Written by Cynthia Goerzen Tuesday, 24 July 2012 13:36
The Goessel City Council agreed at its July 16 meeting to send a letter of thanks to the county for the chip-and-seal work that was done on Goessel streets.
Public Works Director Karen Dalke said, “They will be back in September to do 120th” east of town.
Goessel Recreation Commission members Chad Lindeman, Curtis Guhr, Brian Burkholder and Joan Nightengale talked with the council about the new concession/restroom building at the baseball diamonds.
Mayor Peggy Jay said the baseball diamond plans had been started before the current people were on the GRC or city council. Consequently, original intentions were no longer clear.
Lindeman updated progress on the building project.
“Sidewalks have been poured,” he said. “We’re waiting on plumbing.”
Councilor Rollin Schmidt commended the GRC for its work: “It looks good.”
Councilor Larry Schmidt said the project is “helping the community” and bringing people into town.
Councilor Larry Lindeman agreed, “It’s for everybody.... It’s good for the kids.”
Chad Lindeman said 37 games had been played at the ball diamond this year.
The public is invited to rent the facility for other events. Reservations for renting the building can be made by contacting the city office.
The GRC and council discussed responsibilities for maintaining the new building. Chad Lindeman had contacted other cities to see how responsibilities are handled. He said “they’re all different.”
Nightengale said the city’s programs are not money-makers.
Lindeman added, “We don’t get paid for our time.... During May and June, we have no problem taking care of it.” But he added it would be difficult for the GRC to maintain it during the off-season.
Lindeman and Guhr are both school coaches and have limited time during school sports seasons.
Lindeman expressed willingness to clean after GRC events in summer: “If we have an event, we clean.... When we’re having something there, we’re responsible for it.”
Likewise, other groups that use the building for concessions and other events would be responsible to clean up after each event. Lindeman said the GRC would take care of scheduling groups or individuals to sell concessions during baseball season.
Nightengale said groups are responsible to bring their own food for concessions.
It was agreed that the GRC will be responsible for the building from May through July and will buy cleaning supplies during that time; the GRC will schedule ball games and concessions during those months. The city will be responsible for the building the rest of the year.
Electricity and water costs also were discussed, as well as mowing the area.
The city covers the cost of insurance.
During the discussion about the proposed 2013 budget, City Clerk Anita Goertzen said the city’s assessed valuation determines the mill levy. She said valuation went up in 2012, but has decreased for 2013. Therefore, the proposed mill levy would increase from 54.89 mills in 2012 to 55.754 mills for 2013.
She mentioned $4,000 for the park, $10,000 for equipment reserve, including a storm siren, and $10,000 for street capital improvements. The trash fund increased by 25 cents per customer, as required by Waste Connections.
The council discussed the water utility fund. Larry Schmidt wondered when the water tower would be paid off.
Goertzen said, “It’s a 20-year note” dating from 1999.
City-wide cleanup day
The council voted to use the curbside service for the fall city-wide clean-up day to see if the residents would prefer that instead of Dumpsters.
Jeff Fawcett of Waste Connections was at the meeting to discuss plans for the day. The city has had Dumpsters for clean-up days in recent years, but Fawcett said curbside pick-up would be an option. It would mean a separate day for picking up things that are not usually set out as trash, such as yard waste or appliances.
However, residents must remove all refrigerant before setting out an appliance for pick-up. Remodeling materials would not be accepted and would be considered an abuse of the service.
“If you don’t have someone who abuses it, it works fine,” Fawcett said. He added that curbside pick-up would be an advantage for people who cannot get to a clean-up day Dumpster.
Councilor Jim Wiens said the city had curbside pick-up in the past and it worked wonderfully. However, the city had recently opted for open-top Dumpsters to accommodate larger items.
Learning from others
Dalke said she had attended the city of Ramona’s 125th anniversary celebration and, “they did an awesome job.”
The local band Justus played, and activities for children were scheduled throughout the day.
She especially noted Ramona’s junior city council, comprised of teenagers, that had been organized as a response to vandalism trouble at the city park.
“That put a stop to it,” she said.
Ramona’s mayor and one council member attend junior council meetings. Likewise, a junior council member attends city council meetings.
Dalke suggested attending some of Ramona’s meetings to see how they are conducted, with the possibility of starting such an organization in Goessel.
In other business, the council:
• discussed the issue of speeding drivers in the area of Centennial and Wheat streets. North and south stop signs are already in place, and the council agreed to add two more stop signs to make that intersection a four-way stop. The stop signs would cost about $55 each and will need to be reflective. Larry Schmidt noted that a number of children play in that area.
The council also discussed the matter of speeding drivers on State Street.
• heard Dalke report that her department cleaned the sewers Monday and Tuesday of the previous week. She showed a brick that was found in the sewer line. The sewer had been moving slowly in that area. Dalke said sand, grass clippings, dirt and tree roots were also found in the sewer line.
“It would have backed up eventually,” she said.
• heard that the lift station had also been cleaned.
• heard about the ongoing investigation into the vandalism damage at the city park.
• heard Dalke’s recommendation that the council visit Tampa, Ramona and Lincolnville. “They’ve done a lot of upgrading,” she said. “They’ve got some good ideas.”
She mentioned granite benches that families can purchase for $1,000 in memory of a loved one.
• approved a 60-foot pole for the new storm siren at a cost of $3,000. The current pole is only 29 feet high, which is not high enough for the siren to be heard all over town. The new siren weighs 560 pounds. It will be serviced by a company in Valley Center.
• heard from Councilor Larry Schmidt that the shelter house at the city park will be sprayed for bugs. Also, the volleyball lights are not working and will be fixed.
• discussed foreclosed property and noted that a new owner would have to pay the back taxes on the property.
• discussed the property at 207 W. Main Street. The council had given the owner six months from Nov. 10, 2011, to fix the property. Nothing has been done. The city has contacted the attorney and plans to follow her advice for moving ahead on the matter.