Goessel council inspects site for new playground equipment

The Goessel City Council began its Aug. 15 meeting at the city park, where the council viewed the site where playground equipment will be added in the near future.

The equipment was scheduled for installation the following Saturday. Several council members volunteered to help, but more volunteers would be welcome.

Public Works Director Joe Base said the wiring at the park had been completed in preparation for the new play equipment.

The council discussed traffic flow at the park but made no decisions about traffic patterns.

Plans were made to hold a fund-raiser for the park at the city building Aug. 20.

Base, who is also police chief, reported he had made one arrest during the past month and had dealt with vandalism at the park and with teen-aged drivers. He said Threshing Days activities had gone smoothly. Eric Reed helped with traffic.

Councilor Jim Wiens thanked the city, and especially Base, for helping with Threshing Days. He thought a few more people had attended the Threshing Days activities this year. Wiens said steam engines and garden tractors were featured.

Councilor Racquel Thiesen thanked Base and City Clerk Anita Goertzen for their work.

Base said he had worked on the ditch across from the high school.

“Do we want to consider putting a tube in?” he asked.

Wiens said, “I would like to see us tube that and rock it so people can safely step out of their vehicles.”

Base and Wiens agreed to have prices ready to discuss at next month’s meeting.

A question was raised about seeding ditches that the city digs out for improving drainage. The city is putting on grass seed as a service to property owners. It was agreed that the city will put grass seed on one time, but ultimately it is the responsibility of property owners to care for their ditches.

A letter will be sent to property owners.

In other business, the council:

— approved the 2006 budget proposal, which will be two mills higher than the current budget. Goertzen said the increase will not significantly affect individual taxes.

The ordinance will be in effect following publication in its entirety in the official city newspaper.

— discussed trees at the northwest corner of elementary school property that are a danger to drivers. Wiens and Base expressed concern over the traffic safety issue.

— Goertzen said cell phones do not work well in town. The council discussed a possible tower.

— discussed updating the city’s brochure. Goertzen will be responsible. A business person in town had suggested charging those whose names appear in the brochure, but the council decided not to charge.

— discussed hook-up fees for campers at the park. The fee is $10, and each hook-up requires a key. Wiens said the new hook-ups were ready for use.

— discussed past-due water bills. Twenty-one names are on this month’s list. Water to those residences/businesses will be shut off if the bills are not paid by the deadline.

— listened to Base’s information on sewer cleaning that will take place Sept. 17.

— heard Base’s report that diggers have started on the new lagoon. The project should take about a week and a half. He voiced a concern about drainage.

— heard there are problems with a battery at the lift station.

— also heard of the need for a new weed cutter. According to Base, the current weed cutter “bit the dust.”

— heard the city’s pickup truck was recalled; repairs would be done the next day.

— wished to express appreciation to Floyd Nickel for use of his post-hole digger for post installation at the burn site.

— voted to accept the updated Standard Traffic Ordinance and Uniform Public Offense Code Ordinance.

— accepted Base’s thanks for the pole saw the city recently purchased.

— authorized Base to obtain help for putting up the fence at the burn site.

— will all receive keys for the shelter house at the park.

— discussed a lawn sprinkler system at a residence. Since the system requires going from a 5/8-inch water line to a 3/4-inch line, the home owner will be charged for the new meter, plus installation labor.

The council was alerted that the sprinkler heads are too close to the edge of the road.

The council noted it will be the responsibility of the home owner, not the city, to repair the sprinkler heads if they are damaged by the road grader.

— discussed hiring a backup water operator. Goertzen will write a job description for the position. A grant from the Environmental Protection Agency will cover the cost of initial training and certification for a backup operator. That person could then fill in if the public works director becomes sick or goes on vacation.

The backup operator would be paid for actual work done and for on-call time.

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