Goessel council decides to spread housing incentives to all buyers

The Goessel City Council listened to Duane Unruh?s request for funding support on behalf of his Harvest Meadow housing development during the council?s Jan. 21 meeting.

Unruh asked the city to pay assessments for five years on lots purchased in the development by Dec. 31, 2012.

The council spent nearly an hour discussing the request with Unruh. He said the ultimate goal is selling lots, and he would like ?the best incentive for selling lots.? He said the housing development covenant states that construction has to begin within eight months, and the house should be completed within 120 days. He said home loans will require completion.

Councilor Larry Lindeman asked for clarification about the eight months. Unruh responded that construction has to begin within eight months of purchasing the lot.

Councilor Rick Freeman said, ?I like the incentives. Do we need to make the offer city-wide??

Unruh responded, ?You have to remember the city has funds tied to these lots,? referring to the Harvest Meadow lots.

Freeman said, ?We have to answer to the public.?

The council called an executive session to continue the discussion.

ack in open session, Councilor James Wiens suggested the city offer a $1,000 per year incentive for five years for the first five houses built within the city limits of Goessel.

Wiens made sure everyone understood he meant an incentive for any new houses built within the city, not just in the Harvest Meadow development.

?There are other lots,? he said, ?and we have to be fair.?

During the discussion that followed, Freeman agreed, ?We?ve got to open it to the whole city.?

When Wiens suggested the city would not give the money if a house is not started, Unruh asked, ?What do you consider a housing start??

Wiens responded, ?When the cement truck pulls in, you?re starting a house.?

Unruh said the incentive money should be given when a lot is purchased. Mayor Peggy Jay suggested the incentive be given at the time a building permit is obtained. She also suggested that the city review the incentives every year.

The council acknowledged that although the decision?to give a $1,000 incentive a year for five years to the owners of the first five new houses built anywhere in Goessel?would benefit the Harvest Meadow development, it was not exactly according to Unruh?s request.

Unruh said, ?It will work.?

In other business, the council:

  • heard Police Chief Joe Base report that during the past month, the police department made three arrests ?that cleaned up 15 warrants.? The department also made one other arrest, investigated a theft, gave two warnings and three tickets for speed, gave one warning for a headlight that was not working, unlocked one car door, gave one ticket for driving with a suspended license, picked up one dog and responded to multiple dog complaints.

  • authorized Dickerson to purchase a generator for the city from Kyle Funk following the review of three bids. The generator has a 140-gallon capacity and would cost $20,267.

  • heard that the generator the city purchased from Bethesda Home needed a trailer. ?I purchased a trailer for $200,? Dickerson said. ?It?s almost complete. I had to extend it.?

  • discussed the condition of the city?s truck. Dickerson said she didn?t know if replacement parts were still available. Base, who also works in public works, said the truck only has one brake ?that kind of works,? the rusted fuel tank needs to be replaced, the carburetor needs to be rebuilt and shifting gears is difficult.

    After hearing about all the problems, Jay told Dickerson and Base to ?keep looking? for a different truck.

  • heard that it could cost $50,000 to put in a new water well. Dickerson had obtained figures of $25,000 for an engineer and another $25,000 to drill and install the well. ?Prices are going up daily,? she said. Wiens suggested getting maps from the county to see where a new well could be put in.

  • heard that Dickerson had used 52 bags of salt during the recent ice storm at $3.50 per bag.

  • discussed purchasing a finish mower for the city ball diamonds. Dickerson estimated that such a mower would cost $3,500. The council also discussed the merits of a heavier mower, but determined the city?s tractor would not be big enough to accommodate a larger mower. The council approved the purchase of a ?grooming? mower.

  • heard from Dickerson that the school is working toward constructing a storm shelter.

  • granted a request from the Garden Club for occasional use of the city building. The club was organized in 1965 and usually meets at Bethesda Home. However, Bethesda Home?s meeting room is not always available. At those times, the club would like to meet in the city building.

    The club was responsible for establishing a butterfly garden at Bethesda Home. Club members have also been involved in other community projects. Therefore, the club requested a reduced fee of $10 for the times it needs to use the city?s community room to meet.

  • reviewed minutes of the Jan. 8 meeting of the Goessel Community Develop?ment Task Force. Six members were present at that meeting: Donna Duerksen, James Voth, Peggy Jay, Kelly Schrag, Justin Schrag, and Linda Peters. The group is looking for someone to fill the position vacated by Chet Roberts.

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