Goessel council searches for purr-fect solutions to cat issues

The Goessel City Council discussed roaming cats at its June 18 meeting.

One resident had reported that his porch is frequently sprayed by neighbors? cats. Others noted cats living in abandoned houses and expressed concern about feral cats.

Deputy city clerk Paula Flaming said that some towns have a leash law for cats. She said loose cats could pose a health issue.

Mayor Peggy Jay informed the council, ?We?ve been hearing about rabies.?

City Clerk Anita Goertzen suggested the city might need an ordinance to register cats and neuter them. Public works director Karen Dalke suggested cat owners put a collar on their cats.

Roads and streets

Council members discussed the road situation, specifically 120th one mile east of Goessel and one mile west of town.

Councilor Dallas Boese said, ?We had a public meeting. They said they would do it this year.?

Flaming said she had seen a three-year county plan, and the mile west of Goessel was not on that plan. The council suggested the city remind the county of its promise.

Dalke said the county is planning to work on Main Street and State Street, hopefully in August.

Dilapidated houses

The council discussed a house that has not been in compliance with housing standards. The city has worked with the owner for two years. After a 2010 inspection, the owner was given time to comply.

Marilyn Wilder, city attorney, sent a letter suggesting the city take action, commenting that the house is ?dangerous, unsafe, unfit for human habitation.?

The city has already had a public hearing, and the May 31 deadline for compliance has passed. The city attorney is urging compliance, and the council plans to move forward with the process.

Council members noted that another house also deemed unsafe has been demolished, and another one has been moved out of town.

Other business

In other business, the council:

? reviewed the fireworks ordinance. The council noted that it often is not dark until 9 p.m. Therefore, residents will be allowed to discharge fireworks until 10 p.m. July 1 to 3 and until midnight July 4.

? heard Councilor Rollin Schmidt commend Dalke for her work. He said he had received positive comments about her efforts.

? noted that Dalke had painted the bridge rails.

? heard from Councilor Larry Lindeman that the roof at the baseball diamonds will be on ?pretty soon.?

Dalke said someone from Kaufman Trenching will come to put in the water/sewer line at the ball park.

? heard from Dalke that Marlin Janzen had finished the roofing project at the city park?s open shelter house last week.

? discussed the city?s recycling efforts and the need for more bins.

Councilor Larry Schmidt , who supervises the recycling on Thursday evenings, said the bins are three-fourths full by Thurs?day evening and more than full by Saturday.

?It?s a steady stream,? Schmidt said, and he expressed concern about wind blowing items that overflow from the bins.

? discussed plumbing issues at the city park. Dalke and Councilor Larry Schmidt have been working with those problems. Goering Hardware has been called.

? briefly discussed a boxcar that needs attention.

? briefly discussed the uninhabited house across the street from the city building, noting that it is owned by a bank in California.

? noted that not as many people as expected came to town for the city-wide garage sale day June 9, although Schmidt said more people came on Thursday rather than Friday or Saturday.

? discussed having a fall city-wide garage sale day. Goertzen suggested avoiding Oct. 6, the day of the city?s Harvest Festival; she said the people who organize the Harvest Festival 5K run do not want garage sales on the same day as the run.

? regretfully accepted the resignation of Mike Ottensmeier as police officer. Wilma Mueller will continue.

? spent a considerable time discussing the city?s water wells. After making some adjustments, the pumps are rotating. Dalke said they had been rotating previously, but one well pump had been running 19 hours a day. Now it ran a total of 19 hours from Thursday to Monday.

Someone has been contacted to check the pumps.

? heard Councilor Jim Wiens suggest establishing a fourth well. No action was taken.

? met in a special meeting June 11 to discuss well issues. Dalke said the south well was pumping air, which might indicate that it is going dry. She said a new pump was installed by A-1 Well Service June 7. The pump ran on the south well for four hours and started pumping air.

The council discussed having the well treated, flushed, videoed and tested.

? issued a water warning for residents. It was the consensus of the council at the special meeting to request that the big users of water cut back by 50 percent on watering lawns, the football field and ball diamonds, if possible. Flaming said he would mail a letter of explanation.

? approved Leda Graybill and Shari Wiens for the city library board.

? appointed Marc Knowles as the new Sunflower Apartment manager.

? Lindeman asked about an equipment inventory. Dalke said the city does have an inventory, and Goertzen said it is current.

? held a required public hearing regarding a grant application for a new siren.

? discussed the Westar Energy bill.Goertzen said one item was for street lights, another was for the Harvest Meadow addition, and the others were for electricity at the shop, city building, pump, wells, siren and sign by the highway.

? noted that rock and sand had been purchased from Robinson Trucking.

? heard that the auditor will attend the next meeting to review the audit report.

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