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Sleepy Eye Mayor’s February message

Mayor Wayne Pelzel, City of Sleepy Eye

Planning will be a featured item on the agendas of the boards and commissions of the City over the next months. City Manager, Bob Elston, will continue to roll out a tool for financial planning. The plan will assist these boards and commissions to communicate their plans more effectively with the City Council as the Council budgets for each upcoming year. It will help the City Council prioritize spending as they juggle the many items that all require dollars from the City’s limited budget.

The new addition of 12th Avenue and St. Mary’s Street has seen a significant uptick in traffic. Living on St. Mary’s Street, we have noticed a sizeable increase in the number of cars using the new roads. We suspected that this increase would happen as this was a much needed outlet for traffic from the northeast section of the community. It’s good to see its popularity made possible by a $1.5 million grant to the City.

Not only did this project give the City some needed traffic outlets, but it also offers a large number of building lots. Several of these lots have already sold, and there appears to be interest in even more.

The City’s EDA continues to work with Alliance Builders who are interested in constructing a large market rate apartment building. The effort now is looking at potential sites for this construction. In the project the City would likely be asked to provide the land for such a development.

The City Council continues to use Zoom for its council meetings as they are held virtually. It is everyone’s hope that the need for virtual meetings will go away soon.

First Avenue north of Walnut Street to St. Mary’s Street is slated to be redone this summer. This is primarily a County project with them absorbing the majority of the cost. We haven’t heard for sure when this project will begin, but early indications are that it would occur later in the summer.

At a recent meeting of the EDA, it was decided to set downtown redevelopment as a priority for the coming year. We know, based on previous surveys, that downtown redevelopment is important to the community. Working together with the Downtown Revitalization Committee, the EDA’s commitment to the effort will help to move revitalization forward.

An interesting phenomenon taking place is the interest from metro area folks in moving to Sleepy Eye. Various interested parties have contacted City officials with inquiries and in a couple instances, properties here have actually sold to those parties. We know the quality of our living experience does make a difference, and the amenities Sleepy Eye has to offer are attractive even though we may not always realize it. We’re fortunate to live here.