Goessel council hears concerns about radio expense

Goessel City Council listened to the concerns of Matt Voth of the Goessel Fire Department regarding the local department as well as Marion County Emer­gency Medical Services at the council’s Nov. 20 meeting.

Voth told the council that although Goessel’s main pumper truck is still good, it is already 21 years old and will need to be replaced at some point. He said it would cost $250,000 to replace one truck, and mentioned that personal gear should be replaced every 15 years.

In addition, the county is telling each fire district to switch to the statewide 800 frequency radio system, which would provide better communication between the county fire districts and within individual districts.

The switch would require a new radio for each fire fighter and each truck. The county expects local fire departments to pay for the cost. However, the cost for the Goessel fire district would be $80,000, which is more than the fire district’s annual budget.

County fire districts are concerned about the cost of this unfunded county mandate and the effect it would have on continuing fire prevention, fire safety and fire fighting since equipment repairs and upgrades would have to be delayed.

The fire districts hope the county will help.

Voth commended the local department, “We have a very good crew of guys.”

Mayor Dave Schrag agreed, noting that when he was a firefighter, all the firefighters were well trained to do their jobs. He expressed appreciation for the service they do for the city and community.

Other business

In other business, the council:

• was informed by City Clerk Jennifer Whitehead that Santa Claus would be available from 5-6:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at the city building . Councilor Dean Snelling thanked Public Works Director Karen Dalke for building a fireplace for the event.

• heard that Whitehead has now graduated from the Municipal Clerks Institute, which allows her to earn continuing education credits to apply toward becoming a certified municipal clerk.

• listened to the audit report from Stephen Con­nelly on speaker phone. He said the city “is operating efficiently.” He found no violations. He complimented Whitehead for her “excellent job.”

• heard that a new air compressor had been purchased.

• briefly discussed purchasing a generator for the city building. Whitehead is looking into the possibility of a Community Facilities grant to help fund such a purchase.

• heard the Goessel Community Foundation planned a Giving Tuesday “open house” at the city building Nov. 28. Community residents were invited to hear about the foundation and consider donating to it.

Whitehead said Giving Tuesday is a national day of charitable giving, and many foundations participate nationwide.

• heard that a water leak had been fixed at the football field and the car wash.

• heard that the city’s streets had been graded.

• heard that preparations are underway for Christmas decorations.

• heard that the city’s valuation had decreased slightly in 2017, following an increase the previous year.

• expressed appreciation to city employees for keeping the “doggy-pot” stations supplied with bags.

• briefly discussed the dog ordinance. Councilor Larry Lindeman commented, “We already have a dog problem we can’t control.”

• heard an update on the Harvest Meadows development. Schrag said the developers would be able to get to Goessel soon.

• listened as Councilor Duane Adrian mentioned “barn quilts.” He had noticed about 10 in the surrounding area.

• heard that there had been a 28 percent participation in the recent local election.