The Goessel City Council was updated during its Sept. 17 about recent water leaks that caused one of the local schools to cancel for a day.
Public Works Director Karen Dalke said school had been canceled at the junior/senior high school for a day because no water was available for that building. The elementary school did have school.
Dalke expressed appreciation to employees from Kaufman Trenching in Moundridge for their work. She also expressed appreciation for Arlen Goertzen and Marty Dalke, who came to help when more problems developed after work hours. Mayor Peggy Jay and council members Dallas Boese and Jim Wiens offered assistance, too.
Dalke said it took several hours to fix the leak, and concrete had to be cut on Main Street in front of the Ratzlaff Building. It took $6,000 to fix the leak.
Dalke also reported a section of water line had been removed on Church Street.
“It was an inconvenience,” Dalke said, adding that the council would need to decide what to do with the water line on the south part of Church Street where the pipe is cracked.
Noting that repair clamps cost $400 each, she said she would like to remove the existing repair clamps and fix the pipe “the right way.”
After Councilor Dallas Boese suggested a water maintenance fee to cover more extensive repairs, counterpart Jim Wiens asked, “Do we need to put a one or two or three-dollar amount on the water bills?”
Dalke responded, “If our rates were up, we could get some grant money.”
Councilor Larry Schmidt said he had dealt with two water leaks at the city park, one in a restroom and one in the kitchen.
City Clerk Anita Goertzen reported the Employers Mutual Casualty insurance company conducted an inspection at the park and raised concerns about the skateboard park there.
While the city appreciates the efforts of the young people who had the vision for the skateboard park some years ago and did much of the design and construction work themselves, it does not pass inspection.
“They did not like our skateboard park at all,” Goertzen said. “We have to take it out.”
The skateboard equipment cannot be homemade. The equipment has to be bolted down and cannot be higher than 6 feet. A railing needs to be installed around the top.
In addition, Russ Shreves of EMC listed the following conditions that skateboard parks have to meet:
• Perimeter fencing needs to be installed.
• Sides cannot be open.
• Sharp edges and exposed screw heads are not allowed.
• Back-to-back ramps have to be attached to each other, with no gap between them.
• Equipment must be secured to the surface.
• Skateboard parks need to be enclosed.
• Protective netting needs to be installed in case of “flying” skateboards.
• Use of the skate park should be restricted at dusk.
• Signs should list the safety rules, hours of availability, conduct of users, and required personal protective equipment that includes helmet, elbow and knee pads, and wrist supports. Goertzen said those signs had been stolen.
• A sign should say that children under age 7 must be accompanied by an adult.
• Food and drink should not be allowed in the skateboard area.
• The degree of difficulty should be posted.
• Spectator areas should be outside the skateboard park fence.
• Equipment has to be inspected.
In addition to recent theft of skateboard signs, Goertzen said that “Not responsible for accidents” and “No climbing on the fence” signs had also been stolen from the city park.
Goertzen said one town spent $58,000 on a skate park. Dalke heard that Tampa’s Pride Committee had received a grant for their $64,000 skate park. Goertzen said Goessel’s Pride Committee had built the shelter house in the park, but Goessel no longer has a Pride Committee.
Turning its attention to another matter, the council used a speaker phone to talk with auditor Stephen M. Connelly during the meeting. Connelly informed the council there were “no apparent statutory violations” in the 2011 audit.
He suggested city employees continue their cross-training efforts and continue work on a comprehensive training manual.
Connelly reviewed cash receipts and expenditures over the past four years. He commended Goertzen for her work.
“I think we’re on the right track.” He said Goessel “runs a lot smoother than a lot of cities.”
In other business, the council:
• discussed the Oct. 13 city-wide clean-up day. Curb-side pick-up will be available that day; residents should have their items by the curb by 8 a.m. Residents can check with the city for a list of acceptable items.
• heard from Schmidt that someone had dumped unacceptable material in a recycling bin. He pulled out rebar wire, screen windows and pallets.
• agreed that if someone breaks a water valve, that person should pay to have it fixed. Councilor Jim Wiens reminded the council that city policy says only city employees can operate the valves.
Residents are reminded to call Dalke if they need to shut off a water valve. They should not do it themselves.
• will meet at a separate time to interview applicants for the additional part-time police position. Goertzen said, “I think it’s important to find someone who can work before school and after school.”
• heard from Dalke that the new tornado siren would likely be installed soon.
• heard about recent vandalism at the city park.
• heard that the police department is working on a juvenile case and will follow up with the county attorney since minors are involved.
• appointed Jonna Showalter to the Goessel Housing Authority Board.
• heard from Goertzen that a municipal meeting is planned for Oct. 23 at the community building. “People enjoy coming here,” she said. “It’s a good place to have a meeting.”
• heard that court clerk Paula Flaming plans to attend a meeting in Marion Sept. 26 about school violence.
• heard that someone had been hired to demolish a garage that did not meet city codes.
• was updated about a boxcar that needs to be demolished
• was updated about a house that needs to be removed.