News from May 14 City Council meeting.
A long-time wish of Sleepy Eye Food Shelf volunteers was granted Tuesday evening, May 14, at the Sleepy Eye City Council meeting. The council unanimously approved relocating the food shelf from the basement of the old police station to an un-used room at the back of the Community Center. The motion included annual rent of $250. The room has its own entrance door, so access to the food shelf will not go through the Community Center space.
Prior to the start of the regular council meeting, the Local Board of Appeal and Equalization meeting was held—a time for residents objecting to their property evaluation for real estate tax purposes to be heard. In attendance were Brown County Assessor Anne Grunert and Appraiser Sean Gremmels. Two property owners had requested that their valuation be reconsidered: Annette Johnson, 610 2nd Ave. NW, and Tim and Jen Cleveland, 312 Maple SE. Gremmels reported that on review he found both properties had inaccurate condition grades. The council approved a valuation decrease for Johnson’s property from $135,479 to $99,300; and for the Cleveland’s property from $107,000 to $72,000.
In the regular council meeting, the first order of business was to consider moving forward with David Drown Associates to fill the vacant City Manager position. Councilor Doug Pelzel made a motion to interview the second finalist from the previous process, without repeating the entire interview process for her. Larry Braun seconded the motion. After discussion, the motion was amended and approved to interview that candidate as a finalist within the process with David Drown Associates. Final interviews are scheduled for Aug. 8 and 9.
In other business:
•Council approved permits to sell goods on a public street (food trucks): May 17 for 507 Food Co. and May 31 for Lola’s.
•Council approved a funding request from St. Mary’s students for a flashing crosswalk sign: to cover costs not met by fundraising ($3,800 raised so far), up to $4,600. The council approved the project last month, with the issue of funding not addressed.
•The council set a date for an open forum about rental inspections: 6 p.m., June 6 at the Event Center. City Attorney Alissa Fischer will lead the discussion.
•A possible Food Truck Ordinance was discussed, Fischer will bring a draft ordinance to the June council meeting.
•First reading of an ordinance to require surveying of property lines for new construction and additions.
•First reading of an ordinance to sell tax forfeited property to Larry and Lisa Pelzel for $1,500 and waive any outstanding assessments (none are known.)
•Police report: Chief Andres reported on the speed signs that will be operational around town in a week or two (see “News from the Chief” on page 2 for more detail.) Andres also requested the purchase of a secure evidence system—a bank of eight evidence lockers that once locked can only be opened by the officer who is in charge of that evidence. The cost quote is $11,000. Mayor Wayne Pelzel tabled the request until next month to allow time to determine if funds are still available in the contingency fund for the new police station.