Polish visitor laying ground work for ‘sister city’ connection

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA GOERZEN
Goessel Mayor Peggy Jay told the city council at the July 17 meeting that Henry Zamojski from Pawlowiczki, Poland, is visiting the Randolf Flaming family and wants to give the city of Goessel some gifts.

Zamojski, who first visited Goessel in 1978, has brought a Von Goessel family crest and seal and a map of the region where Captain Kurt von Goessel was born.

Goessel was named in Kurt von Goessel’s honor. Von Goessel was born in Urbanouitz. Zamojski lives about 25 miles from Urbanouitz. He suggested that the town in Poland and Goessel become “sister cities.”

He has researched Kurt von Goessel’s history, Mennonite history and the history of Goessel city.

Zamojski’s presentation will take place at 7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 2, under the big tent at Threshing Days. Jay encouraged all city council members to attend the presentation.

Jay said Angela Base is working on a scrapbook about Goessel to send back to Poland with Zamojski. The council approved payment of scrapbook expenses. Jay said the Voth sisters are making a wheat weaving of the prep school with a threshing stone. It will be presented as a gift also.

Council members Larry Schmidt, Racquel Thiesen and Larry Lindeman will represent the city council in the Threshing Days parade Aug. 2.

The council approved Rollin Schmidt as a volunteer reserve officer. He is authorized to help at special events and in special situations. He will be available to help with Threshing Days.

In his report to the council, police officer Joe Base said the police department issued one notice to appear in court for exhibition of speed, issued three illegal parking warnings, investigated two hit-and-run accidents and solved one, answered two calls of criminal damage to property, answered one call of a suspicious person, and issued one search warrant.

Base has completed police academy training. Jay commended him for his work. She said he “passed everything with flying colors.”

The council saw the plaque he received for shooting with 99.13 percent accuracy, the highest ever at the academy. Base also achieved the fastest time in emergency vehicular evacuation.

Base said his department will hold a fund-raiser at the park during Threshing Days. Council member Jim Wiens requested police security during Threshing Days.

City Clerk Anita Goertzen reported it cost $450 to fix the “Welcome to Goessel” sign. The lights had been shot out by vandals. Goerzten was authorized to look into insurance for the sign.

The council reviewed the proposed 2004 budget. Jay and Goertzen had met with auditor Jan Nolde. Jay said the mill levy will remain the same, but some items had to be cut. She said the mill levy is not worth as many dollars this year.

Goertzen said the city will receive $1,734 per mill, which is $100 less per mill.

Lindeman said, “Everyone should be happy to know taxes are not going up.”

But Goertzen said, “If it continues like this, we will have to raise mills next year.”

Goertzen said she contacted the county appraiser to find out why Goessel’s assessed value has gone down for the third year in a row, even though property taxes have gone up.

Goertzen said that in the new budget, commodities will be cut by $5,000. That includes everything the city buys, including electricity. Law enforcement will be cut by $100 per month. Ball diamond expenditures will be cut to $500. Goertzen’s training will be cut by one-half.

In other business:

 It was reported that Joyful Noise daycare accepted the city’s offer of $400 for ground for a street between Marion and Centennial streets. The public works director or clerk will contact a surveyor so street construction can begin.

 The council discussed the drainage issue on A Road. Wiens suggested installing tubing that would be paid for by the property owners.

 B Road was also discussed. Wiens suggested that property owners could deed the right of way to the city.

“Right now it’s a private road,” he said. “For the city to maintain it, it needs to be wider.”

 Public works director Arlen Goertzen said he is half done with fence construction in the park.

 Goertzen said he has been trying to contact the water-well repairman. One well is only producing half the water it should produce. He said it is down to 46 pounds of pressure. But Goertzen said there is still adequate pressure in the water tower.

The council authorized Goertzen to fill the tower with water from the rural water line while he waits for well repairs.

 Goertzen said he had ordered a new volleyball net at a cost of $150. He said the original net had never been replaced.

 The council approved a recommendation from Councilor Jim Wiens to proceed with installing a generator transfer switch at a cost of $615. Since the fire department will benefit from the switch, the city plans to ask the fire department to help pay for it. Kyle Funk will do the work.

 The council voted to accept the Standard Traffic Ordinance and Uniform Public Offense Code.

 The date for the August city council meeting has been changed to 8 p.m., Aug. 14, in the city building because of the budget hearing, which will take place at that meeting.

Ordinarily, the council meets on the third Thursday of each month.

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