SE City Council, residents talk trash

SLEEPY EYE — After nearly an hour of discussion, heated at times, the Sleepy Eye City Council unanimously approved a resolution to allow residents to place their trash containers in the alley or street.

The action came on a motion by councilor Nate Stevermer, seconded by councilor Gary Windschitl before a roomful of residents represented by Mark Beito.

Mayor Wayne Pelzel said the City will change it’s agreement with RVS Sanitation to allow for alley pickup instead of the street “as quickly as we can.”

“Who wants their garbage can in their front entry?” asked Beito. “Why not make it as originally intended, picking up trash in the alley. It’s not safe having garbage trucks driving on the wrong side of the street (picking up garbage). I have to put my trash container in the street when the snow is high.”

Beito said Sleepy Eye City Code calls for disposing of trash in a healthy, safe, manner and asked that the code be followed.

City Manager Bob Elston said 238 proper petitions were received prior to Tuesday night when another 23 petitions were received that asked for moving trash pickup from streets to alleys.

Retired city councilor Dick Zinniel said page 20 of the City Charter gives the city council full power to administer city affairs.

The city council also:

* Referred a dog park proposal at Prairieview Park presented by Ken Brody to the city park board. Brody said 125 citizens signed petitions requesting a park be created to include a fenced in area for dogs to run by next spring. Brody said the Friends of the Sleepy Eye Dog Park would raise funds for signs and waste containers.

Sleepy Eye Park Director Steve Lingen said 275 feet by 75 feet of fence would cost about $15,000. Mayor Pelzel said the money was not in the City’s 2020 budget.

Sleepy Eye Economic Development Authority (EDA) Director Kurk Kramer suggested the group seek a grant for the project, as other groups have done, to cut the fencing cost in half or more.

* Unanimously adopted the preliminary 2020 budget, motion by councilor Doug Pelzel, seconded by councilor Larry Braun. The $1,415,065 preliminary tax levy is a seven percent ($92,580) increase over the 2019 budget levy. The $4,769,885 2020 preliminary budget is $142,400 less than the 2019 budget that included $350,000 for a new police station.

* Unanimously approved issuance of Series 2019A hospital refunding bonds not to exceed $3,250,000 from Northland Securities, motion by councilor Stevermer, seconded by councilor Windschitl. The current bond market rate is about two percent, compared for 3.38 percent for 2012 bonds that refunded a USDA hospital construction loan

The refunding will save more than $388,428.81 over 18 years, according to the resolution. The refunding delivery date is Nov. 12, 2019.

* Tabled amending the number of dogs allowed per residence which is currently two.

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

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