Sleepy Eye Mayor’s message

Mayor Wayne Pelzel

There are lots of good news items to share in this column. First, we certainly want to welcome Steve Trachtenberg and Chasing Our Tails to Sleepy Eye. They announced on June 23 that they have signed an agreement with Seneca to purchase the Del Monte plant. From everything we know, Steve plans to move quickly and get his business up and operating here in Sleepy Eye. This will likely bring jobs to our community as well as making use of the great structure that sits on the western edge of our community.

We have a terrific announcement to make in that the Dyckman Free Library has received a $55,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Education. This grant will be used to do upgrades (shingling, carpets and other renovations) to the library building. These renovations were planned, but now it won’t need to come from our local tax dollars. This grant comes on top of the recent announcement of another $10,000 grant that the library received. Thanks, Lisa Steffl, for your work in making these grant applications.

The real estate market for the City has been spectacular this past couple months. All 10 shed lots along the south side of Elm Street in the new addition have been sold. A number of lots in the Snow Farm addition have also been sold. Some were sold for housing and others for potential businesses. Look for new developments in that section of town. It is really exciting to see this progress.

Also in the Snow Farm addition, the City continues to work with Alliance Builders who hope to erect a 40 unit market rate apartment building south of the present development. There are some details that need to be worked out yet regarding abatement (tax adjustments) but other than that, it looks like that project could be ready to go next spring. Of course, things can always change.

Another project being worked on in the lower portion of the Snow Farm around the pond below the hill is a patio home development. The soil in that area is not suitable for conventional housing, but could be used for homes without basements. City staff recently met with potential builders and developers to discuss that opportunity. The City is hoping a local developer would take on this project.

With new businesses moving into the community, the need for additional housing is dire. We know that there is a clear lack of available housing as homes are often sold the same day they are listed.

The Downtown Revitalization Committee has embarked on a project to create a walking tour of our historic downtown. They are now in the process of doing a history on the buildings. When that is completed, they hope to get pictures of the former downtown businesses and put that and the history in each of the store front windows. Thereby, folks may tour the downtown getting to read about the building’s past and see pictures of what it looked like.

City staff recently installed the new docks out at the Sleepy Eye Lake. They sure look good.

In a recent column, I mentioned the idea of a community garden. However no one came forward with interest in a project like that. It’s good to know that is not a need in Sleepy Eye.

It’s great to be able to share these good news items with you as Sleepy Eye continues to move forward.