Goessel clerk gleans helpful tips from Kansas Sampler workshop

Goessel City Clerk Anita Goertzen told the city council at its July 19 meeting about a Kansas Sampler getruralkansas.org workshop she had attended, led by Marci Penner.

?It was very good,? Goertzen said. The theme of the workshop had been ?Rural Kansas: Come and Get It.?

Goertzen learned about the Kansas Explorer?s Club at the workshop.

?It?s a different audience than your normal tourist,? Goertzen said.

Club members look for unique features that others might not notice, like the steps to the old hospital in Goessel, Goertzen said.

As another example of seldom-noticed unique features, Goertzen said that Penner had asked the group, ?Do you know where you can get the coldest pop in Kansas??

Penner answered her own question: ?At Keith?s Foods in Goessel.?

Cities can use unique features like that to attract tourists.

Goertzen showed a copy of the Web site, getruralkansas.org. As part of this effort, Goessel could secure the domain name for $30 a year.

?It could be a good thing for our town,? Goertzen said, ?I was pretty excited about it.?

The council approved the $30 fee for the domain name.

On another matter, the council voted to raise court costs from $55 to $65.

Court clerk Paula Flaming had received notification from the state that Kansas is raising court costs by a dollar.

?We?re on the low end,? she said about the current charge. ?Most are $65, $75 and higher.?

Mayor Peggy Jay said, ?It costs us to have court.?

Other business

In other business, the council:

? decided to schedule another city-wide garage sale the same day as the Harvest Festival, Sept. 25. Several people had made that suggestion, noting that rain had hampered the summer garage sale day.

Goertzen will advertise the sale in area newspapers. A ?fitness fun walk? is planned for the morning of Harvest Festival, and car show will start at noon.

? met in executive session for nearly a half-hour to review employee wages. A 3 percent increase was budgeted for 2010. However, the council had decided to give a 1.5 percent raise in January and review the issue at the July meeting.

At this meeting, they decided to retroactively grant the other 1.5 percent increase.

? met for another half-hour executive session to discuss personnel. Back in open session, the council accepted the resignation of Joe Base as police chief. He said he plans to buy and operate the gas station in Goessel.

? heard that Frank Ashley has been working 10 hours a week for the city in summer, mowing and spraying mosquitoes.

? discussed mosquito control. Public works employee Karen Dalke said it takes two gallons of spray every time the mosquitoes are sprayed.

So far this summer, the city has spent $3,000 on mosquito spray. It was suggested that the city put a notice in the city?s newsletter asking if residents want mosquito spraying to continue, considering the cost.

? listened to Councilor Larry Lindeman?s concern about speed-limit signs along State Street.

?There was a sign issue brought before the council three months ago,? he said, based on a request he had received from a resident who wants a 20 mph speed limit along State.

?Children at play? signs had also been requested for the same area.

Base said he had checked with the county prior to the meeting and had been told the county would erect 20 mph signs for drivers coming into town along State Street. Then, it will be the city?s responsibility to erect 20 mph signs for drivers exiting town.

Therefore, the whole length of State Street will be at 20 mph.

Councilor Larry Schmidt said, ?It is bad down that street…. The cars go flying by.?

? learned that Goertzen plans to attend a required flood insurance revision workshop in Wichita Sept. 15. There will be no cost to the city to attend.

? reappointed Bob Brookens as the city attorney. Brookens had advised the city it is not a conflict of interest for him to be both a city attorney and a state representative.

Flaming said, ?Keith Collett?s done a really good job when Bob?s not available.?

? voted to ask Tonya Richards, director of the county?s Planning & Zoning Department, to inspect several houses in the city that likely do not meet city codes. The matter had been discussed at previous meetings.

The council learned at this meeting that the city can write a letter to the county commission requesting Richards to inspect the houses and report her findings. Flaming said it takes about three hours for a whole-house inspection.

? briefly discussed riding in the Threshing Days parade. Goertzen offered to purchase candy for councilors to throw during the Aug. 7 parade.

? heard from Goertzen that auditor fees continue to rise, even though she has been compiling some of the city?s reports herself. She said a number of cities are checking to possibly make auditor changes.

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