What has the mayor been working on lately?

The Lake Improvement Committee recently met with DNR representatives to discuss a proposed project for the benefit of Sleepy Eye Lake. That project was removing some of the sediment and silt that is filling the slough to the east of the lake. Since that slough serves as a settling area for all the runoff water’s silt and sediment, that slough also serves as a vital buffer for the water that ends up in the lake. That runoff water, without the ability to settle out, has a huge impact on Sleepy Eye Lake.

As evidence for what is happening on the lake, you may recall that the area where the dredge wintered on the northeast corner of the lake had been dredged out. In order to get the dredge there, that area was dredged down to about a 10 foot depth. Well, quite interestingly, you may have noticed that that area is now only three feet deep. That filling in occurred in the last 10 years, but was not done by man. Why did it fill in?

The majority of the water flowing into Sleepy Eye Lake comes from the slough (through the culvert on the northeast corner of the lake) and the excess water flows out the outlet only 50 yards north of the inlet. We suspect the silt and sediment during high water periods is coming into the lake from the slough, circulating right in that northeast corner where the particulants settle out, before the excess water leaves the lake in the same area.

We’re in the process of forming a cooperative agreement with Minnesota State University to have them monitor water flow into the slough and, in turn, into the lake, this summer. This will give us better data on where the silt and sediment are coming from and what we might do about it. We’ll be meeting with them soon to discuss plans. I’ll provide more information on this matter as it develops in the coming weeks.

It’s great to be able to announce that the City has sold the cemetery they owned in Mitchell, South Dakota. We didn’t know, and you’re probably wondering, what a cemetery would sell for. We were able to close the deal for $5,000 and were happy to do so.

Just a word of thanks to our dedicated firemen for their tremendous service to our community. We are fortunate to have them. I just attended a meeting of their pension committee where they talked about retirements of guys who have served for 30 and more years. The firemen have built a up a nice retirement fund for the benefit of their retiring members. Good work, guys.

The EDA, led by Kurk Kramer, is putting together plans for the demolition of the Orchid Inn. Unfortunately there is a good amount of asbestos in the building that will need to be removed before the building can come down. Removing asbestos is an expensive project — in that building probably approaching $100,000. We do hope to get some grant money to help with this project.

This past weekend the Chamber of Commerce held their annual meeting at the Event Center. This organization and its members are a pillar of this community. There is some discussion of the Chamber Office moving to the old Amoco/Shane’s Tire building. It seems that a Chamber Office does belong on Main Street in full view of all visiting our fine community. Thanks to the Chamber and its members for your collective contribution to this community.