Written by Cynthia Goerzen Tuesday, 29 May 2012 14:51
The Goessel City Council, after considerable discussion, decided at its May 17 meeting to buy new warning sirens for the community.
In response to a question about the need for a new siren, Karen Dalke, public works director, said, “If we lose power, we have no siren.”
Councilor Jim Wiens added, “Then we rely on fire trucks to drive around and alert the town.”
Wiens and Councilor Larry Schmidt said the city has a responsibility to protect the residents, even though it is not required to provide siren protection.
The council had heard a siren demonstration at the previous council meeting but decided not to buy that siren. The sound of that mobile unit is generated by compressed air and uses a gasoline-powered compressor to charge a 12-volt battery.
The council determined that siren would not be loud enough and would therefore be inadequate for the city of Goessel. The cost would have been $22,980.
Consequently, Wiens researched other sirens. He learned from Randy Duncan that Sedgwick is working on a $1.7 million siren project. Wiens found a siren for $23,325 that seems to be adequate for Goessel, and appears to be a better option than the siren the council considered in April.
It costs only a little more. Installation is included in the price.
The siren currently under consideration has voice capability and can be operated from fire trucks or hand-held radios.
Dalke said it would have more decibels than the siren currently in use. It uses electricity and has battery back-up capability.
The city would need to supply an outlet and a pole. The control box could be situated in the fire station.
Dalke asked, “Will that siren go off at noon like the current one?”
Wiens responded, “It depends if we want it to.”
Councilor Larry Schmidt asked if the city would keep the two old sirens. Wiens suggested keeping both; he said the town would be well covered, and the old sirens could be used as back-ups.
The council discussed financing a siren project. City Clerk Anita Goertzen said the siren could be purchased with a three-year lease-purchase arrangement at 4 percent interest.
She also said the city could use money from the equipment reserve fund and the capital improvement fund. Mayor Peggy Jay said the fire department had raised $600 in a fundraiser, which could be used for a siren.
The council then voted to purchase a new siren.
In other business, the council:
• heard from Dalke that the project to hard-surface 120th should be completed by the end of August or early September.
• reappointed the following people: Anita Goertzen as city clerk, Paula Flaming as court clerk; Greg Nickel as municipal judge; Marilyn Wilder as city attorney and Donna Cook as city treasurer.
• designated the Citizens” State Bank as the official banking depository.
• discussed properties in town that need to be cleaned up.
• discussed plans for cleaning up a boxcar.
• discussed a house that recently had been moved out of town.
• discussed the water situation at the baseball diamonds. Lindeman said, Dalke said, “We’ve got a well down now because of a water leak.”
She said 50 gallons of a water are used per minute for the ball field, which is equal to one pump. Dalke said 50 gallons of water a minute are also used for the football field, which is equal to another pump. That leaves one pump for the city.
• heard from Dalke that Will Kaufman of Moundridge will work on the water and sewer lines at the new baseball concession stand.
• heard from Dalke that Marlin Janzen plans to start on the new roof on the open shelter house at the park the following week.
• heard from Schmidt that the chimney of the enclosed park shelter house needs to be cleaned; someone left a fire burning in the fireplace.
• heard that the police department had issued one ticket for a dog with no license. In addition, the police documented houses that have junk in the yard and non-tagged vehicles in yards that are not fenced.
The police also investigated an incident involving youth with air rifles and BB guns at the city park. The Marion County Sheriff’s office responded to one case in Goessel, made one contact and worked one accident.
• after an executive session, voted to accept the resignation of Gary Littlejohn as police chief. Schmidt thanked him for doing a good job for the city. A new chief was not appointed at this meeting.
Michael Ottensmeier, who is a deputy sheriff with Marion County, and Wilma Mueller, who also works for the county, will both continue to work for the city of Goessel.
• discussed whether to ask police to work more hours.
• discussed bulk water sales. Goertzen said the county road and bridge department bought water from the city, and water was also purchased for the Kansas Highway 15 road construction project. The city sold the water for $38 per 1,000 gallons, plus $2.49 per 1,000 gallons up to 7,500 gallons, then $2.77 for each additional 1,000 gallons, which is the irrigation price.
“That’s pretty cheap,” Dalke said, adding that the county got 11 loads of water at 6,000 gallons a load. She said they appreciated it.
• briefly discussed an ordinance either allowing or disallowing the sale of alcohol within city limits, but made no decision.