SE City Council discusses Event Center underage drinking

SLEEPY EYE — The Sleepy Eye City Council discussed underage drinking issues at the new Event Center Tuesday.

“I’ve heard there was quite a bit of underage drinking at one function,” said Councilor Doug Pelzel. “I think it’s important this doesn’t happen.”

Councilor Nate Stevermer suggested carding everyone.

City Manager Mark Kober said parents have given drinks to their children. “It’s tough to police when people buy pitchers of beer, too,” Kober said

City Attorney Alissa Fischer suggested posting warning signs about the enforcement of underage drinking laws at the Event Center.

Kober suggested hiring plain-clothes security staff.

“We need security in there. The City can be held responsible,” said Councilor Dick Zinniel.

Kober said he would bring a proposal back to the council at its December meeting.

Councilor Larry Braun was not present. The City Council unanimously approved:

• Selling the old city ambulance minus medical equipment to the Owatonna-based SCDIU Swat team for $500 after the new ambulance is commissioned, motion by Zinniel, second by Stevermer.

• Licensing the New Ulm Wrestling Association to sell pull tabs at the City Limit Lounge, motion by Pelzel, second by Stevermer.

• By a 3-1 vote with Zinniel opposing, exercising an option to purchase Tim and Melanie Schieffert’s lot north of the Event Center for $59,000; motion by Pelzel, second by Stevermer. The property will be used for Event Center parking.

“We’re speculating now. It could cost $200,000 for a new parking lot that is paved. I can’t see spending that much for parking,” Zinniel said.

“It’s a perfect solution,” Kober said. “The only other lots nearby are north of Town’s Edge Lumber.”

Councilor Joann Schmidt said it would be a lot more expensive to not take the lot now.

Stevermer said he saw no point in waiting to buy the property.

• Kober said city employee group health insurance with a high deductible will cost about 3 percent more next year.

• A special meeting for a variance hearing and to hear architect Eric Oleson’s new police station project proposal begins at noon, Tuesday, Nov. 21, in the council chamber.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at


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