ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA GOERZEN
Goessel City Clerk Anita Goertzen reported to the city council at its Dec. 18 meeting that Kansas Department of Transportation had installed new speed limit signs.
The public is to be informed that the speed limit on Main Streetin front of the elementary school is now 30 mph. The 30 mph speed continues as it has been through town to the west.
The speed limit had been 40 mph from Kansas Highway 15, to the west edge of Bethesda Home. The 40 mph portion has been shortened.
Goertzen also said the Kansas Department of Transportation hit a water main near the school when they were digging to install the new signs. Water in town had to be shut off for a while.
The state will be asked to pay for the damages.
Todd Loescher and Duane Unruh attended the meeting to discuss the Harvest Meadow housing development with the council.
Loescher said the council needed to approve the winning bid for construction of the infrastructure, approve the financing, and approve the resolution for the bond notes. They also discussed special assessments.
The council approved the winning bid from Vogt’s Construction for $292,727 for sewer, water, and streets.
The council reviewed the bidders for financing and voted to accept the lowest bid from UMB Bank in association with Citizens’ State Bank of Goessel. The interest rate is 3.75 percent, and the bond rate is 4.8 percent. The council also approved a resolution for the temporary notes.
Unruh suggested a ground-breaking ceremony with engineer Stuart Porter present, also Loescher, council members, the mayor, and a representative of Vogt’s Construction. No date was set.
Donna Duerksen, representing the Community Development Task Force, attended the meeting to report that the task force is looking into grant funding for a drainage ditch in town. She said the community has to be surveyed as part of the grant application process.
She has been working with Bill Bolin, executive director of South Central Kansas Economic Development District. She asked for support from the council.
The council authorized the task force to spend up to $100 on postage and other expenses. Councilor Duane Duerksen said, “It sounds like you got some good direction.”
He commended her: “You’ve invested a lot of time already.”
Goessel resident Anton Epp attended the meeting and addressed the council about the function of government.
“A government that once was a protector and feared the people has today become a financial predator of the people through excessive taxation,” he said. “The best government is one that fears the people.”
He said that for generations we have all been conditioned to a “tax and spend” system of government. He shared how his faith developed. He said that when he began to read his Bible and pray, “It was then my eyes were opened to secular governmental behaviors all around me. When the Bible says, ‘the fear of the Lord is the beginning of the wisdom,’ that is the truth.”
Epp closed by saying, “All of you were elected to be a body of leaders…. A good leader is a person who gets a lot of people to do a few simple things….
“Too often, now-a-days, government tells the people, ‘Come tell us what you want, and we will do it for you..”
Epp suggested, “A community is most happy when the people are doing for themselves and working together.”
In other business, the council:
— heard that Police Chief Joe Base had checked James Voth’s concerns about drainage near the building he owns east of the post office. Base found that all the culverts in that area are plugged 80 to 100 percent. He suggested cleaning the ditches and replacing the culverts.
Consequently, the council decided to clean the culverts and ditches. They plan to obtain a quote for the work.
— heard Goertzen report that June 16 has been scheduled for city-wide street-side cleanup. Oct. 13 had been designated as the day for roll-off containers for cleanup.
— heard Goertzen report that the new street light on Pine Street will be installed soon.
— heard Councilor Larry Lindeman’s suggestion that the city erect a large Christmas tree in the middle of Main Street. Councilor Jim Wiens suggested Christmas lights north of the community building.
— heard Councilor Larry Schmidt report that vandals had kicked in the men’s bathroom door at the park’s shelter house. The council plans to replace the bathroom doors with steel doors.
— discussed purchasing a projector and screen for the city building.
— heard Goertzen said that rental charges for the community room are $20 for part of a day and $30 for all day.
— voted to give full-time employees a 3 percent pay raise. Part-time employees will receive a raise of 50 cents per hour.
— approved Governmental Suite software for $1,065, which includes support for court, accounting, payroll and pet licensing.
— heard Goertzen report that the council terms of Rick Freeman, Duane Duerksen and Jim Wiens will be expiring. The deadline for filing for election is noon, Jan 23.
— discussed the height of a chain-link fence to be erected around the new housing development’s lift station. The council decided on 6 feet.
— interviewed three applicants for the public works position in a special meeting Dec. 7 and offered the job to Joel Ratzlaff.