Mayor's message: Good news items and 150th Anniversary plans

Mayor Wayne Pelzel

Holiday lights brighten our community and make it sparkle. I tip my hat to the Holiday Lights in Motion volunteers who again have made Sportsmen's Park a beautiful reminder of what working together can accomplish. In the same way I salute all the homeowners who have decorated their homes in bright Christmas decorations and lights. These displays are positively wonderful and lift the community’s Christmas spirit and community pride.

In addition to the lights, there are many encouraging things happening in and around the community, and I will try to highlight just a few.

This past week we met with a restaurant owner about the opportunities for a new restaurant here in Sleepy Eye. We think the meeting went well, but we’ve been excited about the possibilities before. Only time will tell whether this is the restaurant opportunity that will stick.

Yes, I can confirm that the Del Monte ponds have been purchased by Randy and Peter Goblirsch. They plan to use the ponds to raise fresh water shrimp (prawn). The Goblirsches have been working to perfect their operation for a good 10 years and they have made themselves experts on the subject. Next summer they plan to do a trial run out at the ponds and if successful, will move into full production the second year. We were fortunate enough to be invited out to their farm south of Sleepy Eye the other day to view them harvesting the shrimp. After a very interesting session about the growth process, we left there with a bowl of shrimp and Randy’s recipe recommendation. The shrimp are large and bluish in color. We prepared them as Randy recommended and feasted on this delicacy. I attest that they were the best shrimp I’ve ever eaten.

The organizational meeting of the City’s 150th Anniversary committee will be held Wednesday, Dec. 15, at noon in the City Council Chamber. There have been a few volunteers who have said they would work on a committee, but we’re certainly looking for more. We also need to select a chairperson for this organization. If you would like to serve on this committee, please come to the meeting. A light lunch will be served. Plans have been set for the celebration to take place Aug. 18, 19 and 20, 2022. A few things have already been put in place, but there are a multitude of possibilities that can be added.

Here are additional encouraging things happening in and around the community:

• The 40 unit market rate apartment building continues to move forward.

• The City has received an offer to purchase the three lots on the west edge of the Snow Farm property.

• An offer on a lot in the 12th Avenue project has been received.

• We received word that Brown County has been awarded a grant to remove the fuel tanks from the old Amoco property. After that the City would likely take over possession.

• Potential investors are looking at development of the lots around the pond at 6th Avenue and Maple Street.

City workers are generally looking at a raise in the 3% neighborhood.

I extend my warmest wishes for a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.