Members of the Goessel City Council said during the Aug. 19 meeting that public donations are still needed to support recycling.
Councilor Jim Wiens said donations had not been adequate lately because of confusion with the county’s program. He emphasized that the switch to county recycling is still a few months away, so donations are still needed to support the city’s program.
Councilor Larry Schmidt advised the council that he has found unacceptable items in the recycling bin, such as Styrofoam, diapers, quarts of oil and trash. Those items are not allowed.
Schmidt said he has posted notices detailing items that are not acceptable. He also said containers need to be washed before they are dropped off. Some people have been putting dirty containers into the recycling bin, and that attracts flies.
Schmidt cautioned that the county will reject a whole recycling load if something is found in the bin that is not allowed. He said it takes 12 to 14 hours a week to monitor the recycling project.
John Fast, Goessel school superintendent, and Josh Walker, representing Lloyd Builders, attended the meeting. Fast invited Mayor Dave Schrag to participate in the ground-breaking ceremony for the school’s building/remodeling project on Friday, Aug. 30.
Fast also invited the entire city council to attend the ceremony.
“This is an event that is a celebration for the school and for the community,” Fast said.
Walker discussed manholes and sewer lines with the council.
“No location is ideal,” he said.
The council discussed the length of the sewer line in the proposed school project and the difficulties with cleaning it.
“We need access to the sewer,” Schrag said.
The council had questions about a sewer clean-out and the grease trap.
Placement of the school’s maintenance shed also was discussed. The school plans to move it. Karen Dalke, public works director, said it needs to be at least 15 feet away from a fire hydrant and electrical pole.
In other business, the council:
• noted that the city-wide fall clean-up day will be Oct. 5. Details will be announced later.
• appointed Paula Flaming, court clerk and city deputy, as mitigation officer for the city as part of the emergency preparedness plan.
• accepted the resignation of Matt Voth, part-time maintenance employee for the past three years.
Schrag expressed appreciation for Voth’s work.
“He’s been helping us with the sewer,” he said. “With all the rains, we’ve had some problems with the sewer system.”
Dalke said the pumps had been running non-stop, and sewer lines backed up. Dalke said turtles had been found in the sewer line.
• talked about creek water and other water that seems to be infiltrating the sewer system and adding to the problems. Wiens said he had walked the creek several times, looking for places where its water might be leaking into the sewer. He suggested checking for an abandoned sewer line. Sump pumps also were discussed, as well as water from down spouts.
• heard that it takes about $400 each time the city sprays for mosquitoes. Residents are encouraged to check their yards for anything that has standing water that could attract mosquitoes. It was noted that tires stacked behind some buildings are full of mosquitoes.
• heard that Dalke has been busy mowing, but the task has been difficult because the mower has been getting stuck.
• followed Councilor Dean Snelling’s advice and voted to purchase a new breaker box for the city well. Dalke had alerted the council to the need in the past.
• passed a resolution for a hearing Oct. 21 about condemning a vacant structure.
• heard from Schmidt that new picnic tables for the city park would cost $700 to $800 per table. He suggested placing three tables in front of the shelter house and bolting them to concrete.
• heard of continuing vandalism at the city park, including hedge apples in the toilets. Also, someone had removed all the toilet paper from the restrooms. Beer cans and bottles had been littered at the park following a recent event.
• heard in the police report that during the past month, the department issued four speeding tickets and five verbal warnings, responded to a false alarm, investigated a complaint and a theft, led the Threshing Days parade, and dealt with drainage problems at the police carport.
• passed an ordinance stating that the days and times for allowing the discharge of fireworks will be set each year.
• voted to change the wording of the weed ordinance. City attorney Marilyn Wilder was present to explain the changes that were necessary because some people thought they did not have to mow their grass since it is not a weed.
However, weeds and grass over 12 inches tall are now considered a weed, and need to be mowed. Schrag said that the definition of weed now includes a “blighting influence” on the neighborhood.
• voted to change the residency requirement for the city clerk and treasurer in case flexibility is needed in the future. They will not be required to live within the city limits.
• voted routinely to accept the “Standard Traffic Ordinance for Kansas Cities” and “Uniform Public Offense Code for Kansas Cities” for the coming year.
• voted to pay employees for a minimum of one hour when they get called to work before or after regular hours.
• heard the county is replacing concrete culverts with steel culverts. Work is being done on a culvert at the intersection of State and Main streets.
• heard that city equipment is serviced once a year.
• discussed road-grader tires.
• heard that the Rhino mower and the Bush Hog mower could be sold.
• discussed the possibility of applying for a Sunflower Trails matching grant.
• discussed moving some signs on county property. Flaming said the city has to have permission from the county.
“We need to get it in writing,” she said.
• discussed mowing responsibilities at the baseball diamonds. Currently, the city mows up to the fence and Goessel Recreation Commission mows the baseball fields. The council decided to pay the GRC $150 for mowing the rest of this season and $450 a year thereafter.
• discussed a new water well and a possible Kansas Department of Health and Environment revolving loan.
Rose Mary Saunders of Ranson Financial attended the meeting to discuss the matter with the council. Her assistance with a revolving loan is at no cost to the city. She said an environmental review would be needed, as well as documents showing water use.
• discussed a generator that is necessary for providing light for city employees after dark.
• voted to pay the city library a lump sum of $359.76 to be used for the library’s phone bill.
• approved the 2014 budget of $937,210. The mill levy will be 56.85. City Clerk Anita Goertzen said property valuation has dropped in Goessel, but the city’s budget will stay within the levy limit.