our thanks and best wishes to Dick Zinniel who has served the community for many years. The new Council will begin their terms in January.

I learned this past week that I need to have cardiac bypass surgery. When you read this the surgery will have been completed. I thank everyone who said a prayer on my behalf as well as those who offered good wishes. Those prayers and good wishes go hand in hand with the kind of community Sleepy Eye is. I am thankful for the blessings of living in that kind of community and look forward to returning to help carry on the good things happening here in our town.