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Sleept Eye Council OKs campground improvement project

SLEEPY EYE — The Sleepy Eye City Council unanimously approved a proposal to expand the Sportsman’s Park campground Tuesday night.

Plans call for an additional road loop in the park to include eight camping spots, pending approval by the Brown Nicollet Environmental Health Department.

City Manager Mark Kober said the existing campground was full all summer.

Steve Lingen of the Park and Recreation Department said there was a camping waiting list every weekend. In addition, he said all of the new camping spots would be within 400 feet of the new park restrooms.

Kober estimated the cost of the camping expansion at about $50,000 with water and power. In addition, he said future campground improvements could include adding a number of canoes, kayaks and paddles that could be rented by credit card for $10 to $15 for a couple hours.

The city council approved:

• By a 4-1 vote, a new city manager job profile, hiring process dateline and salary range of $80,000 to $115,000. The hiring will be facilitated by David Drown Associates Human Resources of Rochester for a $16,000 fee plus expenses. The motion was by Joann Schmidt, seconded by Doug Pelzel. Larry Braun cast a dissenting vote. Final candidates to succeed Kober, who said he’ll retire in March 2019, will be interviewed by a city council commission Jan. 7-8, 2019.

Braun earlier made a motion, seconded by Pelzel, to move up the city manager hiring decision to a Dec. 30 special meeting. The motion failed 3-2, with Braun, Pelzel and Zinniel voting for the motion. Kober said four affirmative votes were needed to schedule a special meeting to make the hiring decision.

• A Brown County Auditor’s request on tax delinquent properties. Three properties were approved to be sold by Brown County. The fourth, the old Standard Oil gas station at 3rd Avenue East and Main Street, will be considered at a special noon meeting on Thursday, Nov. 8. That meeting will also include general election voting canvassing.

• Starting survey work by Bolton & Menk Inc. for the 12th Avenue and St. Mary’s Street project after harvest, before the snow flies.

• The council also heard a request for a police investigator in the 2020 budget by Police Chief Matt Andres due to an increase in child and adult protection cases, burglaries and stolen vehicles. Andres said officers have worked 108 overtime hours this year, often on criminal cases, in addition to patrolling duties. He said adding an investigator would help prevent officer burnout.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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