The Hillsboro City Council approved at its June 18 meeting the sale of 2.85 acres along the northwest corner of the Hillsboro Heights addition for the expansion of a nearby business.
Kevin and Angie Jost, owners of Jost Fabrication, will be purchasing about one and one-half lots at the far end of Western Heights Street, west of the Country Inn Motel, for $25,000.
Under the terms of the contract, the Josts also will have the first option to buy the remaining half of the second lot within the next five years.
Jost Fabrication sells and installs custom truck beds and other accessories from a variety of dealers, and is an authorized dealer for trailers produced by local manufacturers Hillsboro Industries and Circle D.
The Josts moved their business from their rural home to an existing building east of the motel in fall 2011.
According to City Administrator Larry Paine, “They found their business quickly outgrew the current building.”
The newly acquired property will be used for the construction of a sales office and fabrication facility.
Clint Seibel, the city’s economic development director, said the sale contract contained standard terms with the exception that the Josts asked to be exempt from special assessments if or when Hickory Street is built near the west end of the development.
Council member Bob Watson said he realized the city may never build the proposed street, but was uncomfortable with the notion of forever relinquishing the right to assign special assessments in the future.
“I think we are creating a problem for a future council,” Watson said.
Following additional discussion, the council approved Watson’s motion that the sale contract be approved, but with the exclusion of special assessments be limited to 10 years.
Seibel said he believed the 10-year limit would be a satisfactory compromise for the buyers.
The council approved an engineering contract to design deceleration and acceleration lanes off of U.S. Highway 56 at Adams Street. Under the terms of the contract with Evans, Bierly, Hutchison & Associates, the cost cannot exceed $47,600.
Paine said engineering the project is the city’s financial responsibility. The Kansas Department of Transportation will pay for the construction and inspection via a grant award for $627,400.
The city applied for the grant because of safety concerns for traffic leaving and entering U.S. 56 off of Adams Street. KDOT has said it will not reduce the 65 mph speed limit along the stretch of highway along Hillsboro’s northern edge.
In other business, the council:
• agreed to change the date of its regularly scheduled July 2 meeting to 4 p.m. Monday, July 1, to accommodate schedules of meeting participants.
• approved a pay estimate from Barkley Construction of $82,304 for work completed on the Birch, Cedar, Date street-improvement project. The total contract is for $391,000.
• heard from Paine that the latest water-quality report had been mailed with the latest city utility bill, and also was posted on the city website.
• heard Paine clarify that the Hillsboro Golf Association would not be contributing to the recent purchase of a new lawnmower deck because that particular mower is used exclusively at the Sports Complex, not at the golf course.
Paine said he had misunderstood the situation when the purchase was discussed.
• heard from Paine that the carriage house on the Schaeffler House property has been declared “off limits” with the discovery that the roof of the old building is “falling into itself” and needs to be repaired.
Paine said the building was being used for storage by organizers of the local farmers market. He added that any plan to repair the structure will have to be approved by the Kansas Historical Society.
• heard an inquiry from Liberty Township residents Clark Wiebe and Jared Jost about possible adjustments to the fire-protection contract being negotiated between the city and surrounding township boards.
The pair expressed hope that the townships would have input into the kind and cost of fire vehicles the city will purchase in the future since the townships are obligated to help pay for them. The proposed contract designates the city as the official purchasing agent for equipment.
The comments of the two men were not addressed because the meeting had been adjourned for lack of a quorum after Watson left the room because of a previous commitment.