Goessel council consider parks and dogs

Public Works Director Karen Dalke told the Goessel City Council at the Oct. 19 meeting that she has winterized the city park.

The water at the park has been turned off for the winter. The council is purchasing new bucket swing seats at a cost of $86 each for the park and decided to get a new one for the swing at the city building, too.

On another matter, the council continued discussing dog issues from the September meeting. The council had heard of a family within the city limits who cares for foster dogs. The council learned that Humane Society foster homes are inspected by the state.

Mayor Peggy Jay said, ?It?s not that we?re against (foster care),? but rather that the home had too many dogs according to city ordinance.

Councilor Duane Duerksen said, ?We?ve never had a foster care situation? and he thought the council was simply gathering information about it.

It was noted that the city limits the number of dogs a residence can have because some people don?t take care of their dogs and some are allowed to be a nuisance to the surrounding neighborhood.

But it also was noted that the family in question does take care of its dogs, the dogs are small, and the dogs are always in the house. The family would like to keep its own dogs and continue to foster a dog.

The council identified its dilemma: balancing the wishes of those who take care of their pets, while at the same time dealing with residents who do not properly control or care for their dogs.

Council members discussed the need to ?draw the line somewhere.? The matter will be discussed further.

In other business, the council:

n heard that Dalke and Police Chief Joe Base had dealt with multiple dog issues.

n heard Base report his department had investigated one under-age drinking report, one bank alarm, one domestic case, one death, one criminal-threat report, one drug case, and one vandalism report.

The department also issued multiple equipment warnings, two for speed, one for parking, and one for driving on a restricted driver?s license. The department made two welfare checks, unlocked two car doors, and assisted Emergency Medical Services on two calls.

n heard that police officers had received training for crimes against children.

n heard from Dalke that Sharon Boese had donated her time to help with work around the Goessel sign near Kansas Highway 15. The council expressed appreciation for Boese?s help.

n learned from Dalke that Insurance Service Office information states that Goessel has now received a rating of 5. The previous rating had been 9. The lower rating is possible because the new water tower holds more water than the old one did.

City employees and the fire department tested every fire hydrant and found that pressure and flow rate are better. Dalke explained that flow rate means gallons per minute. She said the better rating could affect insurance rates. She encourages home owners to call their insurance companies; residents can go to the city office for a copy of the ISO information.

n reviewed the new Federal Emergency Management Agency flood-plain map. City Clerk Anita Goertzen said the last flood plain map had been made in 1974.

Duerksen asked how residents find out if they are in the flood plain. Jay said lenders have to find out; they need to know whether a homeowner needs flood insurance.

Councilor Jim Wiens said flood plain maps do not show elevation. Property owners can hire a surveyor if they feel their home should not be included in the flood plain.

n reviewed a letter from Marsha L. Carpenter of the Bureau of Environmental Field Services acknowledging that the poison ivy on the lagoon fence had been sprayed. Carpenter wrote, ?We appreciate the commitment and extra work done by the city of Goessel personnel to complete this item.?

n heard from Dalke that the burn site had passed inspection by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

n heard a concern from Councilor Dallas Boese about the street at Sun Prairie mobile home court, noting that no street name is visible. He expressed concern about emergencies. Individual mobile homes have lot numbers, but the street is not identified.

Goertzen said the drive is privately owned, and that she had contacted the county about the matter. She learned the city cannot name the drive. It is the owner?s responsibility to install a sign.

The city will send the mobile home court owner a letter requesting a sign.

n discussed the possibility of establishing a community foundation. Duerksen said, ?It?s a neat way to give to the community.? The council discussed including a survey regarding a foundation in the city?s newsletter and with water bills. Boese suggested also posting the survey on the Internet.

n heard that Goertzen plans to attend a water rate-setting meeting in Manhattan Nov. 5. She said water rates have to be in line with the state average. Goessel?s rate is lower.

n approved the purchase of a black-and-white copier with an 11-inch by 17-inch glass. The current copier is too small. Jay said the larger glass increasingly is needed for city documents.

n reviewed the city?s multi-use vehicle ordinance in order to update it. The council noted that a driver?s license is required. Passengers are not allowed unless the multi-use vehicle was designed for more than one. Children have to wear helmets. Liability insurance is required.

n briefly mentioned skate-park drawings submitted by Jeff Hall. The council indicated it would be interested in meeting with him to discuss the plans.

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