Council approves 2020 appointments, hears from engineer.

The Sleepy Eye City Council moved through their “new year” business quickly Tuesday night, Jan. 14. They approved the Mayor’s appointments to several city boards and commissions. Mayor Wayne Pelzel said he is still looking to fill two spots on the airport board, and one on the blight committee. He named Trista Barka, Linda Schueler, and DeeAnn Gieseke to the short term Census Committee.

The council named the Herald-Dispatch as the official city newspaper; designated First Security, SouthPoint, and Americana as official city depositories; gave the City Clerk and City Manager permission to invest city funds, and approved the annual Hospital Board salaries.

The rental inspection ordinance, as it relates to family members living in the rental units, was discussed. Matt Vickery asked the council to consider an exemption for a house he owns next door to his residence, where his son lives. Fire Chief Ron Zinniel told the council he thinks the rental inspection requirements are going in the right direction for public safety and urged them not to reverse it. After discussion, the council took no action, preferring to stick with the language and intent in the recently adopted ordinance: any not owner-occupied unit is a rental [and requires inspection.]

The first reading was called to update the city’s ordinance on tobacco sales to meet the new Federal rule.

Engineer Dave Palm updated the council on the 12th Avenue NE/St. Mary’s Street project. He said all approvals (state and county) of the plans are received and the project is on schedule to have bid opening on Feb. 25. The council approved plans and specs for the project and authorized advertising for bids.

Palm also gave an update of the 2020 Street and Utility project and again the council approved plans and specs for the project and authorized advertising for bids. Palm said the opening of bids would be March 3 on this project.

The council approved funding requests from the Chamber of Commerce for $8,000 and the Sleepy Eye Area Historical Society for $3,700. City Manager Bob Elston said the amounts were already included in the recently adopted budget.