Council hears of progress on Goessel’s new water tower

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA GOERZEN
McGuire Iron of Sioux Falls, S.D., has scheduled to set up the center of Goessel’s new water and set the “big ball” on Tuesday, Dec. 3, public works director Arlen Goertzen told the Goessel City Council at the Nov. 21 meeting.

Goertzen said “the crane will roll into town” the day before. He commended McGuire Iron.

“I’ve been real impressed with the company,” he said.

Goertzen said the foreman has been willing to explain what is happening. A class from the high school has gone several times to watch the building process.

The council authorized mayor Peggy Jay to sign the papers for disbursement of funds for the water tower in the amount of $99,598. Goertzen passed around pictures of the water tower project.

Larry Voth, acting city inspector, city attorney Bob Brookens, and Alden and Irma Schroeder attended a special city council meeting Nov. 7 to discuss the Schroeder rental property at 101 North Buller.

The council voted to recess to the Schroeder house and walk through it. Back in the city conference room, the Schroeders said they would like to repair the house, which would include repairing the north wall of the basement, rewiring the house, replacing the plumbing, replacing the windows, and repairing or replacing the heater.

Voth, who inspected the house, said the house is not inhabitable as it is due to the electrical and structural hazards, and it would not be cost effective to repair it. The council voted to adopt a resolution to demolish the house.

The Schroeders also attended the Nov. 21 council meeting to discuss their rental houses at 202 W. Main and 101 N. Buller again. Both houses are on the same lot and a half.

“We never had any trouble renting either of those houses,” Irma Schroeder said.

Following executive session, Mayor Jay told the Schroeders, “We’re prepared to offer you $7,000 for it,” referring to the entire property. The big house would be demolished, and the city would receive the title to the little house. The Schroeders asked if they could have a few days to think about the offer.

The council discussed ordinances and homeowner covenants in relation to zoning. Goertzen reported on a zoning workshop he had attended.

“It would take a lot of question out of some things,” he said. “It takes a zoning board to come up with the regulations and make sure they are followed.”

He said the board would need five to seven people.

“We would have to develop a comprehensive plan and a strategic plan.”

A five-member board of zoning appeals would also be needed. An area three miles around the city could be included in city zoning regulations. Jay said $35,000 in start-up costs would be needed to establish provisions for zoning.

In other business:

 The council denied a request from a homeowner who wanted the city to pay $180 in sewer repair costs. It was pointed out the problem was on private property. The city did not charge the homeowner for the hours Goertzen spent helping with repairs.

 Goertzen discussed plans to replace the culvert at Marion and Wheat streets. He said the current 15-inch culvert will drain 10 or 11 acres. But an 18-inch culvert would drain 15 acres and would have two end sections. It would cost $600.

 Goertzen said he needs more rock for the new parking lot south of the city building. Council member Jim Wiens commended Goertzen for his work on the lot: “It looks nice.”

 Residents Tony and Joan Epp attended the meeting and complimented the council on the city’s state fair booth.

 City Clerk Anita Goertzen reviewed tax statements with the council. “We are being billed for trash for everywhere that we own property,” she said. “We need to protest paying [for trash service] on our parking lots and water tower.”

 Jan Nolde attended the meeting to review the city’s audit report. She suggested a few more policies. The audit was required because more revenue had been received than in the past. Goertzen said the extra money was from grants, not from residents.

 The county’s solid-waste plan was briefly discussed and how the transition in billing will occur.

 The council authorized Arlen Goertzen to purchase a hand-held water meter reader for $1,760. This amount includes the basic unit plus software, adapter and battery pack.

 Councilor Larry Schmidt said he had received an inquiry from someone who wants to start a bakery/deli in Goessel, with the hopes of eventually opening a restaurant.

 Schmidt mentioned the need for camper hookups in the city park.

 The council reviewed portions of the employee handbook, particularly in relation to paid holidays for part-time employees.

 During the Nov. 7 special meeting, the council denied a request for a mobile home at 104 W. Main.

 Due to a conflict with a high school music program, the December council meeting was changed to 8 p.m., Monday, Dec. 23.

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