Goessel school, city leaders to meet Nov. 9

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA GOERZEN
Mayor Peggy Jay reminded the Goessel City Council at its Oct. 26 meeting that the school board has invited the council to a joint meeting at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 9.

The two entities will discuss school and city needs. Jay said no decisions will be made at that meeting.

The council inspected the tile in the city building hall and carpet in the library. Some tiles in the hall are coming unglued. City Clerk Anita Goertzen said moisture comes through the concrete floor in the library and makes the carpet wet. Goertzen said librarian Laura Dailey told her mold has been a problem.

Solutions for fixing the tile and the moisture problem were discussed. It was suggested that a dehumidifier be purchased. Goertzen said the building was built in 1999.

Police Chief Joe Base reported his department had issued a ticket for driving while suspended, investigated harassment by telephone, and responded to a domestic incident.

He also discussed repairs to the police car.

In response to a question from Councilor Duane Duerksen, Base said the car has 80,000 miles and “lots” of hours.

The council discussed delinquent water/sewer bills and landlord liability.

Goertzen said Senate Bill 328 that was passed July 1 and that the city’s current ordinance will need to be repealed. The city will need to pass a new ordinance in order to require landlords to be responsible for water bills. Landlords would then be billed each month, and they would bill their renters.

The proposed ordinance states: “Owners of premises served by utility services under this ordinance shall be required to carry such services in their name…. Owners of the served premises shall be liable for payment of the cost of any utility service account arising from service provided to the premises.”

Goertzen reported on progress with delinquent water bills. She said one had been sent to the state’s “set-off” program, whereby the amount due the city would be subtracted from any state refund due the resident. That amount would then be sent to the city to pay the delinquent bill.

The public works director has been instructed to shut off the water for customers who have not paid by the 20th of the month or have not contacted the city office about making a payment.

In other business, the council:

n discussed the number of houses for sale within the city and how to encourage sales.

n discussed burn-site regulations. Goertzen said she had printed a list of regulations to be given to residents when they get a burn-site key. It was suggested the lock on the burn site be changed.

n suggested children in the Goessel area trick or treat on Saturday, Oct. 30, instead of Sunday, Oct. 31.

n appointed Dale Wiens to the recreation commission.

n discussed the land purchase for the lagoon. “We’re waiting on a legal description for eight acres,” said Arlen Goertzen, public works director. He reported he had talked to Schwab Eaton about it twice already.

n discussed playground equipment for the city park. Duerksen asked about buying new equipment. Anita Goertzen suggested the possibility of grant money. Arlen Goertzen said he plans to winterize the park building soon.

n discussed a new computer for the city clerk. The council voted to allocate up to $1,800 for a new computer plus expenses for corresponding software.

Duerksen asked if the city could use the old computer. He was told the public works director or police chief could use it. The computer was purchased in 1999. It is not fast enough to work well with the city’s Lexmark printer that was purchased recently.

n heard Anita Goertzen’s report of an Internal Revenue Service meeting she had attended in Milford. She said the city building’s privately contracted cleaning person brings her own supplies, including her vacuum cleaner. Otherwise, if she would use any of the city’s supplies, the city would have to consider her an employee and would have to pay Medicare.

n read a letter from Mid-Kansas Cable Services Inc. of Moundridge to Alltel Communications Inc. of Lincoln, Neb., concerning the petition from the city of Goessel for better cellular service for the Goessel community. The petition contained 454 signatures from city residents and the surrounding area. The city’s population is 565.

n discussed street repairs. Councilor Larry Lindeman said a hole on Main Street had been patched.

n voted to buy a snow plow.

n scheduled a work session for Nov. 12.

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