County/City First Avenue project to begin this summer

Deb Moldaschel
The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch

The Sleepy Eye City Council held their Feb. 9 meeting by Zoom, which citizens were able to join to observe the meeting.

The council approved Mayor Wayne Pelzel’s reappointment of Alissa Groen as City Attorney and gave permission for the City Attorney to appoint Counsel in case of conflicts.

The council elected Nate Stevermer as Council President. The Council President signs some city documents and may preside in the Mayor’s absence. 

The council passed a resolution accepting six monetary donations to the Dyckman Free Library totaling $485.

A plumbing license for Jake’s Plumbing, of New Ulm, was approved.

The first reading was called for Ordinance #179 to change the zoning of lot 8 block 1 Nelson Second Addition from Residential to Business Industrial. City Manager Bob Elston said the owner of the lot, Ramiro Briones, planned to construct a storage building on the lot that is located on Walnut St. SW near the intersection with 9th Ave. SW.

The council denied a variance application by Brandon and Jessica Kuelbs to allow an 8’ x 12’ utility shed, which would result in the total square footage of all outbuildings being 96 square feet over the 1,008 square foot limit for a residential zone. In a call to the council meeting, Brandon Kuelbs said he checked the city website to see if a building permit was required and found that the size of the shed did not require one. Councilor Gary Windschitl explained that the building permit was one issue, but the allowed square footage of outbuildings is another issue unrelated to a building permit. Councilor Doug Pelzel said it was a matter of setting precedent and made the motion to deny the variance, seconded by Windschitl and passed unanimously. 

City Attorney Alissa Groen brought four resolutions before the council concerning the sale of real estate. 

•The council called for the first reading of an ordinance to sell Lot 7, Block 4 of Sleepy Hollow Fifth Addition to Greg and Deb Braulick. 

•The council approved the second reading of an ordinance to sell Lot 14, Block 1, Snow First Addition (a residential lot) to Rod and Vickie Schumacher for $58,000.

•The council approved the second reading of an ordinance to sell Lots 3, 4, and 5, Block 4, Sleepy Hollow Fifth Addition to John Pelzel for $32,000 per lot. The council then approved a resolution to approve the division of the three lots into five lots.

Engineer Dave Palm discussed with the council details of work to be completed on St. Mary’s Street (to 12th Avenue) this year. Last month he told them the slope from cemetery property to the sidewalk and street was too severe; since then he’s worked with city staff and the cemetery board and manager on a possible solution. Palm said they propose to narrow the street from 40 feet to 38 feet and reduce the sidewalk from six feet to five feet wide, actions which would allow bringing the street and curb up a few inches and making the slope less steep.

Palm reported in detail on this summer’s County/City project for improvements to First Avenue, from Walnut to St. Mary’s St., St. Mary’s St. (CSAH 34) from Highway 4 to Third Ave. NE, and Third Ave. (CSAH 34) from St. Mary’s St. to Windsor Road. Palm pointed out that much of the work will be either County or City expense. Assessable costs include reconstruction of sanitary service and any owner ordered water service upgrades (reconstruction of existing water service is not assessed).

The council set a public hearing for the project on March 8.

Palm said bid opening will be in June with construction from June through October. He said the only work to be done in 2022 will be the final wear course of bituminous. The total cost for the project is estimated at $1.27 million.