The Goessel City Council discussed at its Feb. 23 meeting using city hall as a distribution center for government commodities in the community.
The council met Thursday because its usual meeting day on Monday was a federal holiday.
Gayla Ratzlaff, coordinator for the Marion County Department on Aging, attended the meeting to discuss commodity distribution with the council. She said income and family size determine eligibility for commodities, which are available four or five times a year, usually on a Thursday.
Ratzlaff said commodities had been available in February and might be available again in May.
Marion County sends a representative to Council Grove to pick up the non-perishable food. Ratzlaff said Goessel would need someone to pick up the food in Hillsboro and bring it to Goessel.
Since the food is not perishable, Ratzlaff said refrigerator space is not needed. Food commodities had been distributed at Goessel’s AGAPE senior center, which is now closed.
Councilor Dallas Boese said it would be a good community service to hold the commodity distribution at the city building. He suggested hosting the distribution in the city building’s community room the next two times, and then reviewing the service at a council meeting.
Ratzlaff said the city would need to post a “no discrimination” sign at the distribution site. She will notify the city two or three weeks before the food arrives. The city would need to set a time for the food to be picked up.
On another matter, the council heard Chad Lindeman of the Goessel Recreation Commission. present a proposal for a concession/restroom building to be constructed between the city’s two baseball diamonds. He said the GRC is receiving grant money to help with the cost of the building.
Other members of the GRC also attending the meeting were Kelly Booton, Brian Burkholder, Curtis Guhr and Joan Nightengale.
Lindeman said the GRC tried to “come up with something that could be used in the future” for tournaments and other events. Clubs and organizations could sell concessions there for fund-raising events.
Booton said any time the city hosts a tournament, it creates an opportunity for such groups.
Nightengale added, “We want to do this to improve the community, and we’re looking to the future.”
Karen Dalke, public works director, asked where between the two ball diamonds the building would be constructed. Lindeman said the building would be located north of the sidewalk and east of the ditch.
“We’re talking accessibility,” he said.
Mayor Peggy Jay cautioned that flood-zone guidelines would have to be followed if the building is to be erected in a flood zone.
City Clerk Anita Goertzen said the building would have to be built a foot higher than the current elevation. She said the flood-zone map had been done after the baseball diamonds were constructed.
When Dalke asked about sewer provisions and a grinder pump, Lindeman said that had not been determined yet.
“My concern is the sewer,” Dalke said, adding that if the concession/restroom building floods, other buildings in town would experience sewer problems.
Councilor Jim Wiens echoed that concern: “I’ve seen about 10 inches of water over the road” at the baseball diamonds. He advised making the building high enough to avoid flooding problems.
Dalke said a bid with a lift pump could cost $4,000. But if the building is high enough, a lift pump would not be necessary.
Asked when the building would be completed, Lindeman said, “We have until September until the grant runs out.”
Booton added, “We would like to have it done by ball season.”
The council and GRC said details are yet to be determined.
Councilor Larry Lindeman asked about the bid process and how the two entities would work on developing the project.
After Goertzen read the grant specifications, court clerk Paula Flaming said the city is the project sponsor.
Goertzen said, “Even if you go out and get the bids, somebody has to do all the paperwork.”
Dalke said the GRC obtains the bids. Chad Lindeman said he understood the GRC gets the bids and puts up the building.
The council authorized the GRC to obtain bids. Goertzen and Chad Lindeman said the city is responsible for utilities.
In other business, the council:
• agreed to send the county a letter recommending that recycling continue in the city.
Councilor Rollin Schmidt had been asked to give a report to the Marion County Commission about Goessel’s recycling program at 11:20 a.m. Wednesday. He wondered if the council wished to make comments.
Councilor Larry Schmidt said 18 people had brought recyclables that evening prior to the council meeting, and two people were already waiting for him when he arrived 10 minutes early. He said Dalke had smashed down items in the recycling bins twice that week.
• spent considerable time discussing the dog ordinance, but took no action on the issue.
In addition to dogs that reside within the city, the council discussed dogs that are only in town to visit, noting it would be a courtesy if visitors would report their dogs to the city. Proof of certification would be helpful. Also, if visiting dogs get loose, it is helpful to know to whom they belong.
The issue was tabled.
• told Dalke to obtain a new bid for a new roof for the open pole-shed shelter house building at the city park.
“The roof is deteriorating,” she said. Dalke had obtained a bid of $2,050 in 2011 for a roof that would match the roof of the enclosed shelter house at the park, but the council had not approved it at that time.
“I’m sure the bid has gone up since then,” Dalke said, adding that the roof “is getting worse.”
• heard from Goertzen that the health-insurance premium decreased by 1.03 percent.
“We appreciate the health insurance very much,” she said.
• heard that Deena Schmidt had resigned from the Goessel Housing Authority board, and the council will need to find someone to replace her.
• noted that the Goessel Community Builders met at the elementary school prior to the city council meeting. About 30 people attended.
• heard that a routine KBI audit would take place in November.