Written by Don Ratzlaff Wednesday, 09 May 2007 04:21The search for someone to manage the Hillsboro Family Aquatic Center this summer is over.
Mayor Delores Dalke reported at the May 1 Hillsboro City Council meeting that Judy Helmer and Marci Cain have been hired as co-managers.
“I’m really excited to have two such experienced people in that position,” Dalke said of the mother-daughter team.
Cain has significant pool experience, including four years as swimming pool manager at Marion. Both Helmer and Cain are in the process of being certified for handling pool chemicals.
Holly Lindsay, Hillsboro, has been hired as assistant manager.
Dalke said the pool vessel is scheduled to be cleaned May 8 and that a pest-extermination company has been hired to treat the building for insects, and will continue to treat the facility during the summer season.
Dalke said residual food stuffs in the concession area had created “a major problem” with insects during the aquatic center’s first year of operation.
She also said the council would be reviewing the pricing structure of pool admission, including requests from some patrons for the availability of a season pass.
Looking for funding
The council authorized Rose Mary Saunders of Ranson Financial Consultants to begin the survey process needed for applying for funding assistance to enlarge the city fire station.
The present facility is too small to accommodate the emergency vehicles of the fire and ambulance departments.
Saunders said she initially identified three potential sources for grant assistance. However, a grant through the Federal Emergency Management Administration, is restricted to new facilities.
The other two grant sources are through the Kansas Department of Commerce’s Community Development Block Grant program and could be used to renovate an existing facility: the Community Facilities program and the KanStep program.
Both programs would have have a grant limit of $300,000. The Community Facilities program has a competitive application process. Kan Step is noncompetitive, but requires the recipient to match CDBG funding with an equal investment of volunteer “sweat equity.”
As part of the application process, applicants are required to conduct an economic survey to determine if the community has an appropriate percentage of low- to middle-income residents.
For this project, the survey would include Hillsboro, but also the 31⁄2 townships for which the fire department is designated as “first responder.”
Although the council did not identify which funding option it preferred, it did authorize Saunders to begin the survey process.
Saunders mentioned the city also has the option of borrowing all the funds it would need through Rural Development.
The council, after hearing the opinion of its attorney, voted unanimously not to accept a resident’s request that the city pay the cost of fixing a damaged sewer line at his residence.
According to an incident report prepared by city employee Morgan Marler, Lester Funk was repairing the line for Ray Franz, 708 S. Lincoln.
When Funk uncovered the damaged area, he called the city to say he believed the line had been hit by a boring machine when Mies Construction replaced a water line in 2005.
City employees inspected the situation, took photos and, at 1:45 p.m., called the owner of Mies Construction, who said he would have a job superintendent in Hillsboro by 3:45 p.m. The owner asked that the site be left undisturbed so the superintendent could determine if the company was at fault.
When city employees returned to the scene after 2:17 p.m., Funk “had already pulled out everything and was installing a new service line,” according to the report.
Funk was quoted as saying he “wasn’t waiting for anybody—it was their fault and they’ll pay for it.”
With no chance to inspect the damage, Mies Construction had declined to pay for Funk’s repairs.
Franz was asking the city to pay the repair bill because the city had contracted with Mies to do the 2005 project.
City Attorney Dan Baldwin said, legally, the matter was between Franz, Funk and Mies Construction.
“Even if the city was involved (in the project), Mies would have to admit fault,” Baldwin said. “I don’t see it as a city issue.”
In other matters, the council:
n presented a plaque to Len Coryea for eight years of service as a city council member. Matt Hiebert will receive a plaque for serving six years on the council. Both men completed their service last month.
n appointed Keith Collett as municipal judge, Kala Nickel as city treasurer and Dan Baldwin as city attorney for one-year terms.
n authorized Baldwin to draft a revised version of the city’s ordinance on excessive noise to include unmufflered vehicle engines.
n approved the mayor’s appointment of Stephen Vincent to the Library Board.