Hillsboro council OKs airport for local aerial spraying

The Hillsboro City Coun?cil took action during its April 5 meeting to expedite aerial spraying for local wheat farmers.

The council voted 3-0 to reaffirm the original version of Ordinance 1269, which was passed in 2014.

Mike Kleiber of Ag Ser?vice Inc. attended the meeting with two representatives from Tyree Ag Spray?ing of Kinsley, the company Ag Service had originally contracted to spray wheat fields in 2014.

Because of an administrative oversight, Ag Service used the airport again in 2015 even though the agreement had expired at the end of the 2014 calendar year.

Prior to the meeting, the new ordinance was revised twice in an effort to ensure that Ag Service, a local business, would have use of the airport and that the city would have the authority to turn away other, less responsible companies from using the facility.

Prior to 2014, the city had allowed an outside aerial-spraying company to use the airport. But the company damaged the asphalt areas by using planes the exceeded local weight limits, and caused additional damage to the grounds by spilling herbicide.

Prior to the vote, City Attorney Joshua Boehm informed the council that the city could not pass an ordinance that would authorize the city to turn away other spraying companies?so long as the inquiring company adhered to local, state and federal guidelines.

Rather than delay action for another two weeks?Kleiber said he hoped to begin spraying possibly within a week because of issues emerging in wheat fields?the council agreed to reaffirm the original ordinance that extended Ag Service?s access to the airport.

The plan then is to present amendments to the ordinance at the next meeting that will address the other concerns.

HRC membership

In other business, the council approved a change in the bylaws for the Hills?boro Recreation Commis?sion that would allow one member of the group to reside outside the city limit, but within the USD 410 school district.

The change was promp?ted by the prospect that the HRC would lose one of its members because the member planned to move outside the city limits.

?We looked at a number of options and considered that quite a number of patrons from outside the city limit,? City Administrator Larry Paine explained to the council in an agenda note.

Paine also cited precedence. Membership of the Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals already includes ?extra territorial members.?

The recommendation passed by a 3-0 vote.

Councilor Brent Driggers was absent from the meeting.

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