Goessel council to split employee pay raise into two installments

The Goessel City Council went into executive session at its Dec. 21 meeting to discuss employee wages. In open session, the council voted to grant a wage increase, beginning in January?but only half of the planned increase will be given at that time.

The council will review wages again in six months. If funding is available, the other half of the wage increase will be given then retroactively.

The council also voted to give all employees a $25 gift card to Keith?s Foods now as a gift of appreciation for their work.

Turning its attention to another matter, the council heard the police report from Chief Joe Base. The city?s police officers drove a total of 1,223 miles in the past month.

Officers issued multiple equipment warnings and dealt with one case of driving with a suspended license. They also investigated one bank alarm, one check-fraud case, one suspicious activity report, one obstruction of legal process case, one criminal threat and made one arrest.

The department dealt with multiple dog issues and one dog bite. It responded to a report of a cow on the roadway, removed two dead deer from the roadway and responded to one car in the ditch.

Officers responded to one vehicle roll-over and three emergency medical calls. They also attended training for accident report writing.

In other business, the council:

? voted to pay the fee for police officers to attend spring training in Emporia. Base said the Lyons County Sheriff?s Department will be in charge. Topics will include legal training for street cops and forensics.

? tabled a request from the police department for a carport for the police car. Base said that since the patrol cars are not in a building, it takes time to de-ice the light bar, windshield and lights in winter. He said that could waste time in an emergency.

? heard Mayor Peggy Jay report that the Goessel High School Elbiata vocal group would be heard on radio at 1:20 p.m. Dec. 24 and again at 7:20 a.m. Dec. 25. She said other schools would perform, too.

? discussed the cable-television service provider. Councilor Larry Lindeman asked, ?Is there a reason why people have trouble with their cable?? He said he knew of two families who switched to satellite because the cable company did not provide satisfactory service.

? heard from Public Works Director Karen Dalke that 13 more water meters had been replaced.

? heard that Dalke had passed her sewer certification test. She is required to attend 10 hours of classes every two years.

? discussed the request of a resident for more culvert. The council said the owner needs to pay for it.

? discussed blocked ditches.

? passed Ordinance 227 concerning the Standard Traffic Ordinance. The STO must be accepted every year.

? authorized City Clerk Anita Goertzen to purchase a fire-proof safe.

? saw the Sun Prairie mobile home park signs that are ready to erect at 620 E. Marion Ave.

? spent considerable time discussing sewer cleaning. Goert?zen said the city had paid Mayer Specialty $3,539 for the annual sewer line inspection and cleaning in 2009. In addition, Mayer Specialty had been called for further services, mostly due to turtle issues. Therefore, the total paid for the year was $5,994.

But Goertzen said the city only received $4,503.64 in income to the sewer fund. She noted that the Mayer Specialty contract fee increases every year, but the city of Goessel only charges $1.50 per household, which is not sufficient.

? noted that 15 turtles had been removed from the sewer system in 2008.

? voted to accept the three-year contract with Mayer Specialty for televising and cleaning of different segments of the city’s sewer system each year. The fee for 2010 will be $3,727. The fee will increase to $4,014 in 2011 and $4,300 in 2012. Additional services will be an extra charge.

The city is to be responsible for distributing individual notices to the addresses affected in the cleaning process.

? learned that the emergency service rate for Mayer Specialty is $150 per hour, shop to shop.

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