Goessel City Council Discusses Vandalism

The Goessel city council met on April 18 and discussed recent vandalism that had occurred at the baseball diamond restrooms. Public works director Karen Dalke told the council about extensive damage that had been done. Toilets had been jammed with paper. The inside of the toilets had been disassembled. Sinks were plugged. Soap containers were broken, and soap was smeared around the restrooms. Someone had urinated on the walls. A man’s shoe print was visible on a restroom door.

Vandalism happens frequently. Cleaning up and fixing the damage is expensive and time-consuming. The council discussed possibilities for dealing with the ongoing vandalism.

Turning their attention to another matter, the council discussed the April 7 threat to Marion County schools. It was not clear if the threat was intended for Marion County in Kansas or for Marion County in a different state. Goessel school remained open that day, although the other Marion County schools were closed. It was determined that the threat was not a credible threat. Mayor Ben Schmidt said the school appreciated the police officers and sheriff who responded and spent time at the school.

Police chief Anthony Voth talked about creating a school safety plan. Schmidt suggested that the school and county should help fund school training. He noted that there had been some training in the school a few years ago. Voth said grants should be available for a school resource officer. He has talked to school superintendent Mark Crawford and also Randy Frank, the county emergency coordinator.

It was noted that some nearby towns have a detailed plan and train regularly for violent emergencies. Council member Duane Adrian commented, “I’d rather do something than wish we had done something.”

The city plans to pursue the matter further.

In other business, the council:

* heard from Dalke about new lead and copper water line rules. Homeowners will be asked about the age of their house and what kind of water lines they have. Everyone will have to answer a questionnaire about lead and copper water pipes. It was noted that before the city installed water lines, everyone had their own well.

* discussed nuisance properties. A property on State Street will be reviewed at the May council meeting. The blacksmith property will also be reviewed at another council meeting.

* discussed the recycling business and the ordinance violation for trailers.

* talked about an unoccupied house that needs to be demolished.

* noted that some work had been done at an unoccupied house at the north edge of town near the Threshing Days grounds.

* noted that a property in the trailer park had been cleaned up.

* heard from council member Evan Esau that Nex-Tech is buying MTelco (Moundridge Telephone Company). Esau suggested checking on franchise agreements.

* heard from Adrian that there had been some roof damage at the baseball diamonds due to high wind. The council noted that the recreation commission is responsible for repairing it if they wish to do so.

* heard that Dalke was planning to attend a three-day Kansas Rural Water Association class.

* heard that Dalke had cleaned lift station sensors and dealt with the keypad that wasn’t working and a “motherboard” that wasn’t working.

* heard about work that Dalke had done at the city park, as well as routine maintenance around town.

* heard that a street would be blocked for an auction at 512 East Centennial Street on April 23.

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