Goessel City Council bids farewell to long-time city clerk

Goessel City Council met on Feb. 26 and recognized long-time city clerk Jennifer Bliss for her

10 years of service to Goessel. In addition to city clerk duties, she has also been the court clerk for those 10 years. She has resigned from her Goessel position and accepted the city clerk position for the city of McPherson.

Mayor Evan Esau presented a plaque to Bliss in honor of her years of service to Goessel. In a statement from Esau, he expressed his appreciation for her work: “Working alongside Jennifer has been a pleasure since I started on council, and especially since becoming Mayor. She consistently offers invaluable assistance to council and residents. We wish her the best in all her future endeavors.”

Bliss said she is willing to help make the transition to a new city clerk. However, at this time, the council has not yet filled the city clerk position.

Turning their attention to another matter, the council spent a considerable amount of time discussing the city’s road grader. It does not work. Due to the old age of the road grader, some parts that have worn out are no longer available and cannot be replaced or repaired.

The council talked about the price of buying a road grader compared to the cost of hiring John Unruh to grade the streets with his own equipment. It was noted that the streets need to be graded after a rain. However, Unruh said sometimes his equipment is as far away as 30 miles. Therefore, in addition to the fee for Unruh’s time, the city would need to pay extra to get the equipment to Goessel.

The possibility of leasing a road grader was also mentioned. The council did not make a decision about a road grader at this meeting.

In other business, the council:

* noted that the city receives $13,639 a year from the Special Highway Fund to use for road material. However, Esau said that money is not enough. Money also needs to come from the general fund.

* spent about 45 minutes discussing the flood project. The council had scheduled a special meeting on Feb. 24 to walk through the creek area, noting some big trees and concrete that need to be removed. Council member Ariel Krause noticed some tree limbs entangled in power lines. No decision was made about how to clean out the area.

* talked about cleaning out ditches and getting permission from property owners.

* spoke with Bill Froese about a fireworks permit. Froese said the fireworks business has been operating at a loss and asked the council to waive the $2,000 permit fee. The council checked the fees of surrounding towns and decided to lower the fireworks permit to $250. However, the city will need to pass an ordinance to change the fee.

* discussed getting a new sign for the city park.

* reviewed the city’s water rates. Bliss said they are within state guidelines, and she does not recommend raising them.

* heard the police report from Anthony Voth. He said verbal warnings had been issued. The school had requested law enforcement presence at a recent basketball game because of issues the visiting school was experiencing. Voth suggested hiring a full-time police officer for the city. The council estimated the cost might be $80,000 per year which would include benefits. Council members expressed interest, but the money is not in the current budget. No decision was made.

* heard that Voth had dealt with nuisance properties and commended a property owner for cleaning up her property. The uninhabitable house was demolished as well as a shed.

* talked about junk outside one of the mobile homes in the trailer park. Nothing has been cleaned up.

* held executive session special meetings on Feb. 8 (for two hours), Feb. 17 (for one hour) and Feb. 22 to discuss the matter of staffing the city clerk position.

* rescheduled the March meeting to Monday, March 25.

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