Youth praised for Goessel skateboard park

The Goessel City Council heard at its Sept. 20 meeting about the skateboard skatepark that teenagers have constructed at the city park.

City Clerk Anita Goertzen said Jeff Hall was instrumental in the project. Hall, a high school junior, drew up the plans and selected the lumber.

His brother, Jason Hall, offered construction advice. Evan Hiebert, Andrew Defreese, Aidan Winblad and Zach Sho?walter also helped with the project.

The council publicly commended the teens for their work.

Councilor Larry Schmidt said, ?It looks really good.?

Goertzen said many youth have used the skatepark, which was funded by the city.

In a written statement to Goertzen, Hall thanked the city for the funding. He wrote: ?It was an honor for all of us to get to build this for the city!?

Turning its attention to another matter, the council listened to Rob Craft, Marion County sheriff, talk about law enforcement in the county. He explained how the cities in the county work together to provide protection.

He also explained how the county and the cities work together. Officers of the different entities offer support to each other, he said.

Asked about accidents on the highway, Craft said local police could assess the situation and help determine whether rescue vehicles are needed, and how many ambulances might be necessary.

Local police can also help with traffic control. But Craft said he would not expect local police to ?work? a highway accident.

Councilor Duane Duerksen asked about search warrants. Craft said the county and the towns work together to keep everyone as safe as possible when issuing search warrants.

Sometimes trained teams are called in from somewhere else.

Mayor Peggy Jay expressed appreciation to Craft for his work. The council thanked him for coming to speak with them.

Flood plain issues

Later, Goertzen explained flood insurance. She said residents in the flood plain can get cheaper flood insurance rates before the map is official.

After FEMA makes the flood plain map official, though, the rates will be more expensive.

She said the ball diamonds are in a flood plain, as well as the museum, the city building, some businesses and 18 houses that were not listed in the flood plain before.

Goertzen suggested holding a town meeting with affected property owners. She proposed inviting FEMA representatives to educate the public.

Property owners can have their property surveyed to possibly be removed from flood plain designation. But that would cost the property owner $400 to $600.

The council noted properties in the flood plain have been built high enough that they very likely will never flood. Officials who drew the map did not take individual variations like that into consideration.

Other business

In other business, the council:

? viewed pictures of the water tower that public works director Karen Dalke had taken. She said the outside needs to be cleaned.

Jay agreed: ?This is an investment. We need to keep it up.?

Dalke said the cold water makes the tower ?sweat,? and dirt sticks to it. She had bids from companies in Oklahoma and Missouri but felt bidders needed to see the tower before placing bids.

Duerksen wondered how long it would take to clean the tower. Dalke did not know but thought maybe a day.

? discussed dirt streets. The city had received complaints about ?rumble strips,? even though streets had been graded. It was noted that the more traffic, the harder it is on the streets and the more quickly ?rumble strips? will appear. Weather also affects the condition of streets.

Jay said, ?Our streets are good compared to other towns.?

Dalke said street maintenance takes lots of time, and, as the only full-time public works employee, she has many other duties. She said she has attended street-maintenance classes and puts that knowledge to use.

? heard that Dalke had re-seeded the lagoon pond with grass to prevent erosion.

? heard a water-meter-replacement report from Dalke.

?I?m on my last 30 meters,? she said. ?Then I start on the big ones.?

? learned that individuals can purchase foam insulation to keep their water meters from freezing.

? heard that the city needs to purchase a chlorinator regulator. Dalke found one for $1,490 but said they usually cost $2,000.

? heard that Dalke would like for the city council to tour the city with her to become more familiar with maintenance issues.

? heard that Dalke had attended a safety class on chlorine gas.

? heard that Dalke had also attended a class on covered confined spaces.

? talked about building permits and inspections.

? listened to the police report from Police Chief Eric Reed. He said the police department had issued two notices to appear and one seat-belt warning. Four contacts had been made. The department had worked with one juvenile case and made two arrests.

? heard that court clerk Paula Flaming had worked on computer backups, in addition to court duties.

? heard that Goertzen plans to attend a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development seminar in Newton.

? opened sealed bids for the older police car, the Crown Victoria. Reed said all police equipment and stickers had been removed.

?Everything is off the car,? he said. ?It’s ready to go.?

The council accepted the highest bid of $1,055.

? opened sealed bids for the bicycle. The council approved selling it to the only bidder for $5.

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