Hillsboro council OKs contract to move ahead with lagoon system

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
The Hillsboro City Council met in special session Friday to approve a contract with Terracon Consulting Engineers to conduct test borings on the property selected for the city’s new wastewater lagoon system.

Mayor Delores Dalke said the special meeting was necessary so the project could move forward in a timely manner.

The contract with Terracon calls for the company to conduct one test boring for every acre, or about 32 borings in all. The project will cost $9,900.

The company will start its work “in the next couple of weeks,” according to City Administrator Steve Garrett.

Aquatic center policies

In the other actionable matter on the agenda, the council approved two new policies regarding the operation of the aquatic center now under construction.

The policies were presented by Jodi Stutzman, aquatics director.

The first policy addressed the center’s admission policy. Unlike the former practice at the old swimming pool, season passes will no longer be offered. Instead, the options for admission “include a single-day admission or a discount package of 10 admissions.”

Every person who enters the facility will pay an admission fee.

Large groups will be charged at a discounted rate per person. The discounted rate will be 50 cents less than the regular admission price, which was not identified in the policy.

When the center is used by the schools, the district will pay a flat fee per class period.

The policy also states no refunds will be given if the pool is cleared or the facility closed because of bad weather. If the facility closes, rain checks good for one daily admission will be given out upon request.

The other policy the council approved addressed five programming issues: wages for swimming instructors, scheduling of private lessons, management of water aerobics and other aquatic fitness programs, organization of the swim team and scheduling for pool parties.

The primary change from previous years, according to Stutzman, is in regard to pool parties. Under the new policy, the person who reserves the center will be informed that he or she will be charged for the first hour if the party cancels or doesn’t show and fails to notify the facility at least three hours prior to the scheduled party time.

In addition to the two policies, the council approved job descriptions for the aquatics director, food service manager, head lifeguard, assistant lifeguards and support staff.

Upcoming issues

In his report to the council, Garrett said in the near future the Hillsboro Planning & Development Commission will be presenting two recommendations to the council regarding zoning changes.

The first issue will recommend changing the zoning designation for the 200-foot-by-350-foot lawn area south of the former AMPI building at the corner of Ash and Third streets from “heavy industrial” to “commercial.”

The other recommendation will regulate the location of any liquor store that might want to be opened for business in Hillsboro. The recommendation will restrict the location to Hillsboro Heights.

“It’s not that we’re approving having a liquor store in Hillsboro, but we’re regulating where they can be,” Dalke said.

Taking action on the issue was considered prudent, she said, because state law proclaimed last November that all municipalities in Kansas are to be “wet.” That means a municipality cannot pass an ordinance to prohibit liquor stores from opening within its city limits.

The issue will be presented to the council at its Feb. 21 meeting.

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