The Mabel City Council held a regular council meeting on February 12. Members present included Adam Wilder, Mayor Jim Westby, City Clerk/Treasurer Karen Larson, Terry Torkelson, and Kirsten Wyffels. No citizens attended to address the council on any issues.
The council discussed the city’s ordinance on licensing of dogs and cats. Mayor Westby stated it is “the same scenario every year” of struggling to have citizens get annual licenses for their pets. Karen Larson pointed out that, “We’ve had some start to come in. Last year, we didn’t really hit it hard until like August. This year, it’s going to be March.” Larson further explained, “A letter will go out, and then a deputy follows up, and then it’s tickets.” Mayor Westby concurred, saying, “There’s no bending the rules.”
Regarding the city’s expectations for snow removal by citizens, Mayor Westby stated, “Same kind of thing going on there” (as with pet licensing). Larson said she’s noticed citizens pushing snow into the street, and she explained, “It’s OK to push the snow in the street as long as the (city) guys haven’t plowed yet.” Regarding the expectation for citizens to clear their sidewalks, she added, “You have 24 hours after it stops snowing to have your sidewalk cleared.” She said citizens who do not comply will be fined, and if the fines are not paid, they are added onto the property owner’s taxes.
Mayor Westby mentioned that Joe Houdek is continuing to work toward opening his new restaurant, Joe’s Pizza Palace and Pub, on the edge of Mabel. Kirsten Wyffels agreed, stating, “They’re working like the dickens!” Mayor Westby said he understands that Houdek plans to offer a variety of locally produced beers and spirits, explaining, “I met with him… he’s trying to get Pivo, a brewery out of Calmar, and then Decorah, and then he was going to try to get Fountain, and then have tap beer.”
Adam Wilder led a discussion about a request from the fire department. Regarding a tanker truck that the department had purchased from Michigan, he said, “It’s bigger than it was supposed to be, so once it’s in (the garage), you can barely walk behind it. Basically, we’re looking to sell it.” He said the tanker will continue to depreciate in value as times goes on, and asked the council to consider approving the plan in which the tanker would be sold. He stated, “If everything would go as planned, we’d sell it and then order a new one that would be just like the one we just got last winter.” The council consensus was to sell the tanker at the best price possible. Wilder will obtain council approval if there is concern about the selling price.
The council approved two zoning permit requests, from Dean and Susan Thompson and Ryan Welscher. The council also approved election judges for the upcoming Presidential Primary election to be held March 3. A temporary liquor license was granted to the Mabel Lions Club, for the Fillmore County Cattlemen’s Banquet, which will be February 19 at the Community Center.
Representing the sheriff’s department, Deputy Logan Brand came in during the council meeting, and introduced himself to the council. He is one of the three deputies who will be providing regular law enforcement coverage to the city. The council’s next regular meeting will be March 11, at 7 p.m. at the community center. The public is welcome.