Written by Cynthia Goerzen Wednesday, 29 August 2007 10:29
Larry K. Voth, chairman of the Threshing Days Committee, attended the Aug. 20 Goessel City Council meeting to review Country Threshing Days, which occurred Aug. 3-4.
Voth expressed gratitude to the event’s sponsoring organizations, the Mennonite Heritage Museum and the Wheat Heritage Engine and Threshing Co., for their assistance.
He said such an event takes the effort of many people working together.
“There was a lot that went on behind the scenes,” he said.
Voth commended the work of the Goessel Police Department and Chief Joe Base for overnight security and “everything else they did.”
Voth said it had been reassuring to see the police making their rounds after the show closed for the night.
Voth also commended Karen Dickerson, public works director, for the way she handled some parking issues that arose.
“I am impressed how easy she is to work with,” he said.
Voth also expressed appreciation for the work of City Clerk Anita Goertzen.
On another matter, the council was informed that a July 1 change in the Standard Traffic Ordinance no longer allows all-terrain vehicles or work-site utility vehicles on any street within the corporate city limits unless authorized by the city.
If authorized for operation on city streets, such vehicles must be equipped with headlights, brake lights, turn signals, horns, mufflers, mirrors, reflectors and seat belts.
All operators of motor vehicles must hold a valid driver’s license and follow all traffic laws.
The city attorney would need to review an ordinance regarding such vehicles.
Councilor Jim Wiens suggested that proof of liability insurance is also important. The council and police supported the suggestion.
Representing the city task force, Donna Duerksen provided an overview of what the group has done during the past year. Highlights included publishing a monthly newsletter, initiating an on-screen movie-theater advertisement, working on plans for a water play area, hosting a garage sale, and having a float in the parade.
The group also talked about having a street dance and craft fair.
Duerksen said the group is looking for fund-raisers for a matching grant for a trail. They also are looking for funding for highway signs.
She talked about home rehabilitation and said the task force is looking for ways to “build community.”
The group is researching how tax dollars go to the county first and then come back to the city.
“We are a committee that has been hard at work," she said.
Mayor Peggy Jay commended Duerksen for the public awareness efforts of the group.
In other business, the council:
n heard Police Chief Base report that during the past month his department investigated one burglary, one criminal damage to property, one complaint of suspicious activity, one domestic case and one case of credit card fraud.
The police made one arrest and assisted with an accident. Base said the department dealt with several cases of dogs that were not licensed, helped with Threshing Days and assisted one motorist.
Base said a detective had conducted a finger-printing class for the library.
n heard from Dale Wiens of the Goessel Recreation Commission say he, Base and Dickerson had looked at parking options at the baseball diamonds.
Wiens showed drawings of parking possibilities and discussed location, water drainage/culvert, and safety issues with the council.
Suggestions included obtaining ground to the west of the ball diamonds to use for parking, creating a parking lot between the two diamonds, and widening Athletic Park Drive to accommodate diagonal parking.
No location decision was made at this meeting. Wiens will continue to work with Base and Dickerson on the parking issue. Rock will likely be used for the surface.
n heard from the library board that their budget is lower than they had wanted because of the 10-mill tax limit set by the charter ordinance. The council agreed to help with the purchase of a new computer for the library.
n heard from USD 411 Superintendent John Fast that the school would like to give its portion of Church Street to the city.
The school owns the street west of the junior/senior high school building and would like to deed that to the city. Fast said the school would like to retain ownership of the parking area along that street. He said the occupants of three residences now have to enter their driveways by driving on school property. He will obtain an estimate for the survey cost.
Jay said the city attorney will need to draw up a deed after the surveying is done.
n approved a request by Councilor Larry Schmidt for a hose reel on wheels for the park.
“The park was used quite a bit during Threshing Days," he said.
Base said parking at the park was “100 percent full” during Threshing Days activities. He advised the council to keep parking issues in mind for planning.
n authorized Dickerson to rock the dirt road that leads to the south well.
n discussed constructing a new shed at the south water well. Although the council considered hiring someone to do the work, city employees offered to check into doing it themselves to save money for the city. They will price materials.
n authorized Dickerson to purchase repair parts for the mower. She also requested a push mower for the steep ditches that are a safety hazard with the larger mower.
“I’m afraid it will turn over,” she said.
n discussed purchasing a small motorized vehicle, such as a three-wheeler, for city employees to use in town. Dickerson said it would save wear and tear on the pickup and would be more fuel efficient.
n discussed the need for a dump truck.
n heard Duane Unruh of the Harvest Meadow housing development say the gas line had not been installed in the easement. Instead, it had been installed under the area of Unruh’s landscaping and sprinkler system.
He had already discussed the matter with the gas company. Base said the easement in the ditch is already full with two gas lines, phone lines and a water line, all within a 2-foot space.
The council discussed options with Unruh, who will decide how to proceed.
n heard that Goertzen plans to attend the Kansas Municipal Utilities conference in September. She said court clerk Paula Flaming will attend a court conference about the same time. The council voted to participate in a 2010 census workshop.
n held a special meeting Aug. 8 to discuss Harvest Meadow issues, such as a change order for additional dirt work and lift-station problems.