Goessel already using new water tower, council told

Goessel public works director Arlen Goertzen told the city council at the May 15 meeting that the city had been “using water (from the new water tower) since Sunday night.”

He said it is maintaining about 50 pounds of pressure, which is 8 to 10 pounds more than the old tower.

The council discussed a light for the top of the water tower; many residents have asked about that.

Goertzen said a light was not in the specifications since it is not necessary. A light would cost $500 to $600.

The council voted not to install a light since it is not required and would not be good use of taxpayer money. They said the money is needed for other issues instead. Specifically, the telemetry system that regulates the water pumps and level of water at the wells needs to be replaced.

Goertzen said the submersible pump at well No. 1 is not working well; it is only putting out one-half as much water as it should. The council authorized him to buy a new pump.

Council member Jim Wiens mentioned that a change-over switch for pumping water is needed for times that the electricity is off.

According to Goertzen, demolition of the old water tower is scheduled to begin Monday.

The council discussed fireworks permits. They voted to allow fireworks on July 4 from 10 a.m. to midnight.

The council discussed the following restrictions:

The permit applicant must be a Goessel resident over 18 years of age.

Bottle rockets and other similar self-propelled fireworks devises shall not be discharged in the city.

It shall be unlawful for any person to propel fireworks of any kind in the direction of any animal, person, or vehicle.

Aerial devices will not be allowed.

Fireworks are to be discharged on the permit holder’s property, not on city property, and not at the city park.

Permit holders are responsible for all damages that might result from their fireworks, and they are responsible for clean-up of discharged fireworks.

The city of Goessel is not responsible for any accidents.

According to the proposed city code, “The Goessel Police Department is authorized to seize and confiscate all fireworks which may be kept, stored, or used in violation of this permit.”

The permit application must be submitted by July 1.

Mayor Peggy Jay suggested that the fire department and police department should review the permits and either grant or reject them.

The council discussed ditches and standing water. Jim Wiens reminded the council that the grant writer said the city needs a plan to clean ditches every 10 years.

Jay suggested cleaning a section every year. The council discussed the responsibility issue, whether the property owner is responsible or the city.

Kevin Goertzen attended the meeting to request that the city install a fence or plant trees between the city park and his property. He said some people have driven through his yard on their way out of the park.

“It had been our impression that since there had been trees, the city would replace them,” he said.

A fence or bushes would also be acceptable to him. He said he would be willing to donate some boards for a fence. The boards would need paint.

Council member Jim Wiens responded, “I’m not in favor of something that we have to paint every year.”

He asked if Goertzen would be willing to help pay for a plastic fence that would need no upkeep. Goertzen did not make a commitment.

In other business:

Darcy Buller was appointed to the library board.

City clerk Anita Goertzen reported the phone franchise is official now, and city attorney Bob Brookens will contact the telephone company.

Arlen Goertzen said the new city parking lot needs a light.

Goertzen said the city is now required to test for ammonia in wastewater, and he has made the necessary arrangements for that testing.

Goertzen said the city might need to build a new lagoon in the future.

“Our lagoons were designed for a population of 600 people,” he said, adding that Goessel now has 565 residents.

Goertzen said the state is now “cracking down on burning untreated and unpainted” boards at burn sites.

Anita Goertzen reported a new radar has been installed in the police car.

The council granted permission to have the community room carpet cleaned professionally.

The city purchased a new mower from Excel in Hesston. Council member Larry Lindeman said someone had asked him about the city’s old mower. Goertzen said he plans to keep it for city use since it can be used for things other than mowing.

The June city council meeting was changed to 8 p.m., Wednesday, June 18.

The council approved the financial statements of $31,284.71, which includes a $10,000 property insurance payment.

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