Goessel City Council votes to allow hens

The Goessel city council met on Aug. 15 and spent some time discussing chickens with six residents who attended the meeting for that discussion. Concern was voiced about noise and smell. Those in favor of chickens mentioned that they help control mosquitoes and other bugs, and they provide eggs.

After discussing the matter, the council voted to allow up to six hens, but no roosters. The chickens must be penned. According to the ordinance that the council passed, the hens “must be contained on the owner’s property at all times.” The ordinance further states that owners must comply with “all applicable city, county and state, health, sanitation and zoning laws.”

Residents should note that this ordinance only allows hens, no other fowl, such as no ducks or geese.

The council approved Ordinance #300, which includes these stipulations concerning chickens.

Turning their attention to another matter, the council discussed recycling, noting that residents can take their recycling items to Marion. Council member Evan Esau remembered that when Goessel had recycling bins in the past, they were full twice a week. However, the county no longer comes to pick up recycling items. Goessel does not have equipment that would be needed to haul the bins to the recycling center. The suggestion was made to talk to Jonah Gehring about the matter; he is the county representative for the Goessel area.

In other business, the council:

* listened to a presentation by Matt Lehman Wiens about the Goessel Community Foundation. The city voted to donate $250 to the golf tournament that benefits the Goessel Community Foundation Impact Fund.

* heard from city clerk Jennifer Bliss that the city needs to have a water emergency plan. She will need to calculate how much water the city would need in case of a water emergency.

* heard from Mayor Ben Schmidt that the recent Kansas Department of Health and Environment inspection had found no problems.

* discussed the possibility of purchasing a new tornado siren. The council expressed interest in a siren that would be activated automatically when the National Weather Service issues a warning for the Goessel area. No one would have to drive in dangerous weather to turn on the siren. Council members are concerned about the safety of individuals who have to turn it on.

* discussed the Environmental Protection Agency survey, which must be filled out. The survey seeks information about lead and copper pipes. Bliss explained that every city in the state has to conduct this survey, considering health concerns with such pipes.

* passed the routine Standard Traffic Ordinance, which has to be passed every year.

* also approved the Unified Public Offense Code, which has to be approved every year.

* discussed a bridge for the disc golf area, noting state regulations for waterways. Bliss will contact the state about options.

* noted that the motion detector light by the police station had been broken.

* heard from police chief Anthony Voth that he had dealt with a child sex case in cooperation with McPherson County. He also dealt with a drug case.

* heard that a garage door for the city’s carport would cost $4,600. The council did not take action to purchase a door.

* heard that the police department also dealt with nuisance properties.

* discussed a property in the 200 block of Poplar this is very dilapidated.

* discussed the property by the gas pumps.

* discussed the matter of bagworms.

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