Polish guests draw a full crowd for Goessel program

Councilor Jim Wiens told the Goessel City Council at its April 21 meeting that two visitors from Poland had spoken at the Prep School the previous week.

They gave ?a very good presentation about the lowlands where the Mennonites came from,? Wiens said.

They gave Wiens a book and an invitation to come to Poland to visit. Wiens, in turn, presented the book and invitation to Mayor Peggy Jay at the council meeting. Wiens said the Prep School was full for the historical presentation.

Jarek Pajakowski, director of the Lower Vistula River Valley Landscape Park near Awiecie, Poland, and Henrk Zamoyski, director of the state agriculture advisory center in Olpe, Poland, were the speakers. They are researching Mennonite history in their area.

The town of Goessel was named for a Polish ship captain who went down with his ship when it sank in the English Channel. Captain Kurt von Goessel was from a community near Zamoyski?s home town.

Zamoyski has been to the United States several times. He first came 30 years ago on an agricultural exchange program and worked on the Randolf and Laura Flaming farm.

Turning their attention to another matter, the council discussed the city?s burn site. Public Works Director Karen Dickerson said, ?It?s been used a lot.?

City Clerk Anita Goertzen said that if the burn site is open, it has to be manned.

?If you find it open, lock it,? she said.

Jay reminded the council and the public that the burnsite ?has to be locked every time you leave the site, even if you?re coming back.?

In other business, the council:

  • discussed the street-side cleanup that had been scheduled for Saturday, June 21. However, considering that construction and demolition materials, branches and leaves are not accepted, the council decided not to have a street-side pick-up day but to look into providing a ?roll-off? trash bin that Saturday instead.

    Councilor Larry Schmidt said, ?It?s not really a cleanup if you can't clean up everything.?

  • discussed the essays written by students in Chrysta Guhr?s high school English class about building a recreation center in Goessel. The council commended the students for their work and also suggested the students could look at cost and how such a project could be accomplished in a small town.

  • heard Police Chief Joe Base report that in the past month, the police department made two arrests on warrants, worked two domestic cases and one run-away, picked up three dogs running at large, sent two letters for inoperable vehicles, helped McPherson County investigate an aggravated battery case and a burglary, and helped the Newton Police Department investigate two check fraud cases. The people involved live in Goessel. Base also reported that the K-9 unit had been used at the school; no drugs were found.

  • voted to help the Goessel Recreation Commission with one-half the cost up to $3,000 for a parking lot at the baseball diamonds. The Recreation Commis?sion would like to begin on the parking lot late in July and to raise a portion of Athletic Park Drive. Schmidt cautioned that drainage issues need to be addressed, particularly regarding the high school football field.

  • gave Dickerson approval to purchase street-patching material from Wichita Pavement Maintenance Supply. She said she also wants to start hauling in sand. Wiens suggested getting milling material for the streets before dust season.

  • heard that the water tower had been cleaned. ?It looked really good,? Dickerson said. No rust was found. A little sediment was cleaned out. Dickerson said the tower will need to be cleaned again in five years.

  • heard that two pumps had been purchased for a total of $700.

  • listened to John Cardinal from Crossroads Wireless, who said Crossroads Wireless will be a service provider for wireless fixed Internet at $26.99 a month with no set-up fee. Cell phones would not be included now, but mobile wireless service is a long-term goal. Crossroads Wireless would like a 25-year contract with the city. Goertzen suggested having the city attorney look at the contract.

  • heard that Base had attended a storm-spotter training session sponsored by Marion County. He also attended hostage negotiation training by the Marion County Peace Officer Association.

  • heard Goertzen say a Marion County Emergency Management meeting has been scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 30 at the Hillsboro city building.

  • approved the purchase of a ?stinger,? holster and cartridges. Base said the county is using stingers, and they are safer than tasers. Wiens said, ?They?re a lot safer than a firearm.?

  • discussed the matter of culverts and ditches. Councilor Larry Lindeman asked, ?Who actually is responsible?the city or the landowners?? Goertzen said the city provides 12 feet of a new culvert, and the home owner pays the rest. The city helps some with replacing culverts. Dickerson said that some culverts in town are cracked.

  • heard that Schmidt has been painting the shelter house at the park. Dickerson said that two loads of pea gravel had been ordered for the park, for a cost of $1,007.

  • discussed fencing for the cemetery across the street from the city building.

  • voted to implement a housing incentive grant.

  • listened to resident Anton Epp?s presentation about recycling. Jay had agreed to be Epp?s sponsor. According to the Code of Procedure for Kansas Cities, second edition, ?Members of the public may not place an item on the agenda but may have a governing body member sponsor such an item.?

    Epp and his wife have been recycling and would like a reduction on their trash bill. Jay said the city has a contract with Stutzman Refuse Disposal.

    Councilor Duane Duerksen commented, ?Recycling is an honorable thing…. We?re willing to work with Tony, but we have to work with Stutzman as well.?

    Wiens said ?a request for water service automatically includes trash service.?

    The council discussed the matter, pointing out that it would be an ?administrative nightmare? for trash pickup at different times for people who don?t have trash every week. It was suggested that Epp contact Stutzman himself.

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