On July 10, the Mabel City Council held a regular city council meeting. Members in attendance included Adam Wilder Mayor Jim Westby, City Clerk Karen Larson, Kirsten Wyffels. Gary Morken and Terry Torkelson were absent. No visitors were on hand to address the council.
Interviews were recently held for the vacant deputy clerk position for the city of Mabel. Councilor Kirsten Wyffels said the recommendation is to hire Brooke Harmening to fill the position. The council voted to approve this. Karen Larson will contact Harmening, and added, “She is working, so she’ll have to give two weeks notice, so I’ll see what date she can start.”
The council also discussed an upcoming vacancy, as Donna Johnson will be retiring after a lengthy career as library director. Donna recently informed the city that August 22 will be her final day at the library. The council agreed to offer the director position to Larry Gifford upon Donna’s retirement. Larson added, “So we will be reaching out to Sandy Christopher and Terry Austin to work at the library. There was also discussion of having a farewell event for Donna; details will be figured out later.
The council discussed options for replacing the banners that hang on Main Street. It was noted that seven of the banners are damaged and need to be replaced. The vendor has offered two options. The first option is simply to replace the seven broken banners. The second option is for the city to order a set of winter/holiday themed banners, and the vendor then will furnish 13 general banners at no extra cost. After discussion, the council voted to proceed with the second option. The specific design of the winter/holiday banners will be chosen at a future meeting.
The council approved, as requested, zoning permits for Jeanette Paul (roofing and bathroom) and Mark Schulte (roofing on house and garage). The council also voted to grant temporary liquor licenses to the Mabel Lions Club and to the Hesper Mabel Area Historical Society. Both are for Steam Engine Days (Friday through Sunday).
Karen Larson brought up a request for new computers for the city. She said three of the city’s computers (the computers used by herself, the deputy clerk, and the computer at the water treatment plant) are still using Word 7, which will no longer function beginning in January 2020, and she said the computer she uses has been nearly unusable lately, summarizing, “Mine is on its last legs.” She added that ordering the computers now would allow time for Tyler to install software needed. She said there is no need to replace the monitors at this time, but the three computers (CPU’s) can be replaced through Dell at a total cost of $2,136. The council approved this purchase.
Next, Kirsten Wyffels updated the council on happenings in the EDA. She said fencing is needed at the incubator building, and that two bids were received. The lower bid was $6,980, from Horsman Fencing. The EDA recommended accepting this bid, and the council did so. She also reported that the city has three downtowns lots on Main Street for sale at $1 each for businesses interested in opening in Mabel.
The council discussed the situation that was discussed at the June meeting, regarding installing piping to help drain water from a problematic cul-de-sac. After discussion, Mayor Westby suggested there might be cheaper alternatives, and summarized, “There’s just got to be some more thinking on this” before a decision is made; the council tabled the issue for now. The council’s next regular meeting will be August 14, at 7 p.m. at the community center. The public is welcome.