ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA GOERZEN
The Goessel City Council discussed its community room rental policy during its March 20 meeting.
City Clerk Anita Goertzen reported the custodian had found numerous scuff marks along the hall floor after the community room had been rented over the weekend, and soap had been dumped on the bathroom floor.
The city policy states renters are required to vacuum the community room when they are finished. Goertzen said that has not always been done. She also noted stains on the carpet and suggested having the carpet cleaned professionally. Someone had broken a key on the piano.
Renters sign an agreement that states the expectations for use of the room. The suggestion was made at the council meeting to also put a list of requirements in the community room.
In addition to the rent fee, the council considered charging a deposit that could be refunded if there was no damage. They did not vote on a deposit at this meeting.
On another matter, the council discussed the public works position. Joe Base is currently working full-time as the public works director and police chief.
In the past, the public works director position had been full-time, with the police position part-time. However, Base was hired for both positions for a combined full-time role.
Consequently, Lyle Christ recently had been hired to help with public works part-time, but he resigned to take a job with more hours. His last day in the city position was March 25.
The council recognized the need for greater police coverage, so it is changing the nature of Base’s job so that by 2007 he will work three-quarter-time as police chief and one-quarter-time in public works.
With Christ’s resignation and Base working more hours with police matters, the council will need to hire an additional public works employee.
Because of budget constraints for this year, the new public works job will be limited to 30 hours a week for the remainder of 2006. But it will become full time at 40 hours a week beginning in 2007.
The council was informed the new employee must be willing to obtain certification for water and wastewater operations. The employee also must be able to operate a maintainer.
The council discussed requirements regarding residency and distance from town. The council plans to ask for references, and a pre-employment physical was suggested.
The council spent considerable time in executive session discussing the seven applications it had received for the public works position. In open session, it was reported that three candidates will be called for interviews at 7 p.m., March 28.
In other business, the council:
— heard that the city cleanup day has been scheduled for May 6. The city-wide garage sale will be the second Saturday in July. A large dumpster will be brought to town Oct. 14.
— heard that Tim Boese is scheduled for firearms certification April 1 and will then begin patrolling as a voluntary reserve officer for the city.
— heard Warren Schmidt’s term on the recreation commission is ending. Denny Kruger was appointed to replace him.
— approved Bob Brookens’ request to raise his attorney fees from $100 per hour to $125 per hour. He is willing to come to court sessions without charging mileage.
— tentatively set April 4 as a special meeting date to discuss the Harvest Meadow residential development.
— heard Base report that the power steering on the city dump truck has been repaired.
— heard Base report that two dogs had been picked up.
— listened to councilor Larry Lindeman’s concern for a dog that was chained to a fence. The owner seems to be gone most of the week.
— heard that Base had taken care of a situation that involved someone dangerously riding a mini-bike on the sidewalk.
— discussed the trees north of the grade school. Councilor Larry Schmidt reported that residents in that area do not want the trees removed because the trees provide a windbreak. Also, the trees soak up water, which helps with the basement water problems.
But the residents had agreed the trees at the corners should be removed to improve driving visibility. The city had dug the ditch deeper in that area to improve water flow.
The city had planned to seed the ditch, but Lindeman thought grass might not grow because of the trees.
— noted repairs at the park. Lindeman noticed that a plastic stake is missing. Councilor Duane Duerksen said the wood chips have settled and wondered if more could be added.
— would like to remind the public that water at the park will be turned on when there is no longer danger of freezing.
— discussed an agreement for renting the shelter house at the park.
— discussed streets. Lindeman noted, “This rain is tearing things up.”
— heard Base report on improvements at the city shop. Shelves have been built, and some suspended shelves have been installed. Base is rocking an area outside the city shop.
— heard that the city has received the money from the sale of its the snow plow.
— approved a community Easter-egg hunt for April 15.
— discussed a policy authorizing help to other cities in case of a disaster. Councilor Jim Wiens voiced supportfor the policy. The council will consider a resolution to that effect.
— noted that the wastewater contractor, Stuart Porter, still has equipment at the new wastewater pond area.