On the premise of getting additional bids, the Hillsboro City Council delayed action at its July 20 meeting on making roof repairs at the city-owned former AMPI?building.
City Administrator Larry Paine reported that the roof is leaking in two places within the building that have been leased to Golden Heritage Foods for the storage of honey drums.
At Paine’s request, city building inspector Ben Steketee had solicited a bid from Wray Roofing, Newton, for completing the repairs. The bid for both areas totaled $49,694.
Paine estimated the payback on that investment, based on the rent GHF currently pays, to be 81?4 years.
“Our options are to make the needed repairs or tell Golden Heritage Foods they need to find other rental space,” Paine said.
Councilor Shelby Dirks said he would like to see more than one bid for the repair project; other council members echoed their support.
But Mayor Delores Dalke questioned whether the investment was prudent even if the city received some lower bids.
“Does is it make sense within our rental agreement?” she asked. “To me it makes no sense—but they (GHF) are a local business and we do want to support them.”
Dalke suggested an alternate strategy of talking to Golden Heritage about building its own storage space with the help of tax abatements from the city.
Asked for his assessment, Paine agreed that putting out that much money to fix the roof of the old building does not make financial sense.
“I think it’s a waste of money to put that much into it,” he said. “We’ll never get it back.”
One of the two areas Golden Heritage rents is adjacent to the new welding school operated by Butler Community College.
“We don’t want to hurt the school,” Dalke said about the prospect of not fixing the roof in that area.
In other business, the council:
• heard from Paine that bids are coming in for the infrastructure work needed in the new Hillsboro Business Park.
• approved the mayor’s appointment of Maura Wiebe and Doris Kohlenberg to the city’s Library Board, and Jennifer Unruh to the Hillsboro Housing Authority Board, which oversees Grand Oaks Apartments.
• received financial reports on the Hillsboro Senior Center from Charles Rempel, representing the Senior Center board. The information had been requested at an earlier meeting where Rempel asked the council for the city to subsidize of its operations.
Rempel also distributed a ticket for a free meal at the center to each council member.
“One of the things you can do is be involved (with the center),” he said, adding that the center received state funds based on the number of people who participate in meals.
• authorized payment of an invoice from William Morris Associates for $993 from Hillsboro Museums funding for work related to the Bartel House restoration project.
• authorized Mayor Delores Dalke to sign application papers for a Kansas Department of Transportation grant for a 90 percent funding grant to build a new hangar at the Municipal Airport.