Written by Don Ratzlaff Tuesday, 27 October 2009 13:08
The Hillsboro City Council voted 3-0 at its Oct. 20 meeting to authorize City Administrator Larry Paine to spend up to $20,000 to spray a light oil-based emulsion on D Street in an effort to eliminate the ongoing dust problem there.
Paine suggested the strategy as a way to “do something rather than do nothing” to reduce the dust that continues to rise up in dry weather because of the vehicle traffic.
The dust has been an unexpected result of choosing a limestone gravel to save money instead of a harder, more expensive gravel for a chip-and-seal project back in September.
The city had been told by the supplier the limestone gravel would not create a dust problem. Paine said he did not think the city could take legal recourse against the supplier.
Beyond the emulsion, Paine said the only other solution would be to scrape off all of the gravel, which would also ruin the sealing effect of the original project.
Mayor Delores Dalke noted that the city’s three auto dealers, who generate significant sales tax revenue for Hillsboro, are all located along D Street, as are Wendy’s restaurant and Tabor College.
“We need to do something,” Dalke said. “That is an important street... (and)... this is a major problem.”
Lyle Ediger, representing Midway Motors, said the dealership washes its inventory of cars each morning and by noon the vehicles are covered in dust again.
“It’s an ongoing expense for our business,” Ediger said.
The idea to apply the oil emulsion came from the city’s engineer, though there is no guarantee it will result in a permanent fix, Paine said.
Applying the emulsion will require that D street, or part of it, be closed for at least a day after application to allow time for the emulsion to dry before vehicles are allowed to drive on it.
The project will be done sooner rather than later, though no definite schedule was proposed. Paine said the asphalt plants that produce the emulsion will be closing for winter within the next two weeks or so.
Council members Byron McCarty, Bob Watson and Shelby Dirks voted for the action.