Goessel water rates to rise to comply with grant/loan for upgrade

The Goessel city council met on December 17 and discussed water rates. The rates have been too low and needed to be raised in order to comply with grant and loan requirements for a sewer project. The council had agreed at a previous meeting to raise rates in small increments rather than a single larger raise. Therefore, an ordinance was passed at this meeting that establishes new rates.

The following rates will go into effect with the first bill of 2019. They reflect a two percent increase “across the board.” Monthly water charges are based on the size of the water meter.

The minimum monthly charge for a three-fourths inch meter will be $11.89 per month for the first 1,000 gallons of water. Each additional 1,000 gallons will cost $4.29 up to 5,000 gallons. After that, every 1,000 gallons will cost $4.63.

The minimum charge for a one-inch water meter will be $31.10 for the first 5,000 gallons of water. Each additional 1,000-gallon amount will cost $4.29 up to a total of 7,500 gallons and $4.63 per 1,000 gallons above that amount.

The minimum charge for each one and a half-inch water meter and each two-inch water meter will be $48.95 per month, up to 7,500 gallons. The charge will be $4.29 for each additional 1,000 gallons of water up to 15,000 gallons and $4.63 for every 1,000 gallons above that amount.

The minimum charge for each four-inch meter will be $76.91 for the first 20,000 gallons of water. Then, $4.29 will be assessed for each additional 1,000 gallons, up to 40,000 gallons. The charge will be $4.63 for every additional 1,000-gallon amount.

The ordinance also states that monthly charges for users who are not residents of the city are also based on the size of the water meter and the amount of water used. Those charges will be double the amount that city residents pay.

The ordinance also raises the surcharge fee for servicing and improvements to the water system and for regular upkeep. These charges are also based on the size of the water meter.

The surcharge for each three-fourths inch and one-inch water meters will be $8.00 per month. The surcharge for one and one-half inch and two-inch water meters will be $12.00 per month and $16.00 per month for four-inch water meters.

Brian Foster of BG Consultants was at the meeting to discuss the sewer project. The project plans have been submitted to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The city needs KDHE approval before bids can be requested.

Turning their attention to another matter, the council once again discussed the speed limit on Main Street, considering a school zone speed limit. The city is waiting for information from the Kansas Department of Transportation regarding the process the city would need to comply with in order to make a change. Mayor Dave Schrag explained that in the past, cities could change speed limits within city limits without state involvement. However, that has changed and KDOT’s permission is now required. Schrag said a feasibility study would be needed. Therefore, no decision was made at this meeting, and no speed changes were made.

In other business, the council:

◼ accepted the resignation of Patsy Schmidt as city treasurer. Schrag and the council wished to thank Schmidt for her service to the city. Schrag said she continued to serve the city even after she and her husband moved to Newton. Schrag commented, “The Goessel community will certainly miss having them here, and we wish them well.”

◼ listened to the audit report by phone from Stephen Connelly of Kansas City. Connelly said the city has good fiscal management and has increased cash reserves. He said the city has maintained expenses at relatively the same amount year after year. He said city clerk Jennifer Whitehead had done a fine job putting together all the information. The mayor and council commended Whitehead for her good work.

◼ heard from public works director Karen Dalke that she has been painting the city building restrooms and hall.

◼ heard about work that Dalke has been doing on streets. She has ordered rock.

◼ heard about a water break.

◼ heard that a culvert had been fixed near the bank.

◼ heard that the EMT unit has been moved from the city shop to the fire station’s new location just west of the post office.

◼ heard a police report from Anthony Voth. He had delivered animal-at-large and unregistered animal citations. A security evaluation had been done for a business. One speeding warning and one speeding citation had been issued. One warrant had been served.

◼ had received a concern from a resident about U-turns at the corner of Church and Main Streets. After discussing the situation, the council decided not to erect a no U-turn sign at that intersection. U-turns will still be allowed at that location.

◼ talked about county “redistricting” with Marion County Commissioner Randy Dallke. He invited the council and interested residents to attend a county meeting to discuss the matter further.

◼ approved the monthly expenses of $42,740.07.