The Mabel City Council discussed Cherrywood Drive, the selling of a city lot across from Green Lea Manor, the city's 2013 audit, handicapped parking at BBG's restaurant and heard a report from Public Works Director Bob Mierau during its regular council meeting last week.

The majority of the meeting was spent discussing the city's upcoming street and utility improvement project. See related story on the front page of this issue.

Cherrywood Drive improvements

City Clerk Karen Larson reported that some headway has been made toward gaining easements for the city to gain access to Cherrywood Drive to conduct improvements. Mierau suggested the council make some basic repairs to the road in order to keep costs down and to satisfy area property owners.

"It kind of an odd situation," said Mierau. "It's not a normal easement with the water main and sewer main there...something needs to be done with the road. I think with a very minimal amount of money we could maybe just build the street up there a little bit and with some blacktop millings...and with a little bit of culvert work, I think we would probably be in pretty good shape there."

Mierau said property owners whom he visited with expressed support for his idea. "I guess it would be general maintenance...it's basically our road anyway, we've been maintaining it for 30 years," he said.

The city still needs signatures from all of the remaining property owners on the street to gain access to repair the road.

Sale of city lot

Last month, the council directed Larson to seek an appraisal of the city owned lot at 112 North Lyndale Street, located across from Green Lea Manor Nursing Home. Larson reported the lot was appraised at a value of $14,000.

The appraisal was conducted due to a private party's interest in purchasing the property in order to construct a new home. Since then, another party has expressed interest in acquiring the property, Larson reported.

After council discussion, it was decided the sale of the property will be published in the News-Record with bids taken until noon on the date of the next council meeting, Wednesday, May 14, with bid opening to take place during the meeting at 7 p.m.

2013 Audit

Larson reported the city's annual audit has been received. A copy of the document will be published in the News-Record.

Larson highlighted a few things noted in the audit, including making good on outstanding checks, disbursements for fuel receipts for the ambulance and fire departments and personnel files. Larson said she is already working on the issues.

The council voted unanimously to accept the audit.

Handicapped parking at BBG's

Larson reported a request was received to establish a handicapped parking spot outside of BBG's restaurant on West Fillmore Avenue.

The council voted unanimously to paint two handicapped spots and place two signs outside the restaurant in order to satisfy the needs of elderly and handicapped customers of the business.

Public works report

Mierau first reported the city's tree program is moving forward with the trees being purchased from Village Farm and Home. He is not certain at this time what varieties will be offered.

"If you have questions about the program, please call city hall," Mierau said.

The city's clean up day was been set for Saturday, May 10, from 8 a.m. through noon.

Mierau brought up the idea of installing extra water meters for those who want to water their lawns during the summer months. He explained the basic water meter on each home charges both water and sewer charges. However, if the resident is watering their lawn, the sewer is not used.

"First of all, there would not be many but there are a couple, probably three or four individuals in town, that would like to water their lawn...but they have to pay the sewer charge and don't like to pay that," Mierau said.

The council gave Mierau permission to look into the extra meters, but there will likely be a rental and installation fee for the service if it is enacted. The council plans to bring up the topic again at a future meeting.

Mierau said there have been some concerns reported about the lack of yield signs at the intersection of Karli Drive, South Hagen Street and Bellville Avenue.

The council voted unanimously to place the signs at the intersection. "We should not have any uncontrolled intersections," said Mayor Brian Street.

"Just looking around town...if you ever go throughout the community, there are a lot of homes that don't have numbers," said Mierau as the topic changed to numbers on resident's homes and local businesses. "It would just bring some uniformity in town because there's always new people coming in and not everybody knows where everybody's at."

The council then discussed uniformity regarding the numbers, along with safety aspects, including better coordination for the fire department and ambulance services if all homes and business in Mabel were clearly marked. The council directed Mierau to do further research on the topic.

Mierau said some new street signs have been ordered and should be arriving soon. Council member Susan Amunrud added there is a lack of signage pointing motorists to Green Lea Manor on Highway 44. Mierau said placing signs on Highway 44 require MnDOT approval, but said Green Lea could put signs directing motorists to the nursing home on Main Street or elsewhere in the city.

Another project that will be happening will be further landscaping at the Mabel Community Center. Mierau said the Dahlen children recently donated $1,000 toward the landscaping. A planting day has been organized to plant shrubs, trees and other greenery on the morning on April 26.