The Goessel City Council approved a storm-siren testing policy during its Feb. 21 meeting.
The council decided the new siren will be checked the first Monday of every month after the noon whistle.
The council determined once a month isn’t too often, and favored knowing the siren works properly in case it would be needed for a storm.
Public works director Karen Dalke said she will coordinate testing with the fire department. She would like to find out how far the siren will transmit.
The council turned its attention to recycling. Even though Marion County plans to drop the current county recycling program, Goessel council wants to continue to encourage the recycling.
Councilor Jim Wiens suggested looking into a 40-yard roll-off recycling bin; he is checking into the cost. Instead of charging a set fee, he suggested asking recyclers to voluntarily donate to the city for the recycling service so that only the people using the service pay for it.
Councilor Larry Schmidt said he would like to find a way to encourage people from outside the city to continue using the recycling service.
Mayor Peggy Jay expressed the same sentiment.
Schmidt said the churches have started recycling, and the school district has a successful program. The council said recycling is a responsible thing to do, and they expressed a desire to find a way to continue a recycling program that includes everyone who wishes to participate.
The council discussed the possibility of digging a new well. Dalke, who had checked into the matter, said the first step is to talk to the landowners west of town.
City Clerk Anita Goertzen said Bob Vinson, of Ground Water Associates, and Layne Christiansen would be at the rural water conference next month. She encouraged the council to attend the conference.
Goertzen mentioned the possibility of a revolving loan through the Division of Water Resources for help with funding a new well.
Dalke said the south well is not producing much water; she has been told it is because the build-up underground will not let the water through. Even though it has been cleaned, the well still has problems. She said the well would not be closed until a new one is producing.
In other business, the council:
• heard about a chlorine leak at a well; the regulator was not working. Dalke said that as a precaution she had driven back to town to get Goertzen for help when she discovered the leak.
Dalke said she had not had to deal with a chlorine leak in the six years she has worked for the city. She told the council she needs something for her safety so she does not have to breathe the chlorine gas.
The council authorized her to purchase the proper safety equipment, which is like the equipment firefighters use.
Council members noted the city needs to buy its own safety equipment; it cannot borrow the fire department equipment because it needs to be available for firefighters in case of a fire.
• heard Goertzen recommend that the public “like” the Goessel page on Facebook as it has lots of public information.
For example, Goertzen said she had written on the Facebook page that the city’s recycling facility would not be manned that day because of the snow storm.
“A lot of information can be passed through that Facebook page,” she said.
• commended Dalke for her work of clearing the snow after the recent snowstorm.
• authorized Dalke to get the clutch fixed on the road grader.
• voted to keep the telephone franchise fee at 75 cents. The maximum franchise fee could be set at $2.75, but the council chose to continue the 75-cent fee.
• heard that the police department had issued one ticket for a speeding violation and six verbal warnings during the past month.
Officers reviewed the school’s crisis plan with the superintendent. They completed taser training. They also received training in avoiding racial and other biased-based negative interactions.
• discussed responsibilities at the baseball diamonds with Chad Lindeman of the Goessel Recreation Commission, especially in relation to grass.
• heard the GRC plans to dig a well at the baseball diamonds for the sole purpose of watering the grass portion of the field.
• heard the GRC plans to purchase picnic tables to use near the concession building at the baseball diamonds.
• heard that residents had called the city office and asked about a paper-shredding day. Goertzen said the shred day last year cost $525 for four hours ($131.25 an hour), 8 a.m. to noon.
Schmidt said there had been a steady stream of residents waiting to have documents shredded last year. He said sometimes people have put important information with Social Security numbers into the recycling bins.
If he notices it, he takes it out and gives it back to the resident and suggests that they shred it instead so no one can misuse the information on those documents.