Fireworks top Goessel council agenda

In the midst of an electrical outage, the Goessel City Council met June 15 by the light of candles and flashlights.

Fireworks topped the council’s agenda. After much discussion, the council decided to allow fireworks on the following days and times: Friday, July 1, 8 a.m. to midnight; Saturday, July 2, 8 a.m. to midnight; Sunday, July 3, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Monday, July 4, 8 a.m. to midnight; Tuesday, July 5, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The public is expected to follow these guidelines.

Water lines

The council discussed at length the need for water line improvements. Engin­eer Sid Arpin of BG Consul­tants in Hutchinson told the council what the council has been told before: Goessel’s water rates are too low. Goessel cannot qualify for a grant with the current rates.

Arpin said the state average is $36.35 per month for 5,000 gallons of water, while Goessel’s rate for 5,000 gallons of water is $30.35 per month. He said Goessel would have to raise water rates by $6.15 a month to meet the state average.

Water rates have to either meet or exceed the state average in order to qualify for a Community Develop­ment Block Grant. Goessel’s rates would need to increase to $44 per month in order to qualify for such a grant.

Arpin said Goessel would need to have an ordinance in place by September in order to qualify for a grant.

He said Goessel would qualify as a “low to moderate income” city since 60.44 percent of Goessel residents are considered to have a low to moderate income. He suggested checking grants and consulting a municipal financial adviser before getting a loan. The cost for a grant administrator could be $15,000 to $20,000.

Water meters

The council talked with Arpin about water meters, valves and water lines.

Arpin said it would cost $5,000 for a preliminary engineering study, which is required for a grant. The $5,000 would cover a preliminary report, but it would not cover the design engineering, which would require an additional fee.

The council voted to hire BG Consultants to do the study.

“I think you just made a really important decision,” Mayor Dave Schrag said. “It’s all for the good of the city.”

Dalke said meters should be replaced regularly. Some guidelines say every seven years, and some say 10-12 years.

Public Works Director Karen Dalke said Goessel’s meters were installed in the 1950s.

“We know we have problems,” Schrag said, adding that some parts of the system are so old that replacement parts are not available.

Dalke added, “Chlorine is very hard on water wells.”

Dalke told the council, “We had water leaks last Wednesday.” A fire hydrant failed. “That’s what started the problem,” she said.

Firefighter Jim Wiens helped fix the leak. Schrag read a letter from a resident commending Dalke for her work with the leak.

“She did a superior job,” the letter stated, noting that Dalke had worked non-stop from morning to night to fix the leak. There had been two leaks in one day.

“The more earthquakes we have, the more water breaks we will have,” Schrag said.

In other business, the council:

• heard Dalke say sewer pumps went down, causing sewer back-up in four houses. It was noted that the city will not pay for those situations. The council was informed residents have been told they have the responsibility to put back-flow valves on their sewer lines.

• heard that Dalke and Cindy Gaddis had been fogging for mosquitoes and had put mosquito pellets in standing water.

• discussed a culvert that someone had plugged with bricks.

• discussed purchasing an LED sign that would list Goessel businesses and temporary city messages, such as city-wide garage sale dates.

James Wiens had found a sign for $4,000 that had originally cost quite a bit more. The council voted to purchase the sign. They discussed possible locations for it, such as by the city building or in the Harvest Mea­dows area.

• heard about vandalism at the park. The disc golf equipment had been broken off at the base. Councilors Larry Linde­man and Duane Adrian had fixed it with concrete, and it was broken again. Linde­man told the council the disc golf equipment will not be installed again. The council agreed not to reinstall it.

• heard Lindeman say he had fixed the ceiling in the boys’ restroom at the city park and fixed a leak in the girls’ restroom.

• heard that Lindeman had installed thresholds in the park shelter house. That seemed to stop frogs and other creatures from entering.

• discussed installing a light with a motion sensor at the park.

• voted to hire a real estate agent to advertise the Harvest Meadows development. The council talked about asking $260,000 for the development.

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