Goessel Council OKs ordinance allowing special vehicles on streets

The Goessel City Council passed an ordinance at its Nov. 16 meeting that would allow ?specialty vehicles? to use city streets.

Included in the ?specialty? category are work-site utility vehicles, micro-utility trucks and all-terrain vehicles, including four-wheelers and golf carts.

According to state law, such vehicles are illegal on city streets, but a new law allows cities to make exceptions. Goessel?s Ordinance 226 now allows specialty vehicles on Goessel streets with the following restrictions: all operators of such vehicles must have a valid driver?s license, and they must have liability insurance on the vehicle.

The council noted that safety is the key issue.

On another matter, the council discussed the Sun Prairie mobile home court address. Mobile home court owner Hope Smith-Becker attended the meeting, as did Sun Prairie residents Jerry Stika and Danny Jones.

The address of the mobile home court is 620 East Marion, but Jones and Stika said delivery drivers cannot find their homes, and the address is not on Google.

City Clerk Anita Goertzen said she had asked the county if the city could assign addresses to the mobile home court. The county had said that is not allowed because the property is not platted.

Councilor Dallas Boese noted that the mobile home court?s street is a private through-drive. Goertzen and Councilor Larry Lindeman asked if the drive is wide enough to be a city street. Goertzen said it would cost $900 to have the drive surveyed.

Police Chief Joe Base said set-backs could be an issue.

?You can?t just take a road and call it a street,? Lindeman said.

In an effort to find a solution, the council voted to order signs that read ?620 East Marion? and erect them at both the north and the south ends of the mobile home park. Smith-Becker agreed to pay for the signs and the posts.

In other business, the council:

n noted that city offices will be closed Thanksgiving Day and the day after. City offices will also close at noon on Christmas Eve and will be closed all day on Christmas Day.

n heard Base report the police department had issued multiple equipment warnings, one warning for speed and one notice to appear in court for speed. It had investigated one bank alarm, one domestic disturbance, one door-to-door salesman, one case of suspicious activity at the grocery store, one juvenile drug case, two vandalism reports and one trespassing report.

The department made one arrest and dealt with multiple dog issues. Officers made two welfare checks and unlocked one car door. Base reported the hail damage on the police car has been fixed.

n heard the police department was awarded a grant for bullet-proof vests. The vests cost $500 to $700 each.

n heard from public works director Karen Dalke that 24 more water meters had been replaced. Since installing the new water meters, Dalke said, ?water loss has gone down.? She said last month?s water loss was only 11 percent, compared to 39 percent, 26 percent and 18 percent in the preceding months.

?Meters wear out,? she said. ?They don?t register right.?

Dalke said the meters should be replaced every seven years. City employees have been installing 24 new meters a month. To date, they have replaced 90 meters. The city has a total of 272 water meters. So far this year, the city has spent $20,000 on new meters.

n tabled action on the state?s mandate that city water rates have to cover its water operating expenses. It was noted that Goessel?s rates do not cover the operating expenses, even though the rates had been increased.

?We didn?t go up enough,? Dalke said.

Mayor Peggy Jay said, ?We should be changing the water rates every year…. I don?t like it any better than anyone else.?

Goertzen added that the city cannot get grant money unless the rates are raised to an acceptable level. The minimum water rate is now $7.05. The proposed minimum rate would be $11.70.

n discussed the Letter of Map Amendment, which addresses the revised flood plain. Jay said the flood plain becomes an issue when a property owner sells the property; the next owner will be required to have flood insurance in order to obtain a loan. The lender will do a loan certification.

Councilor Jim Wiens said if property owners owe nothing, they might not know they are in a flood plain unless something goes wrong.

Councilor Duane Duerksen asked, ?Has everybody in the new flood plain been informed??

Property owners are advised that they can go to the city office to find out if their property is in the flood plain.

n heard that Goertzen and Jay were planning to attend a county-wide flood insurance map meeting in Marion the next day.

n heard that Goertzen had attended the Master Municipal Academy. She said she had learned about record retention.

n discussed the need for record storage space.

n discussed the need for backup generators. The city has one that could be used at the city building. Wiens explained the difficulties with the backup generator for the water wells. He said generators were needed at the time of the ice storm.

n continued the discussion of dogs from last month?s meeting. The dog owners were allowed to keep their dogs, but since they have more than the two-dog limit, they are not allowed to replace one if it dies. The matter will be reviewed again in January.

n briefly discussed establishing a community foundation.

n heard that Dalke had put Christmas lights on the city building.

n discussed updating the city?s policy book.

n passed the Standard Traffic Ordinance and the Uniform Public Offense Code.

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