Goessel council dissatisfied with county?s road work

The Goessel City Council expressed disappointment during its Oct. 18 meeting with the county?s work on 120th, the road straight east out of Goessel.

The county tore up the pavement on 120th, which connects Goessel to Indigo, also known as the 13-mile Road.

Councilor Larry Lindeman said 120th is the most unsafe road in the area.

?It?s like driving on marbles,? he said.

Some council members had heard that 120th will be repaved in a year, while others had heard that it will remain gravel and sand. It is a primary road that leads people into town and past local businesses.

But with the current condition of the road, there is concern that drivers will by-pass Goessel as drivers choose other roads.

The council noted that the road directly west of Goessel is closed for road work now, which further complicates access to town.

On another matter, City Clerk Anita Goertzen said a city-wide Christmas tree lighting is scheduled for Nov. 27. Santa Claus will be on site from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. to take photos with children.

The council granted Goert?zen?s request to buy a Fuji Film Insta-camera to use for that event.

She said it would allow photos to be developed immediately, enabling children to take their photo home with them that day. Goertzen said the city would have other needs for the camera, too.

The council also granted approval for the purchase of candy canes for each child who comes to visit with Santa Claus.

In other business, the council:

? heard that a flood plain come-and-go open house is planned for 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 16 in the city building community room. All property owners who have property in the flood plain are encouraged to attend.

Representatives from the Federal Emergency Manage?ment Agency, as well as national flood insurance representatives, will be available to answer questions.

? decided to hire a professional to survey the city building property. Goertzen said the city building?s property has been in the flood plain since 1976, but the building has not been there that long, and it was built higher to avoid flooding.

Goertzen said the survey would cost $600, but she pointed out that the survey fee would easily be cheaper than paying the increased amount for flood insurance, which will increase from the current price of $2,000 to the future price of $6,000.

? heard Councilor Larry Schmidt report the skateboard park is used ?quite a bit.?

?They did a good job,? Schmidt said, referring to the high school students who built the park, Jeff Hall, Evan Hie?bert, Andrew Defreese, Aidan Winblad and Zach Showalter.

? heard police officer Eric Reed report that one warning had been issued, three contacts were made, and one case was investigated, although no arrests were made.

Reed attended domestic violence training. The second part of the class will be in November with the Kansas Highway Patrol. Reed will be recertified.

? scheduled a Nov. 8 work session to discuss capital improvement and equipment reserve issues.

? approved a letter Goertzen had written at the request of Teresa Huffman, county economic development director, in support of Huffman?s application for a grant for low-interest loans for rural development.

The loans would be at 4 percent interest for new businesses or expansion of existing businesses.

? discussed the ?Goessel? sign at Kansas Highway 15. Schmidt wondered if anything had been planted around the sign.

Public works employee Karen Dalke said the high school agriculture teacher had his class plant something there. Dalke said the garden club had also been interested.

The council agreed that more plants were needed; they authorized Dalke to spend $50 to $100 on plants.

? heard Goertzen report that some auditors are not willing to work with towns that have employees who are capable of providing their own financial statements because that means less money for the auditors. Also, Goertzen said some auditors do not accept electronically filed reports.

Goertzen said she had talked to an auditor from Kansas City at meetings she had attended. That auditor would be willing to let Goertzen provide financial reports, and would accept electronically submitted documents.

He would charge $4,500, compared to $6,200 that the city currently pays for auditing fees.

? discussed houses on B Street, North Buller and West Main. It has been determined that one house needs to be demolished.

Another home owner reportedly is in the process of demolishing the garage and plans to move the house out of town.

Another plans to convert a house into a work shop.

The council discussed options for working with the home owners and a deadline for their compliance. The council entered into executive session to discuss the house that is to be demolished.

? decided to hire Loren Johnson as the city?s building inspector after an executive session to discuss applicants.

? heard that Dalke had erected fencing around the air conditioning at the city building, put water sealer on the bridges, serviced the city?s equipment, graded the streets several times since the last meeting and scheduled cleaning of the water tower.

? noted that the city had used 20 million gallons of water in 2009. Dalke said the city has rights for 34 million gallons. She said well No. 3 is the main well currently in use.

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