Goessel council reviews fireworks restrictions

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA GOERZEN
Goessel City Council members noted at their June 18 meeting that permits to shoot fireworks are required within the city limits.

Application must be made by July 1 at the city office. Applicants must be Goessel residents over 18 years of age. Each application will be reviewed by the police and fire departments.

Restrictions that were publicized previously are still in effect:

Fireworks will be allowed (with a permit) on July 4 from 10 a.m. to midnight.

Bottle rockets and other similar devices shall not be discharged in the city.

Fireworks shall not be propelled in the direction of any animal, person, or vehicle.

Aerial devices are not allowed.

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

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

The city of Goessel is not responsible for any accidents.

Councilor Duane Duerksen said he had received “lots of nice compliments” about the new water tower.

Public works director Arlen Goertzen said many people have noticed an increase in water pressure. In response to requests, the council will set a date for an open house. Goertzen said the telemetry system has not been moved in yet.

The council discussed the telephone franchise fee. It was noted that Moundridge Telephone Company did receive communications from the city of Goessel prior to passage of the franchise ordinance, contrary to statements made by the phone company.

Goertzen pointed out that Moundridge Telephone Company has been paying a franchise fee to the city of Moundridge for years. To date, the city of Goessel has not received any franchise payments from the telephone company. Mayor Peggy Jay noted that the city receives franchise fees from gas, electric, and cable services.

The council discussed a letter that had been sent to Goessel residents by the Moundridge Telephone Company regarding the franchise fee. Incorrect implications were addressed.

The letter did not state that the franchise fee is 75 cents per month per phone line. Rather, the letter said the “city may assess a charge (tax) of up to $2.00” that could increase “to as much as $2.75…by the year 2012.”

The letter also suggests that residents “organize a protest petition drive” to require a vote. Council members and employees have received numerous inquiries about the letter.

Jan Nolde of Swindol, Janzen, Hawk, and Loyd presented the audit report. She recommended a policy manual for funding, purchasing, and procedures. She suggested an asset tagging system and listing fixed assets.

Nolde suggested computer controls, such as changing passwords occasionally and keeping them confidential. Nolde also suggested keeping city back-up records off the city office premises.

Jay noted that in 2002 the city did not spend its entire $120,000 budget. Nolde responded that it is good to have some carryover. She said she hopes to know assessed valuation from the county by the first of July to help prepare the 2004 budget.

In other business:

The council again discussed building an access street to the co-op’s grain-storage facility. The city will need some ground that is owned by Joyful Noise Day Care. The council authorized Jay to negotiate with Joyful Noise.

“We’ve been the victim of vandalism again,” Goertzen told the city council. He said the lights on the highway sign had been shot out. A police report has been filed, and the lights have been fixed.

Goertzen was authorized to buy two cases (10 gallons) for $324 per case of mosquito spray that also kills flies.

 The council voted to buy 10 more chairs for the community room.

 The council approved a request from city librarian Laura Dailey regarding permission for her TAG group to have a car wash on the city’s parking lot.

 The council met in executive session to review the wages of the public works director and city clerk. In open session, the council voted not to increase or decrease the pay of either employee, noting the uncertainty of state funding.

º Council member Jim Wiens and Anita Goertzen discussed the city’s Web site. Wiens suggested looking for something that would be easier to maintain than the Skyways program. No decisions were made.

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