Concrete slabs have been poured for the new dugouts at the Mabel softball field on Steam Engine Grounds. DAVID STOEGER/NEWS-RECORD
Concrete slabs have been poured for the new dugouts at the Mabel softball field on Steam Engine Grounds. DAVID STOEGER/NEWS-RECORD
Mabel’s softball field on the Steam Engine Grounds is getting a big facelift this summer – thanks in large part to the grants from the Minnesota Twins and Fox Sports North.
The field suffered heavy damage in June of 2013 when flooding affected the area around Steam Engine Park.
“There was a shed that went through the fence and floated,” said Mabel City Clerk Karen Larson. “It (the shed) pretty much took the fence out and the infield soil/gravel.”
“The concession stand got flooded out completely,” said city public works employee Chuck Dahl.
The irony of the situation is the grant money was originally sought for upgrades even before the flood of 2013.
“Katie Tweeten and Bobbi Vickerman had come to the council and asked if they could apply for the grant on our behalf and we thought it was a great idea,” Larson said. “This was before the flooding happened. They had come and wanted to make the dugouts better and different. Then, after the flooding, we needed more extensive repairs done.”
Both the Minnesota Twins Community Fund and Fox Sports North "Sandlot" field scholarship have granted the city $10,000 with a total of $20,000 to be used between the two for repairs.
“The main project is the dugouts, so it depends on how much that costs and we see how much we have left to see if we can make some improvements on other stuff (on the field),” Larson added.
A new concession stand has already been built through the Mabel-Canton building trades class. Concrete slabs for the concession stand and two dugouts have been poured.
Dahl said once the project is complete, the dugouts will be protected from future flooding.
The city has hired area residents John Westby and Steve Roy to complete the project.
Work began on the project at Steam Engine Park the week of July 21. The city hopes most of the project, especially the dugouts, will be complete by Steam Engine Days in September.
“It’s a great thing for the community. There are kids down there I see every day playing ball – so it’s used quite a bit,” Larson concluded.