Written by Cynthia Goerzen Tuesday, 23 October 2012 14:23
The Goessel City Council reviewed the city’s recycling effort during its Oct. 15 meeting.
Recycling bins are available for residents of Goessel and the surrounding community. Residents have been recycling so much that two bins were not sufficient. A third bin has now been added.
In his update, Councilor Larry Schmidt said two bins are filled every week, and the third bin is more than half full every week. The third bin is definitely needed, he said.
Mayor Peggy Jay said the Goessel community “really appreciates” the bins. It was noted that the school has a recycling bin also.
Schmidt reported he found trash in the recycling bins—such as egg shells, coffee grounds and feed sacks. Schmidt said such trash is unacceptable. Only recyclable items are allowed in the bins.
Schmidt is available Thursday evenings to help transfer recyclables into the bins. He said some people have a hard time holding the heavy lid open while they put their items into the bin. A metal rod had been available to help hold the lid open. However, it accidentally slid under one of the bins when the bin was dumped and currently is not available.
The council discussed the curbside recycling service that had been available on a recent Saturday morning. Council members thought it had been helpful and wondered if residents liked that service, too. Curbside recycling service for larger items could be available once or twice a year.
The council agreed to give the city library an extra $1,000 following a presentation by Susie Shipp, library board treasurer.
Shipp said the 2013 library budget is $23,980, compared to the 2012 budget of $24,364.
City Clerk Anita Goertzen said the decrease of $384 was due to a decline in property-tax revenue because the city’s assessed value decreased.
But Shipp said the North Central Kansas Libraries guidelines state that “we must show an increase every year” in order to obtain grants, state aid and regional aid. She said grants paid for computers for the library and half of the new automation system. The automation cost $5,200.
“We couldn’t do that without grants,” Shipp said. Grants also help pay the phone bill.
Shipp said the library has to provide documentation of the increase: “It has to show that the increase comes from the city.” The increase cannot be a donation or fundraiser.
Jay encouraged the council to go into the library and look at what grants have provided. She hoped that kind of support could continue.
Goertzen said the library had asked for money a number of years ago, but a request was not necessary in recent years because valuation had increased.
Goertzen said, “The general fund is looking fairly good.”
Schmidt made a motion to give $1,000 to the library. Goertzen said that amount would be available in the general fund. The motion received a second and passed.
Councilor Dallas Boese clarified: “This is a one-time gift.”
Councilor Jim Wiens asked, “What happens next year?”
Shipp answered, “No one knows.”
In other business, the council:
• expressed appreciation for the $600 that firefighters raised from their pancake feed.
• approved an increase in the city’s franchise fee for electrical service.
Suzanne Coin, business manager with Westar, which is now part of Kansas Gas and Electric Co., told the council, “We’ve got about 275 franchises,” she said, adding that Goessel’s franchise will expire Nov. 17.
She said the franchise fee had been 3 percent for 20 years and suggested raising the fee to 5 percent and reviewing it in 10 years.
Goertzen said, “This is one source of revenue that is spread evenly over everybody who uses electricity.”
The 5 percent franchise fee will be implemented Dec. 1.
• passed an ordinance authorizing Westar to use city streets, alleys, bridges, parks and public places to place and maintain equipment “necessary to carry on the business of selling and distributing electricity for all purposes to the city, and its inhabitants....”
• noted that the emergency siren has been mounted on the pole and soon should be ready to use.
• heard Karen Dalke, public works director, report that the south water well was pumping air because it had run for 29 hours.
“The power went completely dead out there” just before the council meeting started, she said. She had called an electrician to take a look at it. The electrician called Dalke during the meeting and reported that the prongs were bent in the box. He recommended purchasing a new box.
The council told Dalke to price a box, and it will be considered at next month’s meeting.
• heard that Dalke had to replace a sensor at the lift station.
• approved the purchase of two new swings after hearing from Dalke that she had removed two swings at the city park because of safety concerns. Schmidt said three people had already asked him when the swings would be available again.
• heard Dalke report that the trenching at the baseball diamond is almost done. She expressed appreciation for Will Kaufman’s trenching work.
• heard the police department had worked one case and followed up on a dog complaint.
• discussed a low-to-moderate income survey. Goertzen said that some grants are available for cities that qualify with 51 percent of the population in the LMI category.
Goertzen said no names appear on the questionnaire. Residents fill it out and put it into an envelope. Jay said even city representatives do not see the completed questionnaires.
• briefly discussed the box car that does not meet city safety codes.
• discussed a house that does not meet codes. Bankruptcy and unpaid taxes were noted.
• approved the 2011 audit report that was presented at last month’s meeting
• briefly discussed instituting a “phone tree” for getting information to the public, but made no decision about it.
• expressed appreciation for the work of FFA students who erected small Christmas trees near the city building last year.
• discussed plans for Santa Claus, noting that Santa was available for two hours last year. It was suggested that one hour is long enough. Forty children visited Santa last year.
• changed the date of the December council meeting to Tuesday, Dec. 18., because the elementary school Christmas program is schedule for Dec. 17, the council’s designated meeting day.