Sleepy Eye Council changes downtown parking regulations

SLEEPY EYE — Following discussion Tuesday, the Sleepy Eye City Council unanimously approved a new downtown corner parking regulation making it illegal to park within 30 feet of any Main Street corner between Third Avenue East and Third Avenue West.

Sleepy Eye Ambulance Coordinator Shari Hittesdorf talked about the need to get a better view of Main Street (Highway 14) when entering it from downtown side streets. City Manager Mark Kober said downtown curbs would be painted yellow for 30 feet from the corner. The action came on a motion from councilor Joann Schmidt, seconded by Doug Pelzel.

Sleepy Eye Economic Development Authority (EDA) Director Kurk Kramer said four current downtown storefront matching grant recipients have been chosen to receive $25,000 in matching funds if they invest $25,000 of their own money. In addition, funds would go to contractors or for supplies if receipts are provided.

In addition, if $100,000 is not spent on the program, there could be additional grant recipients. The four current recipients are the Armbrusters who plan to renovate the Pix movie theater, Sleepy Eye Stained Glass owner Mike Mason, Randy Larson of the Furniture Galley who plans to renovate a Main Street building between the store and Sleepy Eye Electric, and a business he said is close to expanding in Sleepy Eye.

Kramer said matching grant funds can be used for new business doors, windows, tuck pointing and re pointing brick, flashing and siding, among other things. “There has to be a visible change to get a grant,” Kramer said.

In addition, Kramer said funds do not have to be used for downtown property and projects must be done within one year or if the EDA approves a longer period for project completion.

Mayor Wayne Pelzel thanked City Engineer Dave Palm for his work in helping the City of Sleepy Eye receive a $750,000 grant for the 12th Avenue East railroad crossing project.

Sleepy Eye Police Chief Matt Andres said officers are tagging more vehicles that have been parked on city streets too long without being moved. He said florescent orange stickers will be placed on offending vehicles that read the vehicle will be towed within 48 hours if it is not moved. In addition, the time and date of the sticker placement will be noted.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at