Goessel council considers additional play equipment for park

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA GOERZEN
Goessel City Clerk Anita Goertzen told the city council at its Sept. 19 meeting that Gentry and Georgia Thiesen, Toddlers Daycare, M.O.R.E. Inc., and Threshing Days Sand Volleyball had donated money for the new play equipment at the city park.

The council expressed appreciation for the donations and also for those who donated time to help erect the equipment.

The council discussed additional improvement possibilities for the park.

Councilor Larry Schmidt suggested baby swings. Mayor Peggy Jay suggested barbecue grills and a park bench. Public works director Joe Base said he had ordered 10 plastic barricades for wood chips in the park’s play area.

Councilor Jim Wiens said the park shelter house needs work. Wiens and Base discussed replacing the cabinet in the shelter house and relocating the refrigerator.

Paint and door replacement were also mentioned as shelter house projects.

Goertzen and Base showed a picture/video presentation of the new play equipment and the city’s new lagoon.

Goertzen said the lagoon is ready for testing. Base said the plumbing at the lagoon has been completed. Construction of the concrete liner is to begin within a week and should take a little more than a week to complete.

Goertzen reported the first request for payment had been made and will be sent to Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Todd Loescher, a financial advisor with the Kirkpatrick Pettis division of D.A. Davidson and Co., attended the meeting to discuss housing-development issues with the council.

Loescher described special assessment financing for infrastructure in a housing development. First, he said, owners of the land have to petition the city to extend services into that area, and the city would need to annex the ground.

Loescher also said an improvement district for special assessments would need to be created.

Duane Unruh was at the meeting to discuss land his family owns. He had contacted engineer Melanie Thrower, who told him water flow will increase if Unruh’s ground is developed.

The issues of who is responsible for providing water, sewer, street, electricity, and gas were discussed.

According to Unruh, gas and electricity are typically the developer’s expense, whereas water, sewer, and streets are the city’s responsibility.

Jay mentioned the county’s revitalization plan; taxes can be prorated over a 10-year period if certain requirements are met.

Loescher said the first step in financing would be to obtain estimates. Temporary notes (interim financing) would be issued. Then the lots need to be assessed.

No decisions were made about the ground.

In other business, the council:

— tabled discussion of the Voth addition.

— addressed the issue of library/city-building parking, especially in relation to library hours and special events in the city building community room.

It was noted that parking is provided on the north, south and east sides of the building. The council felt that parking is adequate, especially with the large parking lot to the south.

— heard Base’s report that the fencing at the new burn site is nearly done. Gates need to be installed. It was noted that someone had thrown away plastic at the burn site, which is illegal.

— Base said he would be going to a small-city water-system class the following day and a small-city waste-water conference.

— Base, who is also the police chief, reported he had written a ticket for exhibition of speed. He said he is done warning teenagers about traffic violations; tickets will be issued. Base said he dealt with a situation of kids causing trouble.

— discussed a printer/fax machine for the office. According to Goertzen, the city’s fax machine is almost 10 years old. She had researched equipment.

Councilor Racquel Thiesen recommended leasing instead of purchasing. The matter will be discussed at a special meeting.

— reviewed past-due water bills. Goertzen said that one unpaid water bill had been sent to the state set-off program.

In a special meeting Sept. 13, the council discussed hiring part-time public-works help for a maximum of 16 hours per week. That person would also be the back-up water operator.

The council also discussed hiring a part-time office assistant for the city clerk to work five hours per week.

The two positions would be advertised in the newspapers.

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