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Mabel City Council still in need of EMTs and First Responders

Fri, Jun 14th, 2013
Posted in Mabel Government

By Hannah Wingert

The Mabel City Council met on June 12, 2013 at 7 pm. All were present except for Mayor Brian Street and council member Kirsten Wyffels. Terry Torkelson was Acting Mayor.

There were no comments or discussion from visitors to the meeting for the public hearing for the 2 percent rate increase from Tri County Electric. A motion to accept the rate increase was passed.

Holly Hammann from the EMS Regulatory Board and Neil Folstad from the Mabel Ambulance Service were present to speak about the EMT and First Responder shortages in Mabel, especially for the day shift. Currently, the ambulance crew has only six EMT’s and one First Responder available to cover the 24/7 schedule. Since the matter was discussed at last month’s city council meeting and advertisements were posted, the service has had five individuals interested in joining the ambulance crew with two available for day shift. This is an improvement in interest over the previous ad campaigns, but does not solve the problem completely. As of now, the service is relying on neighboring towns to help take calls when there are not enough Mabel crew members available. This is not a permanent solution as many other communities are facing the same issue and the extended travel adds another 10-15 minutes to the total response time. The city council decided to continue the ad campaign in the Mabel News Record and to look into sending out a notice with residents’ phone bills. If anyone is interested in joining the Mabel Ambulance Crew, they are asked to call City Hall at 507-493-5299 for more information.

The council discussed acquiring an AED or Automated External Defibrillator for the community center. Fillmore County Sheriff’s Deputy Jesse Grabau informed the council that the county has a three year grant which should supply an AED in September.

Improvements to Cherrywood Drive were discussed, but tabled after Robert Miereau informed the council that the property owners, not the city, has easements for Cherrywood. The city will need to obtain the easements after the lots are surveyed by their owners before improvements can be made.

Mabel City Maintenance Director Robert Miereau will be leaving his position to begin a contract with the City of Caledonia in January, 2014. Miereau has worked in Mabel for over 15 years.

Mark Davy and Sean Welty from Davy Engineering were present at the meeting to discuss the Water and Sewer Rehabilitation Project planned for Mabel. The council wanted to know when a good time would be to accept bids for the project. Davy recommended starting the bidding process now instead of waiting until winter as the project could then be potentially begun this summer or fall. It was also recommended that homeowners inspect their sewer systems and replace old, outdated systems while their street is being worked on and easy access is available.

City Clerk Karen Larson said that the city received a letter from Mediacom to inform them that the franchise that they carry with them will expire in 2016 and can be renewed. The council decided to table the matter until dates can be verified.

The council passed a motion to renew Mabel’s membership with the Minnesota Association of Small Cities.

A “Watch for Children” sign was requested by Stanley Nelson to be put up at the corner of Hagen and Prairie. Miereau will look into a pilot program for inter-crosswalk signs which should get more attention than a roadside sign.

The council passed a motion to borrow funds from the nursing home reserve fund to move into the EDA account for purchase of the coffee shop.

Chuck Dahl has offered to donate a flagpole he has in his possession to the city to put up in front of the community center. The council passed a motion to accept the gift.

The City of Mabel will be using Bank of the West’s auto debit services for utility billing. The service will cost the city $50 a month and the council is unsure if or how that cost will be filtered down to customers.

The council approved a motion to update the utility application policy to assess the landlord’s property taxes for unpaid utility bills by renters.

After the last power outage in Mabel, there was some confusion as to whom citizens should call to report outages. Because the City of Mabel carries the account at Tri County Electric, individuals will be asked to call City Hall in case of another outage.

Lyle Amdahl has offered to donate a piece of his property to the city to be used as a parking lot for the community center. A motion to accept the donation and appraise the land to assess its value was passed.

Meeting adjourned. The next meeting will be held July 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm

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