ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA GOERZEN
The Goessel City Council is recommending that children go trick-or-treating early on Halloween.
It was mentioned at the council’s Oct. 16 meeting that there might be lots of traffic in town since Goessel might be hosting a high school football game that evening.
City Clerk Anita Goertzen expressed concern for the safety of children.
On another matter, the council decided to publish open court records in the Hillsboro Star-Journal on a trial basis for six months. After that time, the council will evaluate the matter and decide whether to continue.
The council hopes the public record might encourage defendants to pay their fines in a more timely manner. Also, knowing that names will appear in the newspaper might be a deterrent to violations.
Police Chief Joe Base reported the police department investigated the theft of a motorcycle, gave three taillight warnings and one headlight warning, helped the sheriff’s office with two accidents, assisted Emergency Medical Services with one case, and caught five skunks and seven opossums.
He said both radar units have been certified and the police car has been fixed.
“It’s been running great,” he said.
The council spent considerable time discussing the Harvest Meadow addition with Stuart Porter of Schwab-Eaton and developer Duane Unruh.
“I would say the plans are 80 to 90 percent complete,” Porter said. It will be ready for bids by mid-November or early December.
“This would be a very good winter project for someone,” he said. “Contractors don’t want to do small projects like this in summer.”
Porter said plans call for 6-inch concrete paved streets.
He also discussed the residential-style grinder-type lift station that will have a concrete manhole and a generator and pump.
Porter asked the council whether it wanted one or two pumps to use in case of a power outage. He said there would be an automatic transfer switch in case of a power outage.
“We’ve tried to be very conscious of cost,” Porter said. “(Installing only one generator) is one way to trim off $5,000.”
Public Works Director Mike Wilson pointed out, “That generator would cost more down the road.”
When Porter agreed, Wilson added, “It seems like it would be more cost-effective to get it now.”
By consensus, the council decided to get the larger capacity of two pumps.
Porter then discussed fuel for operating the lift station. He said natural gas, propane and diesel units are available. A diesel unit would cost $14,000 to $15,000, while a natural gas or propane unit would cost $11,000 or $12,000.
Councilor Jim Wiens said, “We don’t have diesel delivery here.”
The council decided on natural gas. Wiens said a good natural gas engine should last between 10,000 to 12,000 hours.
In regard to sewer, Porter said they are planning on a 6-inch water line instead of a 4-inch line in order to provide better fire protection.
The council decided to use polyethylene line instead of copper tubing.
“Most contractors say they prefer working with polyethylene,” Porter said. “It is more cost effective.”
Porter addressed drainage concerns.
“We’re going to handle storm water in the best manner we can, given the conditions that are out there,” he said. “The houses will be elevated. There will be no concern with flooding homes.”
In regard to street drainage, Unruh wondered about maintaining the 160-foot by 420-foot grassy area-about 11⁄2 acres-that is part of the project.
He said the city is not interested in maintaining the area if it is not owned by the city. If the city mows the property but does not own it, the owner would be charged for that service since it would be private property.
The matter will be discussed further at a later time.
In other business, the council:
— established prices for gravel that residents can buy from the city. A loader bucket of gravel will cost $35. A five-gallon bucket of gravel (75 pounds) will cost $1.50.
— noted that Rollin Schmidt, Marion County noxious weed director, had responded to Goertzen’s questions regarding recycling. He is trying to start a recycling program.
— also noted that the Goessel Community Development Task Force met Oct. 3 to create a strategic plan and begin work on a community newsletter. The first issue will be mailed with the December water bill.
The next community meeting was schedule for Oct. 19. Mickey Fornaro-Dean, Rod Weinmeister of the Kansas Department of Commerce, and Chuck Banks of USDA Rural Development, will be invited to attend.
The task force is planning another meeting for Nov. 7. Task force members are Linda Peters, Justin Schrag, Peggy Jay, John Fast, Donna Duerksen, Chet Roberts, Brandon Unruh, James Voth and Kelly Schrag.
— heard Councilor Larry Schmidt commend the city about the park: “I’ve had numerous comments about how nice the park looks.” He also said he has had requests for baby swings at the park and for a barbecue grill by the shelter house.
— heard Base say sewers would be cleaned Wednesday and Thursday.
— heard Wilson say there have been problems at well No. 2. The lift-station project is not complete yet.
— reappointed Paula Flaming to the Goessel Housing Authority.
— heard Councilor Larry Lindeman commend city employees for installing parking blocks in front of the city building.
— decided to relocate some of the brown 8-foot tables that are in the city building community room to the park shelter house and replace them with white tables. The council agreed to buy four 8-foot tables and one 6-foot table. Eight-foot tables cost $75, and 6-foot tables cost $34.
— scheduled a work session for 7 p.m. Nov. 14 to discuss a capital improvement plan.
— reviewed personnel in executive session but had nothing to report to the public in open session.