Holland addresses Lehigh’s overlay concerns

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN LAURA CAMPBELL
Assured by Jason Holland of Holland Paving in Wichita of a lifetime guarantee for the company’s recent asphalt overlay of Lehigh’s main street, the Lehigh City Council agreed at its Dec. 12 meeting to pay the $36,259 bill for the work, despite concerns that several areas of the street may need to be smoothed this spring.

The council had invited Holland to the meeting to address the concerns residents had voiced about the repairs done to original asphalt and the apparent effect of the outside temperature on the smoothness of the asphalt overlay.

Holland told the council that outside temperature has little to no effect on the ability to achieve a smooth, durable overlay.

That, he said, depends only on the temperature of asphalt itself, which never dropped below 230 degrees even after transported from Wichita to Lehigh in colder weather.

He assured the council his workers also patched up rough areas and soft spots in the original street as they applied the overlay.

Holland added that in his own inspection of the company’s work, he saw no seams or rough spots in the overlay.

He also said that the overlay would only be as high quality as the base asphalt underneath it, which the council admitted has deteriorated sooner than it should have for only being 4 years old.

Holland assured the council his company would guarantee its work for the lifetime of the overlay and would be more than willing to reheat and reroll any rough areas or gaps this spring when warmer temperatures would make it more efficient to do so.

“We do quality work, and we will stand behind our work 100 percent,” Holland said. “If something happens two years from now and it’s obvious it was a flaw in the workmanship or the asphalt, we’ll come back and we will fix it.

“We’re not a fly-by-night company,” he added. “We’ve been in business for 26 years, and we’re not going anywhere.”

In other business, the council:

  • heard Mayor Monty Root say he and city administrator Steve Garrett have been discussing a move toward establishing a cooperation agreement rather than a contract for shared services between Lehigh and Hillsboro fire departments.

    The cities would continue sharing equipment and other resources to satisfy International Standardization Organization requirements on both ends, but Lehigh would rely on its own manpower for researching potential purchases and other simpler tasks.

    “They’re very much of an attitude that they want to continue the agreement,” Root said.

    “We mainly discussed where we could streamline things to be mutually beneficial-so we can still have autonomy but belong to something bigger.”

  • heard Root say he will switch the responsibilities of councilors Fred Sheridan and John Masson so that Sheridan, a volunteer firefighter, will now oversee the fire department and Masson will oversee parks and recreation.

    “I think that will fall in line with everyone’s interests,” he said.

  • heard Councilor Todd Jost say he would get back in contact with Michelle Black of Midwest Assistance Program to update her on the latest feedback from the state on Lehigh’s plans to bring its sewer ponds into regular compliance with Kansas Department of Health and Environment standards.

    Jost added that he would ask for her advice on using the services of engineer Jim Kohman, who recently competed a preliminary report on the ponds, to administer the pond-improvement project.

    The council then discussed the logistics of sending a survey regarding sewer usage to Lehigh residents in a way that would maintain privacy but also facilitate the nearly 100 percent return that is necessary from such a small population of residents.

    Councilors discussed the possibility of door-to-door delivery and pickup of the surveys.

    Jost said he will draft a letter to send to potential grant writers asking for details of their services.

  • heard Jost share a quote from Pete Klassen of $1,000 or less to install a control panel at the well house.

    Other council members said they hadn’t found a comparable piece of equipment in any catalogs for less than $1,000, not including parts and labor to install it.

    Jost said he would call Dave Terrell to get his suggestions before moving ahead.

    “I think it’s what we need to do,” Jost said. “If this meets with Dave’s expectations of what we need, then I recommend we get it done.”

  • approved City Clerk Rose Funk’s request to change the city’s insurance agent from Ken Stucky in Moundridge to Richard Nickel of the Insurance Center in Hillsboro.
  • met in executive session for five minutes to discuss legal issues, with no action following.
  • decided not to schedule a special meeting before its next regular meeting set for Jan. 9.
  • held a public hearing on nuisance structures at 304 W. Kansas and 307 W. Kansas prior to its regular council meeting.

    The council passed resolutions that declared each structure to be “dangerous, safe and uninhabitable due to neglect” and set Jan. 6 as the deadline for property owners of the two nuisance structures to each complete demolition and removal of the structures.

    Failure to do so by the deadline will result in “the completion of removal by the city with costs to be assessed to the owner.”

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