Goessel council warned of illegal dumping at city burn site

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA GOERZEN
Public Works Director Arlen Goertzen told the Goessel City Council at the April 15 meeting that someone had dumped illegal matter at the city’s burn site.

He said the state does annual unannounced inspections. The inspector came recently and saw the old railroad ties and panels that had apparently been dumped the previous evening.

“We are licensed for tree limbs and yard waste,” Goertzen said. Other matter is not allowed.

Councilor Larry Lindeman stressed, “This is a privilege. We’re going to get shut down” if regulations are not followed.

Lindeman and Mayor Peggy Jay suggested installing new locks and issuing new keys to the residents who have paid the deposit. It was also suggested that all loads going to the burn site should be inspected. Only city residents are allowed to use the burn site.

Kim Walker, court services officer for the Eighth Judicial District, attended the meeting to discuss community service placement for offenders.

“We have a problem all over Marion County finding community service,” she said, adding that community service is more convenient for juveniles if they can do it in their own town so they don’t have to travel.

“It is extremely hard for our kids to get their work done in winter because much of the work is outdoors,” she said. “It’s easier to get it done in summer.”

Council members voiced concern that it is hard to supervise offenders, and the city does not want them using power equipment. The city has only one public works employee, and he does not always have time to supervise.

The city is currently supervising two juvenile offenders. It was suggested that community service hours could also be spent cleaning up after Threshing Days. Other suggestions included assisting the library, museum and Bethesda Home.

Walker said community service needed to be coordinated by a central person. Kelly Jost had expressed interest in being the coordinator.

Pete Koenig and Shane Holthaus of the Kansas Rural Water Association attended the meeting to explain their service of mapping the city’s infrastructure by using global positioning system technology.

“We’ve been GPSing cities and systems for 21/2 years,” Holthaus said.

Goertzen said the company can provide a set of maps for the city, as well as a wall map and computer data. Koenig said they use photo-quality paper for the map book that can be rolled up for the public works director to easily take with him on the job.

Koenig and Holthaus demonstrated how the computer data can be used to show sewer, gas and water lines, the sizes of the lines, exact manhole locations, meters, valves, hydrants and fittings.

The data KRWA provides can include what the valves are made of as well as usage history.

“It’s nice to have all this at your fingertips and be able to access it (snapped his fingers) just like that,” Koenig said.

“The possibilities with this are endless,” Holthaus added.

Koenig said the satellites that target the points will never change. Therefore, “These coordinates will never change,” he said.

Koenig and Holthaus showed the data logger they use that is good for finding things underground. Koenig pointed out that it is good to get the “information out of the head and documented so someone else can take over.”

Councilor Jim Wiens said some of the city’s plastic pipes do not have locate wires. But Goertzen said all the pipes he had laid do have locate wires.

Councilor Duane Duerksen asked about renting a locator for those without the wires.

Goertzen requested the council consider getting the mapping done.

Councilor Larry Schmidt agreed, saying, “I’d like to see us do it.”

The council voted to proceed, and Jay signed the contract. Koenig said high-resolution photography maps are available for a cost. They are nice for measuring purposes, but free aerial pictures are available also, although the resolution is not as high.

Duerksen suggested the city “get the free maps, not the high-resolution.”

Pete Flaming attended the meeting to explain the Bethesda Home tax credit program and to ask for letters of support from the city and individuals. He said donors can receive a 70 percent tax credit for donations to the proposed remodeling project.

Flaming showed plans of the project, which includes tearing down the east portion of Bethesda Home that was formerly a hospital. That space will become a parking lot. The home’s laundry area will be moved. Additional seating will be added, and additional space will be added on the front of the building.

Police Chief Joe Base reported the police department drove 198 miles during the past month, issued three warnings for speed and two warnings for improper parking. Two notices to appear had been issued for driver’s license restriction violations. Two open business doors had been found at night. The department responded to a 911 call for a possible burglary.

Police investigated one harassment, one criminal damage to property and one domestic battery.

In other business:

n The council voted to institute a debt-service fee to help pay for the new sewer system. The fee will be dropped when the project has been paid in full. A debt-service fee has to be in place in order to obtain a revolving loan. Engineer Chris Cox suggested a fee of $9 per month. They followed his suggestion.

n City Clerk Anita Goertzen announced the city-wide garage sale is scheduled for July 10, and the city-wide curb-side cleanup day is July 17.

Appliances will be accepted, but tires and batteries will not be accepted. Arrangements will be made for household hazardous waste pickup.

n Arlen Goertzen reported progress of the Osage Street extension project. “The phone line got moved last week,” he said. “I replaced a culvert in that area that was not adequate.”

He has talked to Westar about moving the street light.

Goertzen said he hopes to get the street done before wheat harvest.

n Goertzen said he will remove a dead tree in the park. He discussed improvements he would like to make to the park.

n Sandy Thompson attended the meeting and asked permission to keep chickens through the end of the year. The council granted the request, provided she obtains the signatures of her neighbors.

She said she had eggs for her day care children to watch. The eggs hatched at Easter time, and she would like for the children to watch the chicks grow for a while.

n Anita Goertzen said Darla Meysing of the Goessel Recreation Commission requested use of the community room for tumbling two days a week during June. The council approved the request. Students would pay for the instructor and would use mats.

n Goertzen reported that one overdue water bill had been sent to the state’s set-off program.

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