2019 will mark the end of an era and the beginning of another.

2019 will mark the end of an era and the beginning of another. Mark Kober came to Sleepy Eye in 2000. He will retire in the spring of 2019 when Kelli Truver takes over in his chair. I would like to say congratulations to both!

First to Mark. Congratulations on your retirement. I have watched you grow more excited about the idea of retirement as the time gets closer and I feel good for you being ready for that chapter of your life. Being able to spend more time with your grandchildren will certainly be a joy, as will the projects I know you will dive into. More importantly though, I would like to say congratulations on an outstanding career here in Sleepy Eye, and for the major accomplishments you and the community achieved while you were here. There were many, but I would like to name a few.

A grant application for the Sleepy Eye Lake trail was submitted in 2001. Phase one construction began in 2007 and was completed in 2008. Phase II was completed in 2016. In total it is 3.1 miles of an asphalt walking and biking trail around the lake. It is used extensively all year ’round. The Aquatic Center was completed in 2008. It is host to 20,000 plus people annually. The new water treatment facility was completed in 2010. It has virtually eliminated water quality complaints in town. The Snow Farm property was purchased in 2008. Phase I construction, which was the installation of Walnut Street, Maple Street and 12th Avenue South and the underlying utilities, was completed in 2011-2012. It is host to three brand new beautiful facilities — Kibble Equipment, Casey’s General Store and C&S Heating and Air Conditioning, and soon to come Frontier Labs, as well as two new residential homes. The new concrete bathhouse structure and accompanying water and sewer lines were added to Sportsmen’s Park in 2016. It consists of four individual shower stalls and a men’s and women’s bathroom. In November of 2016 construction began on the new Event Center. The first event was held in late August of 2017. This incredibly beautiful facility is the envy of the region. It will play host to events large and small for decades to come. Finally, before Mark retires, the new police station should be open for business in the space that was formerly the municipal liquor store. All of these awesome projects and many more were accomplished while keeping Sleepy Eye’s tax rate one of the lowest in the region. Job well done!

I know Mark loves Sleepy Eye, and loves living here, because he plans to remain here after retirement. I also know the City of Sleepy Eye has been blessed to have him in the city manager’s chair for the last 19 years.

To Kelli, I say congratulations on being chosen to lead us into the next decade. Although much has been accomplished, there is always more that can be done. Your energy is infectious, and we are excited to welcome you and your family to our community. The amount of work that you have already done to prepare yourself for this position makes it feel like you are already a part of Sleepy Eye. It will be fun to see where we go next.