Written by Cynthia Goerzen Tuesday, 08 January 2013 15:44
During its Dec. 18 meeting, the Goessel City Council discussed the speed limit at the east end of town, particularly as K-215 becomes Main Street.
The state of Kansas maintains the section of the street between Kansas Highway 15 and Main Street. Therefore, the state sets the speed limit for that portion of the street, which is 40 mph. As K-215 becomes Main Street, however, the speed limit is decreased to 30 mph. Drivers are reminded to decrease their speed accordingly.
The suggestion was made to install a “Reduced Speed Ahead” sign prior to the speed change. But Paula Flaming, court clerk/deputy city clerk, said that since the sign would be along the state-maintained portion of the street, the city would have to request the sign from the state, and the state would have to approve it.
Councilor Jim Wiens said the state would only approve such a sign if the speed change would be greater than 10 mph. The council discussed the possibility of an additional 30 mph sign west of the current one, farther into town. No decision was made at this meeting.
Following an executive session, the council voted to continue with two police officers. During the past month, officers had issued 23 speeding tickets, 22 verbal warnings (17 for speed), and three stop-sign violations. One driver had been cited at 50 mph in the 30 mph zone.
The police department also worked one case and made one arrest. They investigated a suspicious person report and checked business doors
New trash agreement
After listening to a presentation by company representative Jeff Fawcett, the council approved a new trash-hauling agreement with Waste Connections, the current trash hauler for the city of Goessel.
Beginning Jan. 1, the new residential weekly trash rate for a 95-gallon cart will be $11.05 per month, which includes an administrative cost. The new residential weekly trash rate for a 65-gallon cart will be $10.55 per month, including an administrative fee.
The agreement also states that the fee will increase by 30 cents Jan. 1 of every year until 2018. Waste Connections will charge a $15 fee for picking up bulky items. The resident must call the city office a week in advance to schedule the bulky item pick-up.
Fawcett said Waste Connections also serves nearby cities such as Hesston, Halstead and Sedgwick, and that Waste Connections has increased its trash fee by only $2.25 a month over the past 10 years.
The trash agreement excludes certain waste materials from collection, including radioactive, volatile, highly flammable, explosive, toxic or hazardous materials.
Fawcett also made a presentation on its recycling services, but the council said it prefers to continue with the county’s recycling service instead.
New water rates
The council approved Ordinance 244, which pertains to water and sewer rates. Beginning with the first bill of 2013, the cost for residential 3/4-inch meters will be $9.85 for the minimum up to 1,000 gallons, $2.62 for each additional 1,000 gallons up to 5,000 gallons and $2.91 thereafter.
The 1-inch meter rates will be $25.74 for minimum use up to 5,000 gallons, $2.62 for each additional 1,000 gallons up to 7,500 gallons, and $2.91 thereafter.
The new rates for 11?2-inch one-half and 2-inch meters will be $40.52 for the minimum amount up to 7,500 gallons, $2.62 for each 1,000 gallons up to 15,000 gallons, and $2.91 thereafter.
The rates for 4-inch meters will be $63.68 minimum up to 20,000 gallons, $2.62 for each 1,000 gallons up to 40,000 gallons, and $2.91 for each 1,000 gallons thereafter.
Residents who use city water but live outside the city limits will be charged at twice the rates that city residents pay. The ordinance states that a surcharge is necessary “for the purpose of servicing and improvements to the municipal water system.”
Karen Dalke, public works director, reported that she talked to Meyer Specialty about the tree-root problem in some areas of town. Some of the roots require mechanical removal.
Dalke said a product called “RootX” could be helpful in areas where the roots are not as much of a problem.
RootX is called a “root intrusion solution.” It is packaged as two dry powders in one container. They create a sticky foam when they come in contact with water. The foam kills the roots and inhibits new growth for up to 12 months. Dalke now has some RootX on hand that residents can buy at cost; it is a service to residents.
Dalke said anyone who uses RootX must follow the directions exactly to avoid damage.
In other business, the council:
• heard Karen Dalke, public works director, report that the new tornado siren should be finished in January.
• discussed winterizing the new concession building at the baseball diamonds. Councilor Larry Schmidt has been checking the building and said a few details on the building are still unfinished. The water for that building will be turned off during the winter.
• approved a new minimum sewer rate charge of $10.43 per month. The ordinance states that toxic pollutants are not allowed.
• heard that Dalke had talked with Bob Vincent of Ground Water Associates about a possible new well. Vincent does not charge a fee unless he makes a proposal. Dalke said Vincent has been highly recommended by other cities.
• discussed the house that has been under review during past council sessions. Nothing has been done to bring the house into compliance with safety codes. The council agreed that the city attorney should continue with proceedings.
• heard that City Clerk Anita Goertzen plans to attend the Valley Falls retreat Jan. 15. The retreat provides information to small cities. Her registration fee will be paid by the Marion County Economic Development Council.
• following an executive session to review employee wages,voted in open session to increase employee wages by 1 percent for 2013.
• passed Resolution 13-01 that accepts the GAAP Waiver for generally accepted accounting principles because the city uses “cash basis accounting” instead, in compliance with Kansas state law. The GAAP Waiver must be approved every year.