Written by Cynthia Goerzen Tuesday, 03 January 2012 15:11
The Goessel City Council approved at its Dec. 19 meeting a 5 percent increase for sewer and water rates for 2012.
The minimum monthly sewer charge will be $9.93 compared to $9.45 for 2011.Based on each customer’s average water use during January, February and March, 20 additional cents will be charged per 100 gallons. That rate did not change. The additional fee is 25 cents per 100 gallons for those who live outside the city limits but use city sewer and water services. That is also the same fee as 2011.
Regarding water rates, after the minimum of $9.38 for 1,000 gallons has been met, $2.49 will be charged for every 1,000 gallons up to 5,000 gallons, and $2.77 after that for residential 3/4-inch meters. These rates compare to $8.93, $2.37 and $2.63 in 2011.
The 2012 minimum charge for 1-inch meters will be $24.51 up to 5,000 gallons and $2.49 for each 1,000 gallons up to 7,500 gallons, and $2.77 after that, compared to the 2011 rates of $20.48, 2.37 and 2.63.
One and 1/2-inch and 2-inch meters are charged at the same rate. The 2012 rate will be $38.59 for the minimum up to 7,500 gallons, $2.49 per 1,000 gallons after that up to 15,000 gallons, then $2.77. These rates compare to $36.75, $2.37 and $2.63 for 2011.
The 2012 minimum 4-inch meter rate will be $60.64 up to 20,000 gallons, $2.49 for 1,000 gallons up to 40,000 gallons and $2.77 after that. The 2011 rates were $57.75, $2.37 and $2.63.
Water, sewer and trash rates are all double for those who live outside the city limits but use city services.
After discussion, the council voted to buy and install a basic well pump for $2,995. Karen Dalke, public works director, said the west well was down because the motor burned out.
Councilor Jim Wiens said, “The pump was not producing as much as it should have.”
Mayor Peggy Jay asked when the pump had been replaced. Dalke thought 2003, and a second pump had been replaced within about a year and a half after that.
Wiens said a new pump would be better for the capacity of the well. A new pump also would be more gentle and would be easier on the other well equipment. Wiens expressed concern about over-pumping the well and about back pressure.
The council discussed whether to get a 5-horse-power controller or a 7.5-horse-power controller. Dalke wondered if the controllers are necessary.
Councilor Larry Lindeman asked, “Has there ever been a problem with running the wells dry?” Dalke said no. She said one well pumps 32 gallons a minute, and another 42 gallons a minute.
Wiens said the original wells were designed to pump 70. Jay asked, “So do you think we have a second pump going bad?”
Dalke said, “I would say so.”
City Clerk Anita Goertzen asked, “Where does the water right come into play?” Wiens responded, “They don’t worry so much about gallons per minute as the total for the year.”
Asked about chlorination, Dalke said it can be adjusted manually.
The council reviewed a quote for a new pump for $2,536 and the labor to pull and reset the pump, for a total of $2,995. The council also discussed a variable speed control, which could make the pump last longer and work better.
But Goertzen advised, “What you need now is the pump.” She suggested additional features could be added later.
Lindeman agreed, but Dalke cautioned, “I think it will trip the breaker if it runs the well dry.”
In other business, the council:
• voted to pay $99 to KXKU radio station, FM 106.1 for airing Goessel High School music at 1:20 p.m. Dec. 24 and 10:20 a.m. Dec. 25. Mike Hill from KXKU had contacted Goertzen about the possibility.
• heard that the trash rate to Waste Connections will increase by 25 cents per customer in January. Goertzen said the city pays extra for the city-wide clean-up trash service.
• spent 70 minutes in executive session reviewing wages, then passed giving two full-time employees a 1 percent wage increase, two additional paid holidays, a $200 Christmas bonus gift card, and the employee’s share of the increase in insurance, which is an additional benefit. The employees cover the 15 percent difference in the insurance rate.
They also raised the court clerk’s pay to match that of the other part-time employees and voted to give a $100 gift card to part-time employees.
• approved the purchase of a new computer for Flaming for $1,500 after Goertzen said the one used by the police department had “died.” An attempt to repair the police computer was unsuccessful.
• heard that Dalke had put down asphalt millings on the streets.
• reappointed Councilor Dallas Boese to another term on the Goessel Housing Authority.
• heard from Goertzen that court sessions will start at 5:30 p.m. instead of 5:15 p.m.
• heard Jay review decisions of the past year. The council had purchased a police car, a new computer, painted the community room and installed new carpet in the community room and new flooring in the city building hall.
• heard that Jay, Goertzen, and Dalke had met to propose goals for the year ahead, including getting new picnic tables and park benches, gravel and rock for the parking lot at the park, new sidewalk and paint at the community building, and keeping equipment maintained.
• approved a five-year plan for various funds, including capital improvement, equipment reserve, park equipment reserve, and the street funds.
• discussed but did not act on an offer from Orville Krause, who wants to donate a small piece of ground to the city. Goertzen said the survey fee would be $900.