Goessel to receive guests from sister city


Councilor Jim Wiens suggested the city present the guests with a quilted wall hanging.

Lowell Hofer, representing the Southern District conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, attended the meeting to finalize the transfer of ownership of the small cemetery that is across the street to the east of the city building.

Hofer had previously discussed the matter with the council in mid-November.

A quit-claim deed has now been filed with Marion County, transferring ownership of the cemetery from the Mennonite Brethren conference to the city of Goessel.

Hofer presented a check in the amount of $2,207 to help with city’s upkeep of the cemetery. This amount represents $1,207 that had been in the Mennonite Brethren upkeep fund, plus an additional $1,000.

The city plans to use the money to erect a new fence around the cemetery and to maintain it. The council thanked Hofer for coming.

Jay then read most of the Harvest Meadow housing addition covenant to the council. The covenant covers such issues as architecture and landscape, restrictions, garages, set-back requirements, easements, drainage tile and basements or storm shelters.

An underground sprinkler system is required. The covenant prohibits wood shingles, also manufacturing and repair shops. Houses must be site-built; they may not be manufactured, and no used houses may be moved in. No trucks, machinery, motor homes or inoperable vehicles will be allowed unless enclosed in a building. No antennas may be erected without approval. Dogs and cats will be the only animals allowed in the development.

After a lot is purchased, construction must begin within eight months and must be finished within 120 days after that.

When Police Chief Joe Base asked who will be responsible for enforcing the covenant, Councilor Larry Schmidt said the developer will.

In other business, the council:

  • rescinded part of a motion made at the January meeting and replaced it with new wording. The motion had stated that a $1,000 incentive would be given for five years for the first five houses built within the city. Instead of giving the first $1,000 at the time a housing permit is issued, the motion now states the first $1,000 will be given when concrete has been poured.

  • heard Base report that the police department had confiscated cigarettes from minors, investigated multiple dog complaints and picked up one dog. Officers issued one ticket for illegal parking and one for speeding. The police issued multiple warnings for speed. One vehicle had a headlamp that was out. Officers investigated one theft, dealt with one out-of-control child, and provided assistance for one civil stand-by.

    Base reported that a pole has been ordered for catching dogs that are running at large. Jay reported that a large dog that had been running loose was hit by a car.

  • heard that Public Works Director Karen Dickerson has trapped three skunks in town and Schmidt has trapped one.

  • heard Jay say that Dale Wiens of the Goessel Recreation Commission had called her to discuss parking at the baseball diamonds. He said the parking lot will not be ready until the 2009 season. He wondered if the city would split the cost. Councilor Larry Lindeman said, “I’d like to see a completed drawing and complete cost” before making a commitment.

  • authorized Jay and City Clerk Anita Goertzen to attend the Municipal Leadership Academy March 15 in Newton for a cost of $75 per person. The academy will cover topics such as financing capital improvements, equipment purchases and economic development.

  • heard Dickerson report that she had gone to a Federal Emergency Management Agency meeting Feb. 15. She has also attended a sewer class and a water class.

  • discussed the policy of selling sand and gravel only to city residents. Lindeman suggested it would be a nice service for those living near the city to also have the opportunity to buy small amounts of sand and gravel.

    While it was pointed out that city residents pay city taxes, the suggestion was also made that out-of-town patrons could pay a higher rate for the sand and gravel. No decision on the matter was made.

  • heard that Dickerson has been working on the generator that the city purchased.

  • granted permission to spread used asphalt on the lagoon driveway. Base said the asphalt pile was left after Main Street was resurfaced.

  • discussed purchasing a truck. Wiens said he had checked into a used truck that would cost $4,000. Base said the truck the city currently owns is a 1979 model. The council suggests a small truck with a single axle and a hydraulic dump bed.

  • heard Schmidt say the park driveway needs rock. He also wondered about rock at the city’s burn site.

  • discussed the need for more mulch inside the play area at the city park.

  • approved the $1,065 annual cost for the computer software support and enhancements agreement.

  • reviewed and approved the list of city equipment and tool inventory that Dickerson provided for audit purposes.

  • heard Base explain the need for a new gas monitor that is necessary when employees go into the manholes or lift station. The monitor will sound an alarm if there is insufficient oxygen. He said the city’s monitor needs new sensors, but he said better technology is available now.

  • discussed personnel in executive session but had little to report to the public following the session, other than that there might be some changes in duties.

  • met in a special meeting Feb. 11 to review the Emergency Preparedness Plan that had been written in 2005. The council addressed the matter of whether the city’s sirens can operate from a generator. Wiens said they cannot now, but it would be possible to do so if some changes are made.

  • discussed at the special meeting the need for a meeting place for community people in the event of a major disaster. The elementary school was suggested as a possibility.

  • heard that Dickerson, Goertzen and Deputy Clerk Paula Flaming will update the water emergency and emergency preparedness plans to present at the March council meeting.


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