Goessel City Council hears plans for fence around burn site

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA GOERZEN
Public Works Director Joe Base told the Goessel City Council at its March 16 meeting that he plans to erect a fence at the new burn site and close the old burn site.

Branches and grass clippings will no longer be accepted at the old site, he said. They may now be taken to the new site, which was set up to accommodate ice storm debris. It is more easily and safely accessible.

Base’s predecessor, Arlen Goertzen, attended the meeting to discuss the lagoon project. He said the project has been advertised for bids, which are to be opened at 10:30 a.m., March 28. He said he plans to be present for that process.

Goertzen said it will take about 30 days for all the contract documents to clear the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. A period of 150 days will be allowed for construction, with penalties for not finishing within that amount of time.

Goertzen said leak testing will be allowed outside the 150-day contract time, giving the contractor some flexibility if necessary since it takes a long time to fill the lagoon. Goertzen said construction could start as soon as May.

The police car that the city purchased from North Newton has arrived. Bids for the old police car were to be opened March 17.

City Clerk Anita Goertzen said Federal Emergency Management Agency representatives “came in two weeks ago, and we started the paperwork” for reimbursements for expenses incurred during the January ice storm.

Goertzen said there was one group for debris and another group for water and sewer utilities.

“I think we’re done with the utilities-Joe has done a very good job,” she said, referring to his work during the ice storm. FEMA will pay for Base’s office computer that was damaged as a result of the storm.

In other business, the council:

— reviewed past-due water bills. Goertzen said everyone paid last month. Council members agreed the new ordinance regarding water responsibility helped.

— acting on a request for the city motor grader to pass through the mobile home park, decided to allow that street to be added to the list of streets that the city grades, even though it is privately owned. However, the city will not supply rock for it; that is the responsibility of the property owners.

— heard Police Chief Base say he had handled a dog complaint, vehicle complaints, and reminded some teenagers about underage driving.

— briefly discussed a utility hook-up fee instead of a refundable deposit for utility hook-ups. The matter was tabled.

— heard Goertzen report that she had attended the City Clerks and Municipal Finance Officers Association meetings in Wichita. Goertzen was a convener and introduced the speaker.

— voted to send a letter of support for tax credit for Northview in Newton.

— heard Councilor Larry Lindeman say he had been asked about rock for a culvert.

— approved the “documentation memo for compliance” from auditors Swindoll Janzen Hawk and Loyd. The agreement allows assisting the “governing body…in preparation of next year’s budget during the months of July and August of the current year.”

Current figures and estimated budget amounts are to be presented at a budget hearing, approved by the council, and filed with the county clerk and the state.

The document also states that the governing body is “responsible for the proper recording of transactions…and for maintaining internal controls.”

— met in an extended executive session to discuss personnel issues and continued the matter in a special meeting.

They decided to keep Goertzen’s number of hours at 32 but to include insurance and increase the rate of pay.

“I really do like working for the city,” she said, even though she had the opportunity to apply for a full-time job at the post office. She currently works there part-time.

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