Sean Welty with Davy Engineering attended the August city council meeting in Mabel and recommended that the council reject the bids for its water and sewer improvement project.

The council had held a special meeting to open the bids at the end of last month and the bids came in higher than expected.

Welty recommended rejecting proposal number one and proposal number two and to rebid the project sometime after the first of the year.

He said that Rural Development concurred with the recommendation.

Welty reminded the council that this project includes the underground utility portion, sanitary/sewer rehabilitation and water main replacement of the project.

The council passed a resolution to reject the bids and proceed with the project later this winter.

Minnesota Twins "Fields for Kids" program

Larson informed the council that not only did the City of Mabel receive a $10,000 grant for repairing the softball field from the Minnesota Twins' "Field for Kids" program, but Mabel was also awarded the matching amount of an additional $10,000 from the Fox Sports North "Sandlot" field scholarship.

The grant was sought by softball coach and recreation director Kati Tweeten in April as the fencing around the field was in bad shape with gaps in the fence, curling and warping in other areas.

The need for the grant was even greater following the flood in June that destroyed the Mabel softball field at Steam Engine Park. The floodwaters had washed away entire sections of the fence surrounding the park. The home dugout was gone and the rest of the field was left in very poor condition.

Ironically, soon after the flood, Tweeten was notified that the city had received the grant, and at the maximum amount of $10,000.

Even though the grant has already been matched by the "Sandlot Scholarship," Tweeten and Bobbi Jo Vickerman are still asking for donations to help cover the costs of repairs, which they estimate will exceed $30,000.

Mediacom

Lee Grassley, Regional Government Relations Manager from Mediacom Communications, spoke to the council about the Mediacom Franchise renewal. Grassley explained the terms of the renewal agreement.

Council member Terry Torkelson stated, "We just wanted to know why we were notified so far in advance about renewing our contract when it isn't up until April 2016."

Grassley notified the council that the Federal Law requires Mediacom to notify 30 to 36 months prior.

The council agreed to increase the franchise fee to 5 percent and renewed the contract for 10 years.

Cherrywood Drive

Karen Larson updated the council on the status of Cherrywood Drive.

Carl Westby, Jeff Rein and Wendell Peterson were present at two previous council meetings to request the city blacktop the street.

Before the council could approve the request, the city had to approve and record an annexation agreement for the easements from the property owners.

"The annexation is back and has been recorded and I've spoken to (City Attorney Richard) Nethercut and he explained that he needs to describe the lot so the next step is to get the easement surveyed," Larson said.

In addition, Bob Mireau is obtaining estimates for curb and gutter for the proposed street.

Address signs

Larson stated that every year before Steam Engine Days, the office receives phone calls from people wanting to set up tents or campers wanting an address for the Steam Engine Park.

Chuck Dahl suggested to the council to put an address on the Steam Engine Park.

"It will save many headaches," stated Larson.

Larson also reported that she had placed a call to Brian Hoff at the county assessor's office and he suggested that a new road be placed through the park given the name "Steam Engine Park Drive."

Nethercut will prepare documents to make this official.

Public works report

The hedge behind the townhomes is collecting garbage and Mireau is recommending that the hedge be removed.

Torkelson agreed, stating "It is probably easier to take it out at this stage."

The council passed a motion to take the hedge out.

Tractor trade

Larson explained that Mireau had received a quote for a new tractor, including a trade-in value for the city's current tractor. The cost would be $14,000.

Chuck Dahl explained to the council that there's a buyer for the Case tractor being traded in so they can sell it quick and give the city a deal.

The council agreed to a trade in the tractor and to pay no more than $14,000 for the new one.

White shed

After the flood in June, the white shed at the softball field needs to be replaced. A local contractor stated he would build a new one for $5,000.

The council decided to wait and see if FEMA would cover the cost and perhaps check into the shop class from Mabel-Canton to see if it could build it for a class project.

Picnic tables

Larson and Mireau have checked with local businesses and couldn't get the 'industrialized' picnic tables that are needed for the parks. The council agreed to put out a bid notice to see if perhaps a local contractor would be interested in building the tables.

The council agreed to wait until October to put out a bid notice. Dahl suggested perhaps the Mabel-Canton shop class would take on this project as well.

Other business

The council addressed the following issues during its meeting.

• The council approved a temporary liquor license application from the Mabel Lions Club for Saturday, Sept. 7, and Sunday, Sept. 8, for Steam Engine Days.

• The council agreed to refurbish existing poles and replace the bad ones, as well as put new light fixtures on the street lights.

• It was noted that the signs have faded for directing trucks to the truck route. The council agreed to replace signage for truck route.

• Finally, the September city council meeting has been moved from Wednesday, Sept. 11 to Wednesday, Sept. 18.