Goessel council reviews private-street concerns

Goessel B Road topped the list of Goessel City Council agenda topics July 20.

The council had invited Melanie Thrower, a Kansas land surveyor, to the meeting to report her findings on B Road, which is a one-block east-west road near the city building.

In her written report, Thrower advised, ?A new road is built to city standards, paid for by a developer, and maintained by the city.? But B Road is a privately owned street since it is only 30 feet wide?not wide enough for the city to maintain.

City attorney Bob Brookens said at the meeting, ?Typically, a city would never accept 30 feet for a street.? He had viewed the street and said, ?It really looks like an alley.?

Four houses were built on the south side of B Road some years ago. City Clerk Anita Goertzen told the council the two middle houses were built in the 1960s or 1970s.

One house on the north side of B Road has driveways that access both A and B roads. It was noted that sometimes B Road residents use that driveway as a short-cut.

Thrower has researched deeds, utility maps, set-backs, building permits, and easements.

?In most communities, we?ve been requiring access to a public road,? she said, and mentioned that the two middle properties in question would not have been allowed in some cities because they do not have direct access to a public road.

One resident had wished to erect a fence on B Road and close it off. But Brookens advised that if the residence wishes to have water, the road cannot be fenced because city employees need access to utilities. The need for easements was emphasized.

Dismay was expressed at the meeting that the council again spent a considerable amount of time?more than an hour?discussing B Road, although none of the B Road residents attended the meeting to discuss it with the council.

Brookens said, ?It would have been helpful if the interested parties would have come to the meeting.?

Public Works Director Karen Dickerson reported she had erected ?Children At Play? signs on B Road, as requested at an earlier meeting. Louann Soukup, an A Road resident, thought the signs had slowed traffic in that area some. A Road is a north/south road that runs adjacent to B Road.

Turning its attention to another matter, the council heard Police Chief Joe Base report that the department had issued multiple equipment warnings, one notice to appear for failing to stop at a stop sign, one for not having proof of insurance, and two for driving without a driver?s license.

Police also investigated two dogs-at-large reports, one bike complaint, one domestic battery case involving firearms, juveniles in town at 2 a.m., one criminal-threat case, two complaints of reckless driving, one suspicious-person call, and two trespassing complaints.

Police finger-printed two subjects for an adoption process. Base also reported firearms training.

In other business, the council:

n approved the appointment of Dallas Boese to the council. He will replace Rick Freeman, who resigned.

n heard about hail damage to both police cars and the city?s pickup truck. Hail broke the pickup windshield.

n heard from Dickerson that the Goessel sign by Kansas Highway 15 is finished. She would like to put plants around it. Mayor Peggy Jay affirmed that idea.

n heard that Dickerson had hired Tom Bunn to spray for poison ivy.

n heard Dickerson report the bridge at the baseball park has been painted and handicap-parking signs have been erected.

n considered a request from the museum for a metal shed by the Wheat Palace. The request is for a pad this year and the actual shed next year. The council voted to grant a variance and allow the project to extend to two years.

n discussed planting an Austrian pine tree on city building property. It was noted that a sewer line runs underground at the chosen location.

n heard Goertzen report about court-required community service volunteers. She said 10 people came. ?They did a real good job in the park,? she said. ?They were very friendly.? The volunteers painted picnic tables in the shelter house and two bridges.

n turned down a request for financial assistance, due to budget concerns, from Linda Ogden, Communities in Schools executive director.

n heard from Goertzen that assessed valuations are up for 2010, and the mill levy will not change.

n heard a brief report on bond payment for the Harvest Meadows development.

n scheduled a special meeting for 8 p.m. July 27. It will be an executive session to discuss personnel matters.

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