Before addressing current City activities in this column, I’d like to share a need that exists in Sleepy Eye at the present time. The need for ambulance attendants is growing more and more acute. There’s a concern that one day we may not be able to provide ambulance service for every call that comes in. Our regular EMTs are decreasing in number and those who are still working are needing to take more and more calls to cover every shift. They are getting tired and they need more help.

What’s the solution? You are the solution. We need more people to take the training and step up to help out. Even if you could cover a couple shifts a month, it would help reduce the burden.

Ambulance attendants do a vital and important service in our community. They are compensated for call time and paid more when they actually make a run. There are a couple levels of qualification which determine the amount of training you need. Training is paid by the ambulance service if you end up serving on the ambulance service for a period of time.

Give Shari Hittesdorf a call if you would like more information or speak to one of the ambulance attendants. Here is a place where you could truly make a difference, pick up some extra money, and earn the respect and appreciation of the community.

Along with Mark Kober and Kurk Kramer, I recently attended a conference in Winona dealing with preservation of historic buildings in our communities. Part of the conference included tours of historic buildings in Winona and why and how that community preserved them. We’re going to form a Historic Preservation Committee here in Sleepy Eye. If you have any interest in serving on a committee doing that kind of work, please let me know.

Recent City Council action saw Steve Lingen present information on improvements planned for Prairieview park softball fields. A group was present at the last Council meeting to discuss needed improvements.

The Blight Committee has begun efforts to improve the face of Sleepy Eye. Sara Hornbrook is chairing that committee and they are already making progress. Matt Ibberson is the City’s Blight Officer.

The City budget for 2019 was given preliminary approval with an 11.5 percent increase. The two budget items receiving the increase were streets and setting aside money for downtown improvement loans. The final budget will be approved at the November Council meeting. Although this preliminary budget does reflect an increase, we are still able to maintain that enviable position of holding our taxes lower than any of our neighboring communities.

You’ve probably noticed that work has begun on the police station. This is work that was long overdue. Salonek Construction of Springfield is the contractor.