The Mabel City Council handled several issues during its first meeting of the year on Jan. 10. Among the topics discussed included the construction of the building that will house the new daycare center in Mabel.

Mayor Jim Westby told the councilmembers that progress is being made. The plans and complete spec book should be completed by the end of the month. That will allow the city to seek bids in March with construction starting in April if all goes well. The EDA is anticipating a completion date in August.

In other EDA news, it was noted that CEDA (Community and Economic Development Associates) has assigned a new community and business development specialist to work in Mabel. Bryce Lange will be working with the local EDA committee as it moves forward with its projects. See related story in this issue.

Finally, the EDA requested Council approval for the reappointment of Sue Morken to the committee for another three-year term.

Public works

Jeff Rein from the city maintenance crew told the Council that he has been attending classes to obtain his required licensure for operating the wastewater treatment plant. He noted that he has to wait to take his first test until his one-year anniversary of working for the city. He said he hopes to have his first license in April, and will continue to work towards earning advanced licenses.

A new skid loader was purchased for the city and was set to arrive on the Friday following the meeting.

Rein also noted that he had received a packet from “Safe Step,” an organization that works with cities to determine areas around the community where sidewalks could use improvements. He said the company provides free quotes and felt it would provide good information for the city.

Shade tree program

The city also discussed continuing the shade tree program that it has offered each spring, over the past several years.

The city partners with Village Farm and Home to offer trees to residents at a cost of $25 per tree.

A variety of different tree types are offered and the cost includes planting by city staff. A list of tree options will be available at city offices in the next few weeks.

Winter garbage pickup

The City Council members requested that residents keep an eye on the weather when considering when to put out garbage and recycling for pickup on Wednesday morning.

A notice had been sent to residents in city billing, but City Clerk Karen Larson wanted to issue a reminder during the council meeting.

If snow is not predicted, residents should feel free to put garbage and recycling out on Tuesday evening. However, if snow is expected, residents are asked to wait to place containers curbside until after snowplowing has occurred, or after 5:30 a.m.

Once containers have been emptied, residents are asked to remove them as soon as possible.

“Your cooperation improves the efficiency of city snow removal and prevents damage to the garbage and recycling containers,” the notice read.

Other business

The Council consented to allow Larson to apply for a Rockwell Collins Grant by Feb. 16. The grant would allow the city to fund a special city project, yet to be determined. The city has been fortunate enough to receive a grant from the organization the past three years to fund conversion of the city’s streetlights to LED bulbs.

The Council approved a $25 a month raise to $925 for the city’s ambulance director, Sarah Delaney.

The February meeting was moved up a week, to Wednesday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. to accommodate Ash Wednesday, which falls on the council’s regular meeting date.