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Sleepy Eye Mayor’s message

Mayor Wayne Pelzel, City of Sleepy Eye

Happy New Year to each of you. May 2021 bring an end to COVID and all the restrictions it has brought about as well as the illness it has caused.

 I’ve been asked whether I’m going to get the vaccine when it becomes available to my age group. I can answer that question with a resounding “yes.” I believe the vaccine is safe and will help reduce the danger COVID has presented.

 One of the priorities of 2021 will be the examination of additional housing options open to the City. A new business coming into Sleepy Eye will bring new employees and they will need places to live. Our City is seriously short of housing options to these new employees. City Committees — the EDA (Economic Development Authority) and the HRA (Housing and Redevelopment Authority) will see this matter coming up on their agendas as the community seeks to deliver solutions to this situation in the coming months. Fortunately the City has land suitable for development.

 At this point in time there is no plan for how the City can bring more housing into town. Part of the examination will include the types of housing that are needed as well as by who and how that housing can be provided. This week the EDA met with Alliance Building Corporation, a general contracting company, to begin that planning.

 Whether the building should include single family or multi-family housing remains to be determined. The City is certainly willing to look at all options. Since the City has a number o lots available, that will be a valuable resource giving numerous location options. If you have ideas and/or would like to be involved in some way, make sure to come forward so you can be part of this solution.

 The upcoming Jan. 12 City Council meeting will see the seating of two new City Council members in Christina Andres and Scott Krzmarzick.

 The Community Center will see new flooring installed in the main hall and restrooms as some of that building is being repurposed. It will still house the Senior Citizen Center, the Food Shelf and the Chamber office and there is a lot of additional space that could be utilized. One possible use could be as an incubator space for new businesses to get a start downtown.

 The City Administration, City Department Heads, City Council members, City Attorney and the Mayor have all been reviewing the updated Personnel Policies of the City for approval.

This document hasn’t been totally redone since 2001. Although a lot hasn’t changed in those 20 years, enough has changed to quickly outdate the document. This document will come before the City Council for their approval at the Jan. 12 meeting.

 You might be interested to know that this document is 66 typed, single spaced, pages long. Forty-six pages deal with personnel policies, seven pages with family medical leave, five pages are devoted to computer use, four pages focus on donating paid time off to other City employees, and four more pages to social media.

 As thorough and complete as everyone is trying to make this document, you can just bet that in the future, when the next controversial personnel matter comes up, there will be something that we’ll wish had been covered in the document that didn’t seem important at this time. None the less, this is a big and important job and it will be good to get it updated.