As you read this column today, the month of September is upon us and the schools have welcomed their students back.

As you read this column today, the month of September is upon us and the schools have welcomed their students back. I wish all of our community’s students the very best and encourage them to always do their best. Our college and vocational students are also beginning their year at their chosen schools and I also wish them well. I encourage them to get their degrees in their chosen fields and return to and make their home in Sleepy Eye.

The City Council will finalize the budget at the Sept. 8 meeting. Money is tight and as I explained in my last column, the Elm Street extension to 12th Avenue took a large monetary commitment, making the budget extra tight. Interest rates both helped and hurt the City. Lower interest rates reduced the price of the street projects, but also left the City with a $35,000 reduction in interest income from investments.

The City Manager met with the Library Board on Thursday, Aug. 20, to discuss the parameters for the hiring of a new librarian. At that meeting it was decided that Alda Rydin, a long time Library Board member, will represent the Board at the hiring interviews. It is hoped to have the position filled by the end of September.

It is somewhat regrettable that laws regulating how personnel matters are handled in government in the State of Minnesota do not allow total transparency. But, they don’t. That, unfortunately, allows one side to put any information out to the community, without rebuttal. That situation allows, and almost encourages, one-sided perspectives and rumors to abound and allows the placement of inaccuracies into the public conscience. My simple advice is to be careful because you may not be seeing the whole picture.

On Tuesday, Aug. 25, the EDA (Economic Development Authority) met to discuss businesses and programs that touch many aspects of our community. They recently met with Brown County officials to get five properties that the County owns through foreclosures. put up for sale. You may have noticed that these properties will be sold at public auction at the courthouse in the next days. There are people interested in buying these properties and selling them will put them back on the tax roles. The EDA does great work for the City.

The Downtown Revitalization Committee recently received a grant of $3,500 from SEAF (Sleepy Eye Area Foundation) to make some improvements to the downtown area. Trees at Veteran Park, the 4 and 14 park, and one tree at the City Building, will be lit from dusk to dawn. In addition several window clings have been ordered depicting past Sleepy Eye scenes. These window clings will fill the entire windows of vacant buildings, not only giving Sleepy Eye visitors a fun look at the past, but will also hide the vacant look.