The Goessel City Council welcomed Dave Schrag as mayor during its April 15 meeting.
Schrag succeeds Peggy Jay, who chose not to run in the April election. This is Schrag’s second stint as mayor. He served prior to Jay taking office. Larry Schmidt and Larry Lindeman were re-elected in the April 2 election. The council voted to appoint Schmidt as council president.
Jay was briefly present to open the meeting. The council expressed appreciation for Jay’s years of service to the city.
New water well
The council discussed at length the possibility of drilling a new water well. Stuart Porter of Schwab Eaton Engineers was available to discuss the matter with the council.
Public works director Karen Dalke said the wells have dropped 2 feet during the years she has worked for the city. She said the wells sometimes are pumped 18 hours a day.
However, Dalke said, after running 18 hours daily, she is not sure the wells will recover for the next day. She said the city currently has water restrictions.
“We’re rationing water right now in Goessel,” Schrag said.
Porter said each well delivers 55 gallons a minute. With two wells pumping, and one well on standby, that’s 110 gallons a minute.
Councilor Dallas Boese said, “After this last summer, I felt like our ability to provide for our community was in an alert.”
He suggested the city might need another water source at some point.
Porter assured the council, “You have the ability to provide for your patrons this summer; you’re not in ‘scary land.’ If you only had two wells, that would be a little scary. But you have a back-up well.”
Porter added, “It’s good to plan for the future and plan for growth.”
Boese expressed concern about the uncertainty of getting significant rain. Schrag said the city has an emergency back-up system to hook up to rural water if necessary.
“It’s a great insurance plan,” he said, although it would be expensive.
Porter told the council, “It will take time to procure water rights” and drill a well—perhaps two to three years.
In addition to the cost of drilling the well, the city will need to pay for engineering, geology testing, well testing and other expenses.
Councilor Jim Wiens said a new telemetry system would be needed, plus other equipment.
Dalke said she had the wells cleaned for $7,000.
Porter responded, “I’d hate to acidize a well very many times at $7,000 a pop if you can drill a new well for $50,000.”
Dalke said the depth of a well is limited because of sand.
The council noted that some residents have their own wells.
In addition to the well issue, Porter said Goessel’s cast iron pipe is aging and might need to be replaced. He said cast iron pipe has not been used for new installations since the 1960s. It costs $400 to $500 for a clamp for repairs on the pipe, plus back-hoe fees. Consequently, those costs add up.
He advised the council that it is an expensive project to replace pipes. Porter also mentioned the problems the city has been having with valves.
He suggested being “slow and methodical” with a water plan and encouraged the council to “research it thoroughly.”
Boese suggested a four-year plan, and Wiens suggested starting a reserve fund for a new well and pipe replacement.
No decisions were made at this meeting. The issues will be discussed at future meetings.
In other business, the council:
• discussed recycling. Schmidt asked how long the city will be without Dumpsters. Wiens said he hopes the new bin will be here before the others are removed. It will be a 40-yard bin and will be dumped when it is full. Wiens said that the bin will be gone for about two hours when it is taken to be dumped.
This will be single-stream recycling, although shredded paper will not be allowed. The recycling effort will need to generate $400 to $500 a month to pay for renting the bin and for dumping fees.
The city will not be financing this project as it will be available to the whole community, not just city residents. Therefore, everyone who uses the recycling bin is asked to donate $10 a month to the effort.
Envelopes will be available, and should be placed in the drop box on the east side of the city building.
The council emphasized that this recycling effort is open to the community. Schrag said, “I think it’s awesome.”
• heard from City Clerk Anita Goertzen that paper shredding bins will arrive at the city building June 10; they will be there until June 14. The bins will be available in the community room during regular working hours.
• authorized Dalke to purchase fire hydrants and replace the two old ones that have had leaks. One fire hydrant costs $1,600. Since one hydrant is in the school parking lot, that replacement will wait until school is out.
• authorized Dalke to purchase two hand dryers to install in the city park restrooms. The council hopes that will stop the vandalism of plugging the toilets with paper towels.
• briefly discussed signs along Kansas Highway 15 that would list the names of businesses in the city. “I think it’s a great idea,” Dalke said. Goertzen said a permit would be needed unless the sign is “generic.”
• heard about a water leak at the baseball diamond.
• reviewed three bids for cleaning the community room, kitchen, hall and restrooms in the community building, but decided to continue having the office staff do the cleaning.
• heard in the police report that officers had written a ticket for a stop sign violation. They also wrote four tickets for speeding, one for as much as 47 mph in a 30-mph zone. They monitored community service for a defendant and are working on some juvenile cases.
• approved the purchase of a computer for the police department.
• heard from Dalke that the old backup tornado siren did not go off at noon like it should. She said it quit during the ice storm.
• heard the Goessel Housing Authority has an opening on the board. Schrag will ask someone to consider filling that vacancy.