Goessel council takes first steps toward sewer project

The Goessel City Council took steps at its Aug. 21 to move ahead with a much needed sewer project.

Mayor Dave Schrag, City Clerk Jennifer Whitehead, and Public Works Director Karen Dalke had attended a Kansas Inter-agency Advi­sory Committee meeting in Topeka, along with Rose Mary Saunders of Ranson Financial Group and Brian Foster, an engineer with BG Consultants of Manhattan.

Schrag mentioned that a representative from the Kan­sas Department of Health and Environment had also been at the meeting. The representative confirmed that Goessel’s sewer issues need to be fixed soon.

Therefore, the loan agencies at the meeting heard about Goessel’s sewer problems from local representatives and from a KDHE representative.

The council is considering a USDA loan and a Com­munity Development Block Grant. They discussed the “request for proposal” process.

The council approved a proposal from Ranson Financial Group to administer the CDBG grant.

The council entered into a legal services agreement with city attorney Joshua Boehm. He would be the city’s legal representative for a USDA loan. Boehm said he will check every agreement the city signs to ensure all agreements are as they should be.

The council approved an engineering agreement with BG Consultants. A representative of firm has been at previous meetings to discuss the matter with the council.

The council will host a meeting for the public to discuss the project with them.

Councilor Kevin Klassen commended the council for being proactive.

Councilor Dean Snelling agreed: “You have to fix it, and you have to pay money to fix it.”

The council briefly talked about water rates and applying for a grant or loan, noting that Goessel’s rates are too low.

On a related topic, Dalke told the council the sewer line by Bethesda Home had collapsed. The camera could not get through to video that section.

It was noted that some sewer issues need to be fixed immediately and cannot wait for the grant and loan process to be completed.

Previously, the council had talked about the need for a new lift station, noting safety hazards.

Other business

In other business, the council:

n installed Patsy Schmidt as city treasurer.

n accepted a low bid of $4,900 from Maguire Iron to clean the outside of the water tower tank. The outside of the water tower was last cleaned in 2010.

n heard some farm animals had been coming into town and had worn a path through a resident’s yard. The city will contact the owner of the animals.

n heard Dalke has been working with Kaufman Trenching for 18 locates last month and four the day of the city council meeting.

n heard Schrag report the flood plain remains the same. Cities had been notified previously about impending changes, but Schrag said those changes did not happen.

n discussed parked semi trucks that are out of compliance. Vehicles have to be legally tagged, and they have to be moved within 30 days. The vehicles in question have not been moved for some time. The city will look into the matter.

n discussed an uninhabited house that has deteriorated. The owner does not answer phone calls or emails. Storm debris on that property from three years ago has yet to be cleaned up.