Council accepts improvements bid

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
The Hillsboro City Council at its April 2 meeting accepted a bid of $123,108.25 from Barkley Construction of Wichita to reconstruct the alley west of city hall and the intersection at Grand and Washington streets.

The project will also include some improvements on one block of North Washington to First Street, including making the ramp from the fire station less obtrusive.

Five area companies submitted bids that ranged from the low bid from Barkley to a high bid of $186,222.75 from APAC-Hutchinson.

Bob Previtera noted the bids came in significantly lower than his original estimate of $187,714.

The council stipulated that the contract with Barkley should state clearly that the projects must be completed by the first week of August. The project should begin in May.

The council also approved an engineering invoice of $9,848.68 for the project.

To save nearly $2,000 on the city’s insurance renewal, the council approved a suggestion from City Administrator Steven Garrett that several vehicles be removed from the city’s insured list.

The vehicles to be removed are a 1981 digger truck and seven city-owned pickup trucks from comprehensive/collision coverage. The newest of those trucks was a 1991 Mitsubishi.

Councilor Wendell Dirks noted, half joking, “Why would a red-blooded American city drive a vehicle from Japan anyway?”

Garrett had also calculated what the city would save if it raised the deductible on city-owned vehicles for comprehensive/collision coverage from $100/$250 to $500. The council opted to stay with the current deductible.

The adjusted premium, negotiated through the Insurance Center in Hillsboro, will be $16,634.

Garrett also received permission to get rid of a 1987 Caprice that formerly served as the fire chief’s vehicle. He also asked permission to transfer the department’s command bus to Marion County Emergency Preparedness.

“We’re not storing it the way it ought to be stored,” he said.

Council members encouraged Garrett to make sure organizations that had contributed to the development of the vehicle years ago had a chance to respond to the proposal. Garrett said he would report back after making those contacts.

In other business, the council:

through the Public Building Commission, approved an expenditure for Hillsboro Community Medical Center of $14,517 for a new oxygen system.

approved the reappointment of Susan Watson and David Loewen to the Public Library Board.

authorized Garrett to pay up to $25,000 to purchase the Kansas Power & Light bucket truck and digger truck the city has been borrowing without charge since a fire destroyed the city’s trucks last July.

“Let’s not let them get away,” Dirks said of the two vehicles.

Garrett had hoped to negotiate a price lower than $25,000, but reported Monday that the two trucks were purchased for the authorized price.

gave Garrett authorization to act on behalf of the council in regard to making decisions that would keep the water-treatment-plant-improvements project moving forward. The nature of those decisions was not specified.

heard from Garrett that a new journeyman lineman was going to start working with the city electrical department Monday. That would enlarge the crew to two people.

heard from Garrett that the city’s annual “Spring Clean-Up Week” will be April 22-26.

authorized Mayor Delores Dalke to sign a proclamation making April 26 Arbor Day in the city. Several fifth-graders from Hillsboro Elementary School who were local winners of the Arbor Day poster contest were on hand to promote the proclamation.

After adjournment, council members and guests were invited to partake of refreshments in honor of councilors Dirks and Mike Padgett, who were completing their terms of service.

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