City wants input in use of land

The Hillsboro City Council agreed at its Feb. 20 meeting that it wants input into how the mile or so of land that surrounds the city but is under the zoning jurisdiction of the county will be used in the future.

David Brazil, director of the Marion County Planning & Zoning office, had invited input from the council about “special areas of urban influence” as part of the county’s process of updating its comprehensive development plan.

“It is my hope that city and county partnerships can be formed to plan for coordinated developmental growth,” Brazil’s letter stated.

Council members quickly agreed they felt the same way. Mayor Delores Dalke said she felt strongly about the issue.

“We have to be involved,” she said.

She said an interlocal commission comprised of representatives from the county and city would be the desirable solution, but said it was not clear what direction the county was moving.

In other business, the council:

— approved two tax abatement claims from Barkman Honey Co., Inc., and one each from Container Services, Inc., and Countryside Feed, LLC.

— approved a payment request of $4,230.48 to B&G Consultants of Manhattan for sanitary and street improvement work done in the new Prairie Pointe housing development. The council had tabled the request twice earlier because members wanted more detail about how the money was spent.

A written response from Mark A. Bachamp, project engineer, said the council’s request “to provide an hourly rate of the personnel working on this project is not in accordance with our contract.”

Council members grudgingly approved the bill, but Councilor Wendell Dirks noted, “It will be a cold day in you-know-where before we deal with a contract like this again.”

— approved a payment request from Mid-States Energy Works of $21,143.91 for work done on the city’s new electrical substation. According to a statement from the Salina company, only $6,000 in contract billings remain on the $382,350 project.

— approved an amended interlocal agreement between the city and the Kansas Independent College Finance Authority. The KICFA has been and may continue to be a source for construction loans for Tabor College.

— approved a policy presented by Steve Garrett, city administrator, essentially giving him authority to approve messages for the city’s marquee sign that will be constructed in Hillsboro Heights along U.S. Highway 56.

The new sign has arrived, but Garrett said city crews are waiting for better weather to erect it.

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