Sleepy Eye Mayor’s message
Although this column only comes around once a month, it doesn’t always fall near the holiday we are celebrating. I would not want to miss Memorial Day. It is so important that we pause to remember and honor those men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice. They have protected us from harm and allowed us to live in this great land of freedom and liberty.
The coronavirus has left us with a load of difficult questions that are going to require difficult decision making soon. Some of those difficult questions include the following:
•Does the City reopen the pool this summer?
•Do we hold the traditional 4th of July celebration with fireworks?
•Does the City reopen the campground? Opening June 1 as per Governor’s order.
•What happens to Corn Days?
Community leaders have been looking at these events with great care, balancing safety with the desire to continue our important community traditions. Recognizing that these events are important to this community’s vitality, we will be looking ahead to the governor’s decisions and the impact of his decisions on these events.
I shared with you my concern a few weeks ago about what was happening with bond prices. Well, I’m very happy to share with you that my worry was for nothing. At the last City Council meeting, the Council was able to refinance current City and Hospital indebtedness, saving $546,000 over the life of those bonds. In addition, at a special meeting Wednesday May 27, the Council approved issuance of $8.8 million in new bonds to finance the City Street Reconstruction project and the 12th Avenue project, at a rate of 2.13%. We couldn’t be happier with these rates. Bear in mind that a one half percent increase in those bond rates would cost the City $700,000 over the life of the bonds.
The City Council also voted to go ahead with the flow study at the lake to begin this fall. This study should give us invaluable information that will help us make good future decisions about the lake. Seeing the popularity of the lake these days, it certainly speaks to the value of that asset to our community. The Water Resource Center from Minnesota State University, Mankato will be conducting the one year study.
The Downtown Revitalization Committee is working toward lighting the trees downtown. Veterans Park, City Hall, the 4 and 14 park, and the Chief Sleepy Eye statue would probably all be lighted. That committee has made contact with the Holiday Lights in Motion committee to secure lights and timers, etc., necessary for this project.
There was some confusion regarding filing for open positions on the Council and the mayor positions, thinking that deadline was approaching. However, that early deadline was only for communities that were holding a primary election. The actual deadline to file for those open positions is Sept. 4. Two Council positions (JoAnn Schmidt and Larry Braun) and the mayor’s position (Wayne Pelzel) will be open.
Road construction in town seems to be progressing well. The recent rain may have slowed things up a little, but work is moving ahead.