ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA GOERZEN
City Clerk Anita Goertzen told the Goessel City Council at its July 17 meeting that arrangements have been made for a large trash bin to be available for city residents Oct. 14.
Goerzen had been questioned by numerous residents since the trash bin is usually available after the July city-wide garage sale date.
Kelly and Richard Jost attended the meeting to voice concern about a car that had been parked facing the wrong way on the wrong side of the street in front of their property. They had concerns with the manner in which the issue was resolved.
City Attorney Bob Brookens commended the police department for its efforts in the matter. He also cautioned city council members not to become involved in such matters because they are not trained to deal with those situations.
He explained proper protocol to the council.
Anton Epp told the council he and wife Joan they had lived in larger places but moved to Goessel because they liked the dirt streets and the slower pace of the town. He commended the grocery store owner and the gas station owner for their kind service. He commended Arlen and Anita Goertzen as being “two of the finest ambassadors of this city.”
Joan Epp wondered about communicating with residents concerning the new housing development. It was pointed out the development has been mentioned in the newspaper numerous times. A town meeting was publicized and was attended by a large crowd. A front-page follow-up article had appeared in the June 7 issue of the Free Press.
She also mentioned work that the Epps had done to help trim trees by the grade-school baseball diamond and the work Anton Epp had done at the park to help erect the new playground equipment. She said she has helped at the library.
Mayor Peggy Jay said she had not known the extent of their involvement. She expressed appreciation to them for their efforts and thanked them for coming to the meeting to share their concerns.
She told the council, “We can learn from what they said” and encouraged the council that “it’s our job to listen.”
Police Chief Joe Base reported that in the past month, four new tires had been installed on the police car. He said the police department worked eight vandalism incidents, two burglaries and one theft. He said a door had been kicked in at the school and a laptop computer had been stolen.
Traffic infractions included three speeding tickets, four warnings for not stopping, two warnings for faulty taillights, and one warning for failure to use a turn signal.
Base said he also received three fireworks calls for the same residence. “Otherwise, the Fourth of July was pretty calm,” he said.
The council spent considerable time discussing the well pumps that need to be fixed or replaced.
Councilors Jim Wiens and Rick Freeman suggested it would be good to buy above-ground pumps. Councilor Larry Schmidt agreed, saying it would be safer for city employees.
But above-ground pumps would cost about twice as much as below-ground pumps. Jay asked Base how often he has to go down in the pump hole. He said about three times a week. If the equipment would be fixed, though, he would need to go down about once a week.
“The elevator definitely needs to get repaired,” he said, adding that he had been down in the hole when the elevator quit working.
Wiens saod, “All this stuff is 1970s equipment. We have to keep in mind this stuff has timed out.”
Since an above-ground submersible pump application would cost $44,000 to $50,000,
Councilor Larry Lindeman suggested, “Let’s fix the elevator and put in a new pump and give us some time to decide what to do.”
The council then approved spending up to $25,000 for two new below-ground pumps, two new impellers, new switches, new valves and elevator repairs.
In other business, the council:
— is offering two old copiers, both in working order, for sale. Sealed bids will be accepted until Friday, Aug. 18.
— briefly discussed purchasing more wood chips for the park playground area. But since the cost would be $3,244, the council decided not to get them now because the city has more pressing needs at this time.
— heard Schmidt say he had been painting the shelter house at the city park. Public works employee Mike Wilson said a barbecue grill and a bench had been installed at the park. He has also been trimming trees at the park and mowing. He had been painting a bridge railing and had sprayed for mosquitoes.
“It’s a matter of putting out what fires are hot,” he said.
Base said they are working on the fence at the burn site.
— heard Base report that Kansas Highway 215 will get a “nova-chip” seal from Elm Street to Kansas Highway 15. Kansas Department of Transportation will replace all its signs in that area. Patch work will be done on the rest of Main Street.
— spent some time discussing fences on private property. Fences need to be set back 10 feet from the street so they do not block the view of someone backing out of a driveway. Fences also need to be set back five feet from the alley.
There is no stipulation for the sides of the property unless the property is on a corner. In that case, fencing on the two street sides would need to be set back 10 feet.
In order to erect a fence, property owners must obtain a permit from the city office for a $10 fee.
If a fence is installed at a place where the city might need to dig, it is the property owner’s responsibility to fix the fence if it is damaged.