City of Goessel prepares for new sewer project

The Goessel City Council met on July 15 and heard that the July 12 sewer project pre-construction meeting had gone well. Public works director Karen Dalke told the council that the city owns the three lots west of the baseball diamonds. That area will be used for trucks, dump trucks, and other construction equipment for the sewer project. Dalke said the 18 employees are mostly from Kansas City. Council member Ben Schmidt said they work four days a week. Mayor Dave Schrag said everyone felt like the meeting went well. “I was very impressed,” he said.

Schrag said a few trees wil have to come down where the sewer company needs to do some trenching. Plans are for work to begin the second week of August.

Speaking of sewer issues, Dalke expressed appreciation to Schrag for getting up at 4:00 in the morning on July 4 to help sand-bag the grocery store and check the lift station. Dalke came too and worked with the flooding issue.

Schrag mentioned the culverts at the east end of town. He said those two culverts are causing water from out of town to come through town. He said if those two culverts could be rerouted so the water would go south of town instead of through town, that would help the water issue in town. However, the culverts are on state property.

Randy Frank, representing Emergency Preparedness of Marion County, attended the meeting and discussed the Kansas Homeland Security Region G Hazard Mitigation Plan. The plan addresses the threat of natural hazards and Federal Emergency Management Agency mitigation grant programs. The council voted to pass the resolution and adopt the mitigation plan. The plan must be adopted every five years.

City clerk Jennifer Whitehead mentioned that FEMA is raising elevations for flood plains.

Turning their attention to another matter, the council discussed play equipment for young children up to age two. Council member Evan Esau had found play equipment ranging in price from $5,000 to $15,000. This equipment would be made from the same durable material as the play equipment for older children. Schrag commented, “These things last a long time.” Esau had gone to the park and found two shady places that would work for such equipment. The council made no decision at this meeting.

In other business, the council:

* voted to accept a $9,000 Community Facilities grant from the United States Department of Agriculture. The grant will cover a major portion of the cost of a generator that will be installed at the city building.

* discussed security cameras with Dustin Holt of FE Moran Security in Hutchinson. He described various options and pay plans. He described how the system can search and find an image quickly. The council is considering installing security cameras at various places in the city.

* heard that someone had been walking a small pig in town. The council noted that pigs are not allowed in city limits.

* discussed plans for a new house to be erected in the Harvest Meadows addition. Schrag told the council that it is good for the city to have the lots transferred to individuals for the purpose of building a house. He said the city spent $400,000 on the Harvest Meadows project and reminded the council that the person who started the project did not pay any taxes, and the lots were going to be on a sheriff’s auction when the city became aware of the situation. “We’re stuck with all the expenses,” Schrag said. The council approved the plan and transfer of the lot to an individual.

* talked about the county’s neighborhood revitalization program that offers a tax break for five years for building in the county.

* also talked about the city’s tax break for those who build a house. The incentive is $1,000 per year for five years, starting at the time the concrete is poured for footings/foundation for a home.

* briefly discussed the transient guest tax, which allows $1,000 for each city in the county every year to encourage events that bring people into town.

* heard the police report from policeman Anthony Voth. He had dealt with people not wearing seat belts, which is a primary violation. A woman had been seen trespassing and stealing various items. A house on South State Street had been broken into.

* discussed Threshing Days and the need for an additional policeman during that time. The council also discussed riding in the parade and throwing candy.

* discussed an aggressive dog that is supposedly a service dog. However, Schrag pointed out that service dogs are not aggressive.

* heard that Whitehead is working with Brian Stucky on the First Impressions project.

* heard about a problem with dead trees in town on private property.

* approved the month’s expenses of $22,279.33.