Council OKs acquisition of land for ‘economic development’

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
The Hillsboro City Council approved at their Tuesday meeting the acquisition of 80 acres of land that lies along U.S. Highway 56 and Industrial Road for the purpose of economic development.

After a five-minute executive session, the council approved the purchase of the 80-acre tract belonging to Martha Melcher for $3,000 per acre. The acreage and amount is minus any roads or right-of-ways taken out of the property.

Meanwhile, City Engineer Bob Previtera updated the council on the contracts for the overlay on the south end of Main Street. Executed contracts were approved for signatures subject to approval of the city attorney.

Previtera said Jim Raulston with APAC Kansas was in town along with his main contractor for the water lines, Mees Construction of Wichita, to discuss coordinating with the city on electrical work on the project.

“Everybody was talking to each other and exchanging phone numbers in preparation for a go-date,” Previtera said.

A contractual start date for Phase III of the Main Street renovation project was set for May 2 with an end date of July 31.

“This does not preclude them from starting earlier,” Previtera added.

Mayor Dalke said plans called for the street to be closed for two days in order to complete the asphalt portion of the project.

Previtera said the concrete at the intersections also will be replaced.

Previtera also offered documents to be signed concerning the water-line-replacement project on Lincoln Street.

One document was for advertising for bids. The ads will be placed Friday and the bids will be presented at 2 p.m., May 17, prior to the regular council meeting.

The other document detailed a pre-bid meeting scheduled for 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 10.

In other business:

— Councilor Shelby Dirks asked why the paint used in the recently renovated bathrooms in city hall was purchased from an out-of-town provider. Mayor Delores Dalke asked City Clerk Jan Meisinger to follow up on the question.

— The council approved Resolution 2005-06, which supports the continuation of a Kansas Enterprise Zone in Marion County.

— Because of the absence of City Administrator Steven Garrett, the council deferred discussion of the mutual-aid agreements between the Hillsboro Fire Department and Marion County fire districts.

— The council appointed Councilor Matt Hiebert, Garrett and Hillsboro city electric and sewer superintendent Mike Duerksen as the city’s representatives at the next Kansas Municipal Energy Agency board meeting.

— The council reviewed a notice of funding, which is required by the Environmental Review Record because the city is receiving grant money.

— The council reviewed a letter from the Marion County Revitalization Task Force. As presented, the plan would apply only to rural areas of Marion County and not to the cities.

After a short discussion, it was decided Hillsboro would not join the plan.

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