Tabor introduces plans to hard-surface gravel lots, alleys

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
If all goes according to plan, Tabor College will have a little less dust swirling around its campus in the not-too-distant future.

Kirby Fadenrecht, Tabor’s vice president for business and finances, told the Hillsboro City Council at its Tuesday meeting, that the college is developing plans to hard-surface several of the gravel parking lots and alleys on its campus.

Fadenrecht said the college’s decision to refinance some long-term debt through the Kansas Independent College Finance Authority will result in funds being available to hard-surface all or some of the targeted areas.

“We’ll know how much we can do after the final (engineering) plans have been completed,” Fadenrecht said.

The college has identified the following areas for hard-surfacing: the parking lots south of the library, north of the tennis courts and around the Campus Recreation Center; the alleys west of the library and east of the women’s dormitories; and the half-block stretch of what once was South Jefferson Street between the Mary J. Regier Building and the park.

City engineer Bob Previtera, who had been hired by the college to draw up project plans, was on hand to show them to the council and explain the mechanics of the various projects.

Members of the council offered positive comments about the college’s intentions, but Mayor Delores Dalke encouraged Fadenrecht to be sure to talk to residents living on adjoining properties to make sure they did not object to the plans.

“I don’t want to see conflict with neighbors over this,” she said.

Fadenrecht said he intended to contact those residents well in advance of any construction, but had chosen to visit first with the council to see if the city had problems with the project because of utility easements.

At the mayor’s suggestion, City Administrator Steven Garrett said he would check city ordinances to see if the Hillsboro Planning & Zoning Commission needed to be involved in the process.

In his report to the council, Garrett said he feels progress is being made to better define the relationship between the city and the Hillsboro Historical Society and Museum Board.

Garrett said that since arriving in Hillsboro a couple of years ago, he has been unable to determine what that relationship is.

Garrett said the board has acted as a private organization, with an independent treasury, even though it is a city-created organization that receives city funding.

“That’s not their fault,” he said of the board’s modus operandi. “It’s just been done that way forever.”

Garrett said he did not distrust the board, but by managing public funds in an independent treasury, the current arrangement puts the city “in legal territory we don’t need to be.”

He said the city, with assistance from newly hired director of museums Stan R. Harder, needs to create a distinct “Department of Museums.”

Garrett said, “We’re in the museum business and we need to behave like we’re in the museum business.”

In other matters, the council:

–heard from Previtera that much of the “button-up” work regarding the Main Street renovation project has been completed.

Garrett said he wanted the last projects done by the end of the week, “or things will change” with regard to the city’s flexibility with the contractor. He also said until the last corrections are made, he will keep adding new ones to the list as they come to light.

The entire project is under warranty for one year after it has been officially declared completed.

— approved the mayor’s recommendation that Doug Faul be appointed to the Hillsboro Recreation Commission.

— approved the mayor’s recommendation that Joel Klaassen, Cynthia Flaming and Harder be appointed as a steering committee to help plan a celebration for Hillsboro’s 120th birthday during the 2004 Family Festival in late May.

— heard from Megan Kilgore, executive secretary for the Hillsboro Development Corp., that HDC has purchased 50 acres of the former AMPI property on the north edge of Hillsboro, and, in turn, has sold 30 acres of that land to Hometown Development Co. of Lawrence, which is planning to develop an affordable-housing project on it.

— deferred action on a letter of intent from Kansas Wind Power that would enable the company to do a feasibility study regarding the possible benefits of wind-generated electricity for Hillsboro.

— approved Ordinance No. 1077, which amends the city’s franchise agreement with Sprint to define in a broader sense the meaning of “gross receipts.” The city receives a 5 percent fee-about $180 a month-for its current contract with Sprint.

— approved a final pay estimate of about $2,500 from Wichita Electric Co. for work completed at the Hillsboro Airport in 2003. Ninety percent of the $50,000 project, which included new runway lighting and beacon light, is covered through a state grant.

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