Report on Feb. 11 Sleepy Eye City Council meeting.

At their Tuesday, Feb. 11 meeting, the Sleepy Eye City Council adopted a resolution approving the issuance of general obligation refunding bonds. Municipal financial advisor, George Eilertson of Northland Securities, went over the bond refinancing plan, which combines both hospital and city existing bonds in the amount of $6,425,000. He said the current interest rates are in the 3% to 3.5% range and the new rate could go down to 2%.

Eilertson said the overall interest savings, based on the current market, is approximately $593,000. He said about $415,000 of that is the hospital and the balance, about $178,000, relates to other city utility type projects. He pointed out those savings are based on “today’s market” and the city [through Northland] can’t price the bonds until they go for a ratings call and get an offering document put together — a process he said would take about a month.

On the advice of Eilertson, the council also adopted a debt management policy. Eilertson said, “City management and what policies and procedures you have goes into your ratings score. So the more policies and procedures you have in place, the better policy score you get.”

Councilor Nate Stevermer commented the suggested debt management policy was the same as what the city does already. He made the motion to adopt the policy.

Other council business:

•Approved the Mayor’s appointment of Toby Arneson and Lenny Neid to the Airport Board.

•Voted not to object on an exempt gambling permit for the Knights of Columbus, raffle on Apr. 19.

•Granted one day liquor license to St. Mary’s Church, Dinner Theatre in the church social room on March 21.

•Granted permit to sell goods on a public street to TNT Eats, Feb. 29.

City Attorney Alissa Groen presented several items for consideration:

•The council approved the second reading or the tobacco ordinance, raising the age to purchase to 21, consistent with recent changes to Federal law.

•Council approved a lease agreement with Verizon for land near the city garage where Verizon plans to build a cell tower.

•Council tabled a contract agreement with Perfect Minds for a camping reservation system. The council wanted referrals from current customers and Groen had a couple contract issues to discuss with Perfect Minds.

•Groen gave an update on blight enforcement, explaining that filing charges has brought results, but the court process can take a long time.

Engineer Dave Palm reported the two big construction projects have been advertised for bids. The 12th Avenue NE/St. Mary’s Street project bids will be opened Feb. 25 at 2 p.m. at the Brown County Courthouse (the county is the fiscal agent for the project); bids for the 2020 Street and Utility project will be opened March 3 at 2 p.m. at the City Council chambers.