SLEEPY EYE - In an effort to thwart lawful dog owners, the Sleepy Eye City Council immediately hiked fines for impounded dog owners Tuesday.
The action came after residents at last month's city council meeting complained about loose dogs chasing them and making them fearful to walk in some parts of town.
"Nip (City Attorney Errol Hauser) researched dog fines. We must have the highest fines around," said Sleepy Eye Police Chief John Schueller.
New dog pickup fines are $15 for the first offense. They climb to $30, $60 and $90 for second through fourth offenses and rise by $50 for each succeeding violation.
"They could go up to $1,000 and/or up to 90 days in jail," Hauser said.
Daily dog impound fees rose from $8 to $10.
Councilors tabled a variance request by Sleepy Eye Public School maintenance manager Doug Domeier regarding first and second-floor rolling, drop-down gates claimed to not meet exit door requirements.
The gates cause dead ends on both sides and are not code compliant, according to March 2, 2010 State Fire Marshal Division Inspection and Compliance orders.
"Be very careful here," said Sleepy Eye Fire Chief Tom Moldaschel.
"The State Fire Marshal's Office is usually quite thorough. They do this for safety, not to irritate anyone," he added.
The District 84 variance request stated there is substantial compliance with Fire Code provisions, public safety will not be jeopardized and that the gates were purchased for $25,000 to comply with a former state citation.
City Engineer Dave Palm said the new reverse osmosis water treatment plant is online with all four water wells.
City Utility and Street Supt. Bob Elston said the plant have completely removed iron in city water and manganese levels are improved from what they were.
Elston said a plant grand opening may be held next spring.
Councilors accepted the resignation of Dyckman Library Board member Arla Dockter who said she accepted a position in North Dakota.
Fritz Busch can be