SE City Council OKs rural fire rate options

SLEEPY EYE – The Sleepy Eye City Council unanimously approved a resolution setting two rural fire rate options Feb. 13.

City Manager Mark Kober said 64 percent of Sleepy Eye Fire Department hours for rural calls in 2017 and 64 percent over the past four years.The 2017 rural fire rate was $181.19.

Under Option 1, section rural fire rates are $220 a year for 2018 and 2019 and $225 for 2020 for a total of $45,595, 25 percent of the fire department’s total budget of $181,625.

Under Option 2, if turn out gear is paid up front at $376.36 per section, debt service would be reduced $9,817 a year and $47.37 per section. Rural rates would be $173 in 2018 and 2019 and $177 in 2020.

Townships are expected to act on rural fire rate options later this month.

Police Chief Matt Andres talked about buying civil defense siren battery warming blankets at $325 per siren plus shipping from Federal Warning Systems, Inc. of Rochester. Councilor Larry Braun suggested buying one blanket to see if it made siren batteries last longer.

“I think that is a fine idea,” Andres said.“I’ll find out how old the siren batteries are.”

The city council unanimously approved:

• Amending Sleepy Eye Fire Department by-laws to raise city benefit contributions from $2,000 to $2,200 a year for disability, death, retirement and deferred benefits.

• A $12,348 archiving services proposal from Laserfiche OPG3. The City would have faster document retrieval and information and be able to automate the organization of incoming and existing documents that are currently unsearchable and unstructured.

• A final 2018 MnDOT agreement for a rapid flashing crossing system on State Highway 4 and St. Mary’s Street. Kober said the City did not get a state grant so it would pay $213,007.13 for the flashing system similar to the flashing system at Main Street and 2nd Ave. East.

• New blight committee members Doug Pelzel, Dick Zinniel, Matt Vickery, Alissa Fischer, Matt Ibberson and Sara Hornbrook.

• Re-establish a lake improvement committee of Brian Cook, Matt Mathiowetz, Steve Morasch, Ed Treml, Sam Domeier and Tom Moldaschel. Mayor Wayne Pelzel said the committee is meeting with the DNR on how to deal with a slough that is filling in behind St. Mary’s School.

• A new City Code book that has been printed. City Code data including the new blight ordinance and junk definition will soon be available on the City of Sleepy Eye website.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at