The Goessel City Council discussed during its June 17 meeting several local driving situations that need attention.
The council noted that some underage drivers have been illegally driving three- and four-wheelers within the city limits. The council noted drivers of such vehicles are required to have a valid driver’s license in order to drive in town.
The council also noted that drivers must observe city speed limits.
New weapons mandate
The council discussed the state’s mandate about concealed-carry guns. City attorney Marilyn Wilder said the Kansas Legislature passed a law stating that cities and counties have to allow concealed-carry weapons in public buildings unless they have an armed guard, or a metal detector and someone to monitor it.
If public buildings have an armed guard or a metal detector, concealed-carry weapons can be banned.
Wilder said if the city sends a letter to the state by July 1, the city can get an exemption until Jan. 1, 2014, which means the city can ban concealed-carry weapons from city buildings until Jan. 1 without having a metal detector or armed guard.
Wilder recommended sending the letter.
Councilors expressed concern about expense and safety.
“It just doesn’t make sense…. It’s ridiculous to have a gun in any city building,” said one council member.
Wilder advised the council to explore its options.
“You’re not the only small town dealing with this,” she said.
Councilor Larry Schmidt, said the county is looking at a recycling program and is considering the purchase of roll-off containers to place in towns around the county.
However, Schmidt said the county is not considering a container for Goessel, even though “they all seemed to like what we do…. We don’t want to be the only city in Marion County that’s paying for recycling.”
Schmidt said Goessel currently pays $400 to $500 per month for recycling.
Schmidt said the local recycling effort has “diverted over five tons of recyclables from the landfill” during those five weeks.
Mayor Dave Schrag thanked Schmidt for his work with local recycling and his efforts with the county.
In other business, the council:
• unanimously approved the appointment of Dean Snelling as a member of the council to fill the unexpired term of Dallas Boese, who resigned because he moved outside city limits and is no longer eligible to serve.
Schrag administered the affirmation of office for Snelling and welcomed him to the council. The council expressed appreciation to Boese for his years of service to the city.
• noted that the city’s July 4 ordinance states that fireworks are allowed July 1 through 4.
• heard the city offices will be closed July 4 and 5.
• heard the police department had issued verbal warnings for speeding motorists.
• discussed grass that has reached 12 inches high. Residential and commercial properties are required to keep their grass mowed.
• reappointed Loren Johnson as the city inspector.
• appointed Arthur Flynn to the library board. City Clerk Anita Goertzen said, “He’s already been helping out with the summer reading program.”
• discussed the library’s summer reading program. The library is short on funds for the summer program. Forty-five children are enrolled in the program. Donations from the community have amounted to $460. The program will likely cost $1,000.
One person noted “a lot of people use that library.” A suggestion was made that the library could initiate fundraisers. The library’s annual budget is $23,980. The council voted to pay the library’s Internet cost, which amounts to $75 a month and equals $900 a year.
• discussed uninhabitable property at 207 W. Main. The owner has made no attempt to correct the situation despite repeated contacts from the city.
The council had asked Wilder to come to the meeting to discuss options. She said following an inspection in October 2010, the city sent letters informing the owner of the situation and stated he had six months to complete repairs.
“It’s been close to three years now,” Wilder said, and nothing has been done to repair the structure. She recommended another inspection, a hearing, a deadline and court approval for city action. The council voted to proceed with the process.
• discussed the grass by the burn site. The council noted that some years the area had been rented to farmers for cattle grazing. As a result, the fence and the road leading to the burn site had been damaged. The council agreed to clean up the area.
• heard from Public Works Director Karen Dalke that the lift station at the new housing development needed a new battery since it was already seven years old.
• heard that hand dryers for the city park restrooms should arrive soon.
• discussed continuing vandalism at the park and the advisability of installing security cameras.
• discussed, but made no decision about, small ramps for skate boarders at the city park.
Goertzen said she had contacted the insurance company and was told the city needs a sign that lists the rules and warnings. Ramps would have to be professionally designed and constructed and would need a maintenance schedule. Liability insurance would cost the city $350 a year. A ramp would cost $250.
• considered new benches for the park.
• heard about air in the water.
• heard from Goertzen that the city shredding day “went fairly well.” She said a number of residents came to the city building to use the service.
• heard that the city-wide clean-up day would be June 22. Goertzen said appliances cannot contain refrigerant. The owner has to have a written notice from a technician that the refrigerant has been removed. Otherwise, the trash haulers will not pick up those appliances.
• discussed mowing the city lots that are used for hobby airplanes. It was noted that only city employees are allowed to use city equipment because of liability issues.
• voted to replace the concrete by the Ratzlaff building at a cost of about $750. A water leak had prompted the removal of some concrete near that building.
• listened to a review of the 2013 budget by Goertzen.
• met in executive session to discuss personnel. In open session, the council voted to wait another six months before granting employee raises.
• voted to start city council meetings at 7 p.m. instead of 8 p.m., beginning with the July meeting.