Goessel seeks $547,000 in USDA funding for sewer project

The Goessel city council met Jan. 8, a week earlier than usual, due to changes in the Kansas election law.

The council spent considerable time discussing the proposed sewer project. Chelsea Morris was at the meeting to discuss a grant and loan through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA has offered a grant of $547,000 to help fund the project.

In addition to the USDA grant, the city passed a resolution to borrow $1,484,000 from USDA to pay for the sewer project.

The council voted to allow Schrag to sign a letter of intent and a request for obligation of funds. General obligation bonds will be issued, and the city is also hoping for a Community Development Block Grant.

Rosemary Saunders of Ranson Financial Consult­ants wrote the CDBG grant for the city. She said a letter would be sent Jan. 19 to let the city know whether the grant had been awarded.

The city applied for a $600,000 CDBG grant. If the city is awarded the grant, at least one person from the city will need to attend a meeting about rules for receiving the grant.

Saunders talked about interim financing and bond council requirements.

Saunders said the city’s lift station is in the 100-year flood plane. She said the city will need documentation stating that the lift station will be protected.

Because of the cost of the sewer project, the city is estimating that the average sewer user bill will be about $40 a month. Some users will pay less, based on the water they use, and some will pay a more based on use.

Morris talked about laws that cities are required to follow, and mentioned the civil rights law that refers to minorities and people with disabilities in relation to cities that receive grants and loans.

Brian Foster, the lead engineer for the project, said any metal materials that might be used in the sewer project have to be American made. Foster wants to get started on the project before March. Therefore, the city will need temporary financing. Foster estimated bill will be about $20,000 per month.

Saunders said it will take 30 to 45 days to get temporary financing in place.

Other business

In other business, the council:

◼ heard from from Public Works Director Karen Dalke about recent vandalism. Someone had turned on the city sprinkler that is located at the front of the Harvest Meadows housing addition. About 7,000 gallons of city water was used. As a result, the irrigation meter froze and broke.

◼ installed Schrag as mayor for another term and Evan Esau as a new council member to succeed Larry Linde­man, who did not run for re-election.

◼ heard from Dalke about the recent firefighters banquet. She said Duane Unruh was honored for 35 years of service, James Voth for 25 years and Eric Schrag for 10 years.

◼ heard that McGuire Iron LLC had cleaned the outside of the water tower. It took eight hours.

◼ briefly mentioned a generator for the city building. City Clerk Jennifer Whitehead has filled out a Community Facilities Grant application to help pay the cost of a generator.

◼ passed a required reserve fund resolution, which shows the city has a plan for using the reserve fund money.

◼ heard from Dalke that some homes had water leaks recently.

◼ heard from Whitehead that she had completed the annual water report, which shows the amount of water lost due to leaks.

◼ discussed police matters. Schrag mentioned that the city had purchased police radios for $5,000.