Goessel Council considering land purchase for more lagoons

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA GOERZEN
Public Works Director Arlen Goertzen discussed purchasing land for an additional lagoon with the Goessel City Council at the Jan. 15 meeting.

Goertzen said he had talked to Floyd Nickel about the possibility of purchasing land from him. The land would have to be surveyed.

City Clerk Anita Goertzen reported the auditor has requested that all past-due water bills be reviewed at city council meetings. Goertzen will sign with a “set-off” program, whereby the state will deduct money due the city from refunds that delinquent individuals would normally receive from the state.

The council discussed the Marion County Economic Development Council. Based on her work in Harvey County, Councilor Racquel Thiesen expressed concern over the plan to hire a county coordinator, especially since Marion and Hillsboro already have their own coordinator.

Goertzen asked about Marion County money for small businesses. Mayor Peggy Jay said she is on the committee and gave examples of businesses that have been helped: a motel in Florence, a counter-top business in Marion, and an income-tax service.

“It is working,” she said.

Richard Drake is on the county task force, Jay said.

Goertzen reviewed city council highlights for 2003 month by month. Following is a summary of the highlights she listed.

In January, Jay appointed Larry Voth as the city’s building inspector.

In February, Thiesen was appointed to the MCEDC and Dwight Voth to the Goessel Housing Authority Board.

The water tower was painted in March, and police officer Joe Base began training at the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Academy. Arlen Goertzen attended workshops concerning the National Flood Insurance Program, and Anita Goertzen attended the City Clerks and Municipal Finance Officers Association Spring Conference.

In April, all council positions were reappointed. The city purchased an Excel Hustler mower, a radar gun, and a CD-RW drive and memory upgrade for the city’s computer.

The water tower went online May 11. The council decided residents will be allowed to shoot fireworks from 10 a.m. to midnight on July 4 if they have a permit.

In June, Arlen Goertzen erected 200 feet of vinyl fencing along the west property line in West Branch Park. The city purchased a 30-foot strip of land west of the Joyful Noise daycare property for a street right-of-way.

Base graduated from the Kansas Law Enforcement Academy in July and received a plaque for scoring the highest percentage in marksmanship. Anita Goertzen assembled a scrapbook for Henry Zamojski to take back to Pawlowiczki, Poland. The scrapbook was presented to him at Threshing Days. Marie and Martha Voth made a wheat straw picture of the Prep School, and it was presented to Zamojski. Jay wrote a letter of response to the village of Pawlowiczki about becoming sister cities.

In August, the council adopted the 2004 budget without increasing the mill levy. The police department raised about $1,000 at their Threshing Days fund-raiser to purchase equipment. Anita Goertzen attended a utilities workshop. Newton Emergency Medical Services sent a letter stating they will no longer provide ambulance service to Goessel.

The council voted to enroll in the National Flood Insurance Program in September. JoAnn Knak, Marion County EMS director, told the council the county is responsible for providing emergency services. Hillsboro will respond to Goessel calls first, with Marion and Peabody as backups. Lightning struck the main well house and damaged the telemetry system and automatic dialer.

In October, the city decided not to grant the Wheat Heritage Engine Club request; the city will not vacate the east end of Kansas Avenue and All of Ainsworth Drive as requested.

The council held a work session Nov. 15. Chris Cox recommended the city purchase some land and add a cell to the wastewater treatment system. A corrugated plastic culvert was placed in the ditch along a portion of Main Street. A printer was purchased for the city office. The council passed an ordinance stating the charge for city removal of weeds and vegetation on private property will be $50 per hour with a minimum of two hours.

In December, the council agreed to offer scholarships to Goessel First Responders who take the EMT-I class. The council signed an agreement with Schwab-Eaton for engineering the sewer project. The city purchased a 2004 pickup. The city received a Local Law Enforcement Block Grant to purchase a laptop computer, digital camera and a video camera for the police department. The council voted to help support a booth at the Kansas Sampler Festival in Newton, which will be May 1 and 2.

In other business:

— Jay said Bethesda Home has requested that the council meet with the Bethesda board. The council discussed possible dates for such a meeting in February.

— Council member Jim Wiens discussed bands for Threshing Days since the local group Cactus Jack will not be available.

— Arlen Goertzen said a bed liner had been sprayed into the city’s new pickup.

— The council opened bids for a custodian of the city building and awarded the position to a person who will pay for her own supplies.

— The council decided not to join the Mayor’s Association this time.

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