Goessel leaders endorse plan for 5-K festival race

The Goessel City Council endorsed a proposal for a 50 kilometer run as part of the fall Harvest Festival during its May 19 meeting.

Joe Wuest, a member of the Goessel Recreation Commission, said the plan would be to host the race during the Harvest Festival, now scheduled for Sept. 27.

?I?ve been a runner for a number of years,? Wuest said. He has participated in many running events, including three marathons and the Wichita River Festival.

Wuest showed the council a map for the proposed route. The course would be 16,404 feet, or a little over 3.1 miles. The event would be for anyone in the community, plus other people who want to participate.

?One hundred people would be great,? Wuest said, adding, ?You?ll see some good runners. There are some guys that will run this in about 15 minutes.?

Participants could run, jog or walk.

?Everyone would start at the same time,? he said.

One bicycle rider would lead the group, and another one would follow the group. Wuest estimated the last person should be through by about 9:10 a.m.

Councilor Larry Schmidt said, ?I think it?s a great idea.?

Councilor Jim Wiens agreed: ?The goal of this is to build community spirit. We?re not going to profit off this.?

City clerk Anita Goertzen said, ?I think it will be good for the city.?

Wuest said, ?It will be good to bring in people," and mentioned opportunities for hospitality.

The run would start at 8 a.m. in front of the junior/senior high school. The course would loop through the city and end in front of the press box on the high school track. Wuest asked to have Main Street shut down for 35 to 40 minutes.

Wuest said that about 20 volunteers would be needed. The GRC had talked about asking the cross-country team to be stationed at various points to help.

When Councilor Duane Duerksen commended Wuest for organizing the race, Wuest responded, ?It does take a lot of work, but I?m willing to do it. I have a passion for it.?

The council agreed to shut down Main Street for an hour for the run.

Council members then turned their attention to maintenance issues. Public Works Director Karen Dickerson said the new generator had been installed.

?It?s very nice?it?s quiet,? she said. She also told the council that the manhole map is incorrect. Joe Base had helped her work on the sewer, and it took two weeks to locate a manhole they needed for servicing.

?Our tracer does not work,? she said. Dickerson borrowed Hillsboro?s tracer. She expressed appreciation to the city of Hillsboro for letting her use it.

?A tracer wire machine would be nice,? Dickerson said. ?Hillsboro uses theirs about every day.?

Councilor Jim Wiens said it would be helpful in finding water lines.

In other business, the council:

  • wished to remind the public that grass clippings do not go on the burn pile.

  • heard Police Chief Joe Base report the department answered one fireworks report, investigated one fraud case, one theft, one case of vandalism, two threat cases, and made two arrests. They responded to multiple dog complaints and sent three letters to owners of dogs at large. They issued a citation for failure to stop, one for failure to yield, and one for speed.

  • heard that Tim Boese is in highway patrol training and will no longer be a volunteer reserve police officer for the city.

  • heard that the police department and credit union had sponsored a bicycle safety clinic May 3.

  • heard that Dickerson and Base had attended a training session in Hillsboro that included emergency planning and aerial mapping.

  • rescinded the stinger approval from last month and instead approved the purchase of a taser with a camera for the police department. Base showed the council a taser and explained the data port that shows how long it shoots and how many times. The taser has a flashlight and video with audio capability. It could provide important documentation.

    Base explained different situations in which a taser would be useful, and the need for the various features.

    Councilor Larry Schmidt said he had seen the picture from the camera and thought it looked good. The total package, including rechargeable batteries and other accessories, would cost $1,250.

  • authorized the public works department to purchase a global positioning system. Base said it would cost about $179 at Radio Shack.

  • heard that Base had purchased fencing material for the small cemetery that is across the street from the city building.

  • discussed water rates. Goertzen said the water rates have not been raised for 10 years. She said that in 2007 the city lost $4,000 in the water department because water expenses were higher than the water income. The current rate is $1.75 for 1,000 gallons.

    Goertzen said the city engineer has suggested $20 for 5,000 gallons, which is the average for the state. The engineer said the rate should go up one or two percent every year.

    Councilor Rick Freeman said, ?Everything goes up.?

    The suggestion was made to split the jump between this year and next year.

  • discussed culverts. The council wished to clarify that the city provides the first 6 feet of a culvert. Goertzen said that if someone wants a second culvert, it is the home owner?s cost to install it, plus $5 per foot for installation. Rock over the culvert is the owner's expense.

  • heard that Dale Wiens of the GRC had requested signs pointing the way to the ball diamonds. The council approved four signs at $29 each.

  • heard that the city will need a new mower. Dickerson said she would like to try Hustler, John Deere and Grasshopper mowers.

    She has already tried a Bad Boy mower.

  • heard from Goertzen that the Goessel Women?s Christian Association had filled welcome sacks for new residents. However, the GWCA has disbanded, and there is a need for someone else to provide welcome sacks.

  • briefly discussed the need for a cell phone tower.

  • reappointed Bob Brookens as city attorney, Bryson Mills as municipal judge, Joe Base as police chief, Anita Goertzen as city clerk, and Donna Cook as treasurer. The council designated the Hillsboro Star Journal as the official newspaper and Citizens State Bank as the depository institution.

  • talked about the volunteer wheat growing in the vacant lots of the Harvest Meadow addition.

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