Goessel’s public burn site passes state’s re-inspection

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA GOERZEN
Goessel Public Works Director Arlen Goertzen informed the city council at the May 20 meeting that the city’s burn site had been inspected again.

A state inspector had previously noticed unacceptable material that had been dumped by a resident at the site. The material has been cleaned up, and the burn site passed the second inspection.

Goertzen said the annual sewer cleaning will be done May 24-26 by Mayer Specialty Services. He said one-third of the city’s sewer lines are cleaned every year.

This year the area south of Main Street between Summit and Elm Streets will be cleaned, also north of Main Street and south of Marion Avenue from Summit to Poplar.

Goertzen said residents in the cleaning area would be notified; orange door hangers would be placed on homes that would be affected.

Goertzen cautioned that sewer lines can develop some air pressure from the cleaning process. Excess air pressure caused by the cleaning process will usually go through the plumbing vents, but if the vents are dirty or blocked, air could escape through either a toilet or a floor drain and cause water to splash out.

Therefore, Goertzen suggested that residents cover all toilets and floor drains with newspaper or plastic and weight it down.

Goertzen informed the council that “all water may be used as normal…. All sink, shower drains, and washing machines may be used as normal” during the cleaning process.

According to Goertzen, cleaning the sewer system will help prevent stoppage in the line.

The council approved Ordinance No. 194, authorizing the city to establish a debt-service fee.

According to the ordinance, the fee is necessary in order for the city to proceed with plans for “construction of a new primary cell to enhance existing discharge at the lagoon system.”

In addition to the regular sewer charges, the ordinance establishes a debt service fee of $9 per month, payable by all users required to pay the waste-water user charge. The fee will go into effect next month.

The council also discussed an ordinance that would authorize the city to execute a loan between the city and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for waste-water system improvements.

The loan is not to exceed $399,000 and is to be distributed through the Kansas Water Pollution Control Loan Fund.

The ordinance needs to be reviewed by the city’s attorney. A public meeting to discuss the loan is required. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m., July 15, at the city building.

The council amended Ordinance No. 193 prohibiting racing and exhibition of speed. The ordinance now states that the prohibitions “may be enforced on public or private property, not only the highways and alleys of the City, including but not limited to parking lots and fields.”

It was noted that a property owner may request an exemption with a written document presented to the city clerk.

In other business:

— Arlen Goertzen reported that the Kansas Rural Water Association global-positioning system mapping had been completed. The locating process took eight hours. The maps should be ready in four to six months.

Goertzen expressed appreciation to the school for use of the Gator, which saved a considerable amount of time and cut down on the cost of the project.

— Goertzen reported that Osage Street has been constructed and graded. He has dumped 80 tons of rock on the street and will add more rock if necessary.

— Goertzen reported he had made arrangements to remove the dead tree at the park. He said some evergreens are dying and cannot be saved.

— Residents are reminded to clean up standing water to avoid mosquitoes. Goertzen said he had ordered “dunks” and plans to spray for mosquitoes.

— The council approved the proposal from Bachman Plumbing and Heating of $380 to make improvements to the city building’s heating system.

— The council reviewed the library’s proposed 2005 budget, which totals $20,228.

— The council reappointed the following people to city positions: Joe Base, chief of police; Anita Goertzen, city clerk; Jodi Unruh, treasurer; J. Robert Brookens of Marion, attorney; and Bryson Mills of Wichita, judge.

The council designated the Hillsboro Star Journal as the official newspaper and the Citizens’ State Bank as the depository institution.

— Jan Nolde of Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk and Loyd attended the meeting to review the city’s audit report and offer suggestions. She noted that due to the limited staff, an ideal internal control structure utilizing segregation of duties is not possible.

— The council followed the clerk’s suggestion to update the handbook to reflect the number of hours currently assigned to the police department.

— It was announced that mayor Peggy Jay plans to attend the Municipal Leadership Academy in Derby June 12.

The MLA continuing education program is open to elected and appointed city officials. The program provides interactive curriculum and specialized instruction.

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