Sleepy Eye City budget approved, tax levy to increase 5.3%

Deb Moldaschel
The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch

At the Dec. 14 Sleepy Eye City Council meeting the Truth in Taxation hearing was held and the budget for 2022 approved. City Manager Bob Elston said the budget being considered was the same as the preliminary budget approved in September and reviewed line items. The budget reflects a tax levy increase of $80,170 or 5.3%. A motion to approve the budget was made by Nathan Stevermer, seconded by Doug Pelzel passed unanimously. (The budget charts with this article were provided by Elston and reflect the full city budget including sources of funds other than the local tax levy.)

City budget source and use of government funds.

A public hearing was held on vacating a portion of Maple Street SE, previously dedicated in the Snow 3rd Addition. There were no public comments received and the resolution to vacate the street was approved. This is the land where the market rate apartment complex is proposed to be built, south of Kibble Equipment.

The Council approved a resolution to accept donations: $500 grant from REA (Round up) Trust and $80 from Qui Vive Club, both for the library.

Mayor Pelzel received approval for the following appointments: Park Board - Jared Miller; HRA - Scott Salfer; Hospital Board - Amanda Murphy and Jacob Mielke.

The Council approved certifying unpaid bills to Brown County for collection on real estate taxes. Elston said these are for things like utilities, garbage, mowing, and snow removal. He said the total will be determined at year end. The Council also approved write offs of PUC balances, as recommended by the commissioners. Elston said these are for electric bills which cannot be certified to taxes. He said the amount is relatively low this year, at $3,748, and the city will continue to try to collect. It was clarified that anyone with an unpaid utility balance is not able to start up electric service again in the future until the previous balance is paid.

Engineer Dave Palm reported that the county and railroad have an agreement to replace the planking at the 1st Avenue crossing (next summer) and the final wear coarse of bituminous will be put down there after the crossing is improved.

The Council approved a plan to have a kayak rental station on the north side of the lake, made possible by funds raised at previous rib barbecues, and donations including from the L.A. Amundson Foundation.