Goessel City Council hears of Threshing Days preparations

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA GOERZEN
Public Works Director Arlen Goertzen updated the Goessel City Council at its July 15 meeting about preparations for the annual Threshing Days festival planned for Aug. 6-8.

“I’m in the process of building new barricades to use for Threshing Days and whatever comes up after that,” Goertzen said.

Randolph A. Schmidt attended the meeting to address the issue of drivers using the Threshing Days grounds as a short-cut year-round, even though there is no street through the grounds.

He said motorists drove through the property even when it was muddy. Schmidt said the property is privately owned.

City Clerk Anita Goertzen said charges could be filed by the property owner.

“I don’t think people realize it is private property,” Schmidt said. “We have found people wandering through our buildings.”

Arlen Goertzen and council member Racquel Thiesen suggested talking to the offenders. Anita Goertzen suggested erecting a “No through traffic” sign. Schmidt suggested a “Private property” sign. He did not favor a “No trespassing” sign unless nothing else helped. A gate was also suggested.

Asked about the cost of signs, Arlen Goertzen said they would probably cost $30 or $40 each. He offered to put up a sign on the west side of the property.

It was also suggested that a sign be installed farther west, alerting motorists the street is not a through street. Schmidt said he would erect a sign on the east side and south side of the property.

Lagoon and burn site

Arlen Goertzen told the council the city needs to buy some property for a new lagoon. He said the state requires soil testing before it will sign off on the plans.

The council determined it would be best to purchase eight acres for expansion. The city has been in contact with Floyd Nickel, who owns the property the council would like to buy.

Goertzen described a lagoon treatment he is considering. He said a Clearwater Associates salesman from Kansas City had discussed the matter with him. The business sells nutrients and “high-powered bacteria” that will “eat” sludge in the lagoon. The nutrients “reactivate the bacteria and super-charge it.”

Goertzen said the nutrients do not affect the effluent.

He said the product costs $30 a pound. Six pounds would be needed for the initial treatment and one pound a week thereafter.

“I need to do more checking,” he said. “It sounds good…. If it doesn’t do what we want it to do, we don’t have to pay for it.”

Budget issues

Anita Goertzen discussed budget issues with the council.

“Our assessed valuation actually went up,” she said.

The city’s valuation will likely be $1,832,142, compared to $1,733,876. Goertzen said the city is not increasing mills, but the ad valorem tax is increasing by $4,000. She said it will affect residents whose house valuations went up.

The council agreed to have a special meeting and public hearing on the budget at 8 p.m., Aug. 12. The regular August meeting will be Aug. 19.

Street-repair inquiry

Goertzen said John Fast, superintendent of Unified School District 411, has talked with him about making improvements to the pavement and curb in front of the junior/senior high school. The pavement has holes and the curb is buckling.

Goertzen said the school has paid for a chip-and-seal process in the past. Councilor Jim Wiens said, “We don’t pay for curb and gutter.”

Goertzen will discuss the matter further with the school.

Other business

In other business, the council:

n appointed Patsy Dirksen to the library board.

n heard from Anita Goertzen said she has had a request to provide a piano in the community room.

n discussed past-due water bills.

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