Goessel council clarifies fireworks policy ahead of July 4 holiday

The Goessel City Council discussed fireworks within the city limits during its June 16 meeting

With the Fourth of July approaching, the council decided to allow fireworks from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thurs?day, July 3; 8 a.m. to midnight Friday, July 4; 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, July 5, and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, July 6.

Turning its attention to another matter, the council listened to Randy Frank, Marion County Emergency Management director present the 900-page hazardous mitigation plan that was developed by the south central region and involves 18 counties.

Frank said the plan identifies hazards such as materials, flooding, traffic and weather. The plan also outlines responses to such hazards.

?This has to do with after a disaster,? Frank said of the plan, which has been approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Frank provided CDs of the plan for the city office, fire department and police. The council voted to adopt the mitigation plan resolution. Frank said he would inform FEMA of the decision.

Frank said schools have mitigation plans, too. He said he had toured the Goessel school facilities with Superintendent John Fast. He said the junior high/high school building has a great basement. The school is currently working on a safe room at the elementary school.

Public works director Karen Dalke said she had attended FEMA meetings, along with City Clerk Anita Goertzen and school administrators. Dalke said the meetings were good, and ?We?ll be prepared if we need it.?

Other business

In other business, the council:

? heard from auditor Stephen Connelly that the city had a deficit in the water fund in 2008, 2009 and 2010. That fund was in better shape in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

? heard from Connelly that the sewer fund spent more than it received in 2008 and 2013.

? heard that Dalke would be going to a chlorine safety class, which is required for continuing her certification.

? heard that the city had provided 32 ?locates? a week when the gas company was working in Goessel.

? reviewed the police report. Officers had issued four verbal warnings for speed, dealt with one ?dog at large? and one dog registration issue, made two contacts, and addressed concerns of unsupervised juveniles.

A camera has been installed at the park, and the police are monitoring it. Councilor Larry Schmidt reported there have been no problems at the park the past few weeks.

? discussed purchasing a swing set and other play equipment for the park. Schmidt said the park is used ?quite a bit.?

? heard that the city plans to spray for mosquitoes; spraying has to be done on a calm evening.

? listened to a report from Dalke about manholes; 11 have been rehabilitated. She would like to rehabilitate more manholes next year.

? discussed getting bids for work that needs to be done on three and one-half blocks of water lines. Goertzen suggested a revolving loan for water lines and a well. She said she is working on the budget and needs to know if the city plans to replace water lines. The council made no decision about the matter.

? accepted Goertzen?s resignation as city clerk, noting that the acceptance is made with regret. Mayor Dave Schrag said, ?You?ve done a tremendous job for us. We do appreciate it.?

? appointed Jennifer Whitehead as city clerk. Schrag administered the affirmation of office. Goertzen commended Whitehead?s work during the training period: ?She?s doing an excellent job.?

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