Goessel council reviews rates for trash, recycling

Hank Yoder of Stutzman Refuse attended the Oct. 20 Goessel City Council meeting to discuss trash rates and recycling.

The trash rate for regular trash will increase by 50 cents a cart. Goessel does not have mandatory recycling, but the council discussed that possibility with Yoder. A fee of $2.75 a month would be charged for picking up recyclables.

?If they do recycling, it doesn?t decrease their trash fee,? Mayor Peggy Jay said.

Yoder said, ?No. (Recycling has) never been a money-maker. The markets have dropped in the last two months.?

But Yoder added that recycling is ?the right thing to do? and ?it takes a lot of education.?

Councilor Jim Wiens asked if recycling could be added at a later date. Yoder said yes.

Turning its attention to another matter, the council listened to Police Chief Joe Base report his department had issued eight equipment warnings, three warnings for speeding, and one warning for failing to stop at a stop sign. One notice to appear had been issued for speeding and two for no proof of insurance.

The police department investigated one burglary report in the past month, three theft reports, and one suspicious activity report, as well as several drug cases.

One methamphetamine lab was found a mile outside of Goessel. Base said the police department also handled multiple dog complaints and two child custody disputes. Base said police assisted Emergency Medical Services on one call.

Resident Anton Epp attended the meeting to further discuss repayment of bonds for the Harvest Meadow residential development.

Jay presented a letter from Todd Loescher, vice president of public finance with D.A. David?son and Co. of Wichita. The city had contacted him concerning Epp?s questions at the September city council meeting.

In his letter, Loescher stated, ?A portion of the debt service payment will be provided by special assessment payments by the lot owners in the Harvest Meadow subdivision…. The assessments were made to cover the costs of the street improvements of the project.?

He also wrote, ?A portion of the debt service payment will be paid from the city?s water and sewer utility funds. These payments are to cover the costs of the water and sewer improvements of the project and the associated interest costs.?

These payments will be made over the next 20 years.

Loescher explained the cost of the streets will be paid by the developer and lot owners, but the city is assisting with the project by paying the cost of water and sewer extensions.

Jay said everyone pays water and sewer fees every month.

?We?re not raising taxes for any of this,? she said.

Epp expressed appreciation for the explanations.

In other business, the council:

n went into executive session to discuss hiring Tim Boese as a part-time police officer. Boese has been a volunteer reserve officer for almost three years.

n heard Base report the police department assisted with the 5-K run and the Harvest Festival street dance. ?That all went really well,? he said.

n heard Base report that the pulley, harmonic balancer and serpentine belt on the police car have been replaced, and Base checked into the price of new tires. The council approved the purchase of new tires.

n heard Public Works Director Karen Dickerson report, ?The dump truck broke down again today.? She said a new filter would cost $137.

n considered a request from a resident to keep three dogs in town instead of the maximum allowance of two dogs. Jay responded that the resident will need to obtain the signatures of all the neighbors, and then the council will consider the request at a future meeting.

n discussed an application process for three-dog requests and the need to reapply every year. The suggestion was made that the city could revoke permission for three dogs if problems arise. Councilor Duane Duerksen said, ?Town is just not a great place for a dog.?

n discussed the possibility of not granting more waivers for three dogs, citing the low cost of dog tags versus the high cost of transporting dogs ?running at large? to the dog pound. The council noted that a number of dogs have been running loose in town and some are from the surrounding countryside.

n listened to Dave Schrag?s concern with the water meter at Sunflower Apartments. Schrag is on the Sunflower board. The board, according to Schrag, feels the water bills have been too high and thought there might be a leak.

Dickerson responded, ?We just put that meter in a year ago…. We have checked it for leaks.?

In order to have Kansas Rural Water Association test it, she said, the meter pit has to be dug up and the backhoe fee would be $150. A test box could be installed for $750. Another new meter would cost $400.

After Dickerson and Base explained how a meter works, the council seemed to think that the meter is probably not leaking and suggested comparing water bills before and after the new meter was installed, noting, however, that the old meter was not recording use. Therefore, those bills would not provide an accurate comparison.

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