The Hillsboro City Council voted 3-0 at its Oct. 20 meeting to authorize City Administrator Larry Paine to spend up to $20,000 to apply a light oil-based spray over D Street in an effort to eliminate continuing dust problems.
Paine suggested the strategy as a way to ?do something rather than do nothing? to reduce dust — and complaints about the dust. The only other solution would be to scrape off all of the gravel, which would also ruin the sealing effect of the original project.
Mayor Delores Dalke noted that the city?s three auto dealers, who generate significant sales tax revenue, are all located along D Street, as are Wendy?s restaurant and Tabor College.
?We need to do something,? Dalke said. ?That is an important street… (and)… this is a major problem.?
The idea to apply the oil spray came from the city?s engineer, though there is no guarantee that it will be a result in a permanent fix, Paine said. Applying the oil will require that the street, or part of the street, be closed for at least two days to give time for the spray to dry and not soil vehicles driving over it, Paine said.
The project will be done sooner than later, though no definite schedule was proposed. However, the asphalt plants that produce the spray will be closing for winter within the next two weeks or so.
The dust issue was an unexpected result of choosing a lime gravel to save money instead of a harder and more expensive gravel for a chip-and-seal project back in September. The city had been told by the supplier that using the gravel would not create a dust problem. Paine said he did not think the city could take legal recourse against the supplier.
Council members Byron McCarty, Bob Watson and Shelby Dirks voted for the action. Councilor Kevin Suderman was absent from the meeting.