Written by Don Ratzlaff Tuesday, 11 May 2010 18:26
Hillsboro City Administrator Larry Paine expressed hope at the May 4 meeting of the city council that wear and tear on Main Street due to use by heavy grain trucks could be minimized during the upcoming wheat harvest season.
All traffic will be routed around two-plus blocks of North Ash, from First Street north, while that section of street is renovated, which could take around two months.
North Ash is the most direct approach to the Cooperative Grain & Supply elevator for producers north of town.
Paine said changing the order of project tasks could reduce the Main Street portion of the detour. He said he has been informed by the contractor that workers will remove and replace the concrete street between First and Second streets before milling the surface of Ash from Second north to the end of the target area.
The milled portion of North Ash will be covered by an asphalt overlay.
The order of the two tasks had been reversed in the original plan, Paine said. With the new plan, it is possible the concrete could be replaced and cured in time to carry heavy trucks by the start of harvest, which is projected for mid June.
That scenario would enable trucks to turn off at Second Street instead of First, reducing Main Street use by one block.
“I’m thinking and hoping that because they start with removing concrete, and doing that work first and letting it cure, that the impact on harvest will be lessened,” Paine said.
“We may be able to dodge the bullet there.”
If North Ash is still closed during harvest, Paine said the city is encouraging farmers approaching from the north to avoid the detour area by driving their trucks around to 190th (D Street) and approaching the elevator on South Ash.
“That would be much easier to deal with,” he said. “But when somebody gets behind the wheel of their truck and says, ‘I’m going to town,’ (the decision is theirs).”
In other business, the council:
• approved the mayor’s appointment of Melissa Batterton to the newly formed Playground Committee.
She will join Shelley Plett, Becky Suderman, Shelly Padgett, Emily Dalke, Cameron Kalua and Jessey Hiebert in the task of choosing and raising funds for new play equipment in Memorial Park.
• authorized Paine to explore the second or third weekend of July as the date for the training seminar being planned for volunteer members of city boards.
• approved an amendment to the engineering contract for the wastewater lagoon project.
The amendment requires the city to solicit bids for each of the auxiliary projects planned for the nearly $1.48 million of available funding remaining following the completion of the new lagoons east of town.
The money will be used to replace or refurbish seven lift stations, install several thousand feet of cured-in-place pipe and purchase equipment to maintain the system.
The contract change, mandated by the USDA Rural Development Administration, will result in around $50,000 of the remaining funds being diverted to pay for the additional engineering fees required to carry out the expanded bidding process, Paine estimated.
• heard Paine report that he is preparing construction bids for infrastructure—water line, sewer line, electrical and street—required for East Orchard Drive, the new street entering Hillsboro Business Park off of Ash Street.
• heard Paine praise the dirt work done by city staff member Dale Dalke in preparing Hillsboro Business Park for construction of the new Midway Motors facility.
“When we talked about allowing him to ‘play in the dirt,’ I had an idea it would look like this,” Paine said. “He has done a very, very, very good job.”
• approved the appointment of June Shreeve to the Community Planning and Zoning Board. She will replace Becky Suderman, who declined reappointment.
• deferred to a future work session a discussion on establishing a city “Board of Building Trades.” The concept is to appoint local building professionals to a board that would review proposed changes to city building codes before the codes are acted upon by the council.
Action from April 19
As part of its April 19 meeting, the council:
• agreed to split the $625 cost with the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce to add the words “Outdoor Aquatic Center” to the billboard promoting Hillsboro along U.S. Highway 56. The city shares the billboard with Marion.
• approved the appointment of Shelley Plett, Becky Suderman, Shelly Padgett, Emily Dalke, Cameron Kalua and Jessey Hiebert to an ad hoc committee to develop a plan for replacing playground equipment in Memorial Park.
In March, a large wooden play structure and a couple of other pieces of play equipment were removed as safety hazards.
• authorized Paine to sign a grant award of $3,400 for recycled tire material for playground equipment base. The city will match the amount as required by the grant.
• authorized the sale of Lot 21, Block 1 in Willow Glen for $5,000 to Randy Crawford and Lori Lalouette-Crawford.
• started the meeting with the swearing in of councilors Byron McCarty and Shelby Dirks, who won uncontested races in the April 6 local election for another term of service.