City expects to purchase property for future fire hall expansion

Deb Moldaschel
The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch

The Sleepy Eye City Council meeting on Tuesday evening, July 13, opened with a review of the 2020 audit by Sara Oberloh, of Oberloh & Oberloh, Ltd., the firm who the city contracts for the service. Oberloh said the city's financial record keeping resulted in a clean audit. She spent considerable time going over the various fund balances with no concerns expressed by the council. 

The first action item was consideration of the purchase of property at 117 2nd Avenue SW (the house just north of the fire hall) to provide space for possible future expansion of the fire hall. City Manager Bob Elston said the cost of purchasing the property and adding space for fire department needs would be much less than building a new facility at a different location. Fire Chief Ron Zinniel agreed with Elston and said the department will need that space at some time. Elston said if the city purchases the building they would continue renting the apartments to the current tenants. Elston, with the consensus of the council, directed City Attorney Alyssa Groen to draft a purchase agreement to be brought to a finance committee meeting. Any purchase decision would come before the full council.

The City of Sleepy Eye expects to purchase the house north of the fire hall for future expansion when needed.

Other council action:

•Approved Sleepy Eye Brewing Company's three applications for temporary liquor licenses: 8/21 in Allison Park; 8/21 in alley behind brewery; 9/25 in alley behind brewery.

•Second reading and approval of Ordinance 190 amending the City Code to no longer require "city licensing" of plumbers.

•First reading of Ordinance 191 amending the City Code on animal control to no longer require the purchase of city licenses for dogs.

•Approved a conditional use permit for 619 Main Street East (former City Limits) to allow a single family dwelling in Business Industrial zone with two conditions—the business sign must be removed; the property must be surveyed. This action allows the owner to apply for a building permit to renovate the building into a living space.

•Approved a resolution establishing fees for the special use vehicle permit: $50 good for three year permit; $25 replacement fee for lost or damaged permit. This is an operator permit, as required by state law, not a vehicle permit. (See Chief of Police Matt Andres' column on page 3 for a detailed explanation of the ordinance allowing these vehicles on city streets.)

Engineer Dave Palm gave updates on the following projects.

•2020-2021 street and utility improvements: some work remains on concrete repairs and grass seeding; complete date is Sept. 30.

•12th Avenue/St. Mary's Street improvements: the contractor is addressing the punch list of final items; complete date is Aug. 31.

•CSAH 35/1st Avenue improvements: work will begin July 19 with temporary water hookups; removals to begin July 22. Palm said the contractor will start on the north end  by St. Mary's School to get done before school starts, then move south one block at at time.