Goessel needs to replace meeters, council hears

Public Works Director Karen Dickerson told the Goessel City Council at its Dec. 15 meeting that the water meters in town should be replaced.

Some of the 223 meters are 30 years old, she said. Some are covered with mud.

City Clerk Anita Goertzen said some of the meters leak, especially those on Buller and Church streets north of Main Street. Seventeen meters in that part of town leak, and the city is losing water. The council decided to replace those first. They will be replaced with touch meters, which will be much easier to read.

Dickerson estimated the cost of replacing the meters to be $300 each, although the actual meters cost $100. However, touch meters require bigger meter pits than the old meters, and that accounts for the additional cost.

The council authorized Dickerson to purchase 25 touch meters now, with more to be purchased later.

In other business, the council:

? did not make a decision about purchasing a newer used police car. Police Chief Joe Base said the city?s current car is a 1999 model.

? heard from Base that reserve officer Tim Boese had attended 16 hours of interview and interrogation training.

Although Boese has accepted a full-time position as a road deputy with the Harvey County Sheriff?s Office, he will continue with the Goessel department. Boese has been a volunteer reserve officer in Goessel for several years. Beginning Jan. 1, he will be a part-time paid employee with the Goessel department.

? reviewed the five-year franchise agreement with Stutzman Refuse, effective Jan. 1, 2009, to Dec. 31, 2013. The rate will go up 25 cents per year for 95-gallon and 65-gallon carts.

? heard that Goertzen had surveyed residents about the matter of recycling. Thirty-two residents responded in favor of recycling, 40 against.

Goertzen had contacted Rollin Schmidt, who works for the county, about bringing a recycling trailer to town once a month for recycling.

?What are your feelings on that?? she asked the council. Councilor Rick Freeman responded, ?I?d like to try it.?

Steve Meyer of South Central Recycling said, ?Personally, I?m against drop-off sites. What I?ve seen of unmanned drop-off, it?s just a trash drop-off.?

? listened to Meyer, who said he has been in business since 1991 and wished to present a bid for trash and recycling. He said North Newton residents recycle one-third of their waste. He does not charge extra for recycling. He provides bags for trash and recycling.

? discussed the city?s responsibility to get utilities to homes in new developments. Freeman asked, ?What constitutes a developer?? Councilor Jim Wiens replied that a developer plats the property.

Goertzen explained the city?s responsibilities in regard to water: ?It has always been that the city puts in a meter on the line, and it is the homeowner?s responsibility to get it to the house.?

? discussed water lines and meters with resident Chad Lindeman, who is building a new house in the northwest part of town. Dickerson estimated it would cost $795 for Lindeman to get water to his new house, including the cost of a meter, plus the cost of putting in a water line from the city?s line to the house.

?It looks to me like you?re under $1,000,? she said.

Wiens reminded the council that Lindeman is entitled to the $1,000 new-house incentive that the council established recently.

The council noted that the city had constructed streets in Lindeman?s area some time ago.

? turned down an inquiry from Mike Hill of radio station KXKU that the city sponsor the broadcasts of the Dec. 18 Goessel High School Christmas program. It would be aired at 1:20 p.m. Dec. 24 and at 7:20 a.m. on Dec. 25 at a cost of $99 for both broadcasts or $69 for one. The council decided by consensus that sponsorship should be by donation rather than city money.

? lowered the delivery charge for rock. The city had been charging $10 per loader bucket but lowered the rate to $5 for the first bucket and $2 for each additional bucket.

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