Hillsboro council OKs permit for bank to raze Entz building

The Hillsboro City Council approved at its June 16 meeting a demolition permit for Emprise Bank to raze the adjacent building it owns at 106 N. Main.

Bradley K. Bartel, vice president and branch manager at Emprise, said Monday the building ?has declined to the point it needs to be removed; plans for the space are not definite at this time.?

In fall 2006, Emprise Bank submitted a plan to the city to remove the brick structure, known historially as the Entz Building, and construct a drive-through window in its place.

The council initially turned down the project, citing traffic-flow and parking issues. But in May 2007 the council approved a revised version of the plan, which was not implemented by the bank.

The council approved the recent request for a demolition permit on the assurance of several stipulations that City Administrator Larry Paine said had been reached between Emprise, the city and the owners of Prudent Tours, whose building is adjacent to the north.

The stipulations essentially protect the Prudent Tours building in the event of any damage incurred during the project, as well as outline a landscaping plan for the voided area.

?We have received no request (from Emprise) for a building permit for a drive-through,? Paine said.

He confirmed the deteriorating condition of the old structure, and supported its removal.

?It could be classified as a dangerous building, which means it would take more money to destroy the building than what it?s worth,? Paine said.

?I?d rather have a building there, but no building is better than one that?s not maintained.?

No timetable was indicated for the project, but Paine said a demolition permit has a six-month lifespan.

If the project has not commenced by then, the permit will need to be renewed.

Entry for Midway

The council discussed for some time a proposal by Midway Motors to place an entry to its new dealership in Hillsboro Business Park directly across from the entry to the Alco store along North Ash.

City engineer Bob Previtera said the proposal was approved by the Kansas Department of Transportation, but ?the geometry? of the plan could challenge traffic coming off of U.S. High?way 56 to slow down in time to make the left turn into the dealership, even with a designated turning lane.

Council members noted the problem could be exacerbated by semi-truck traffic as well as icy conditions in winter.

The council did not reach a conclusion on the issue.

Scouts proposal

A small delegation from the local Boy Scouts received permission from the council to move its fireworks demonstration July 1 from the Memorial Field parking lot to private property across D Street

Spokeman Jesse Meier said the Scouts like to demonstrate some of the new fireworks being sold by the Scouts Boosters (adults).

Meier said money raised by the fireworks stand goes toward sending local Scouts to Quivera and Philmont Scout ranches.

Other business

In other business, the council:

n approved the report of the city audit presented by Jan Noble of Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk & Loyd.

The report was generally positive, but did identify some issues to be addressed, including the ongoing lack of an agreement outlining the financial responsibilities between the city and the Hillsboro Municipal Golf Asso?ciation.

n agreed not to extend the deadline for a purchase contract for a city-owned lot in the Willow Glen housing development; Paine recommended the deadline pass without an extension to maintain ?peace and tranquility? in the neighborhood.

n heard from Previtera that construction on the Ash Street improvement project, which will be funded primarily with stimulus dollars, likely will not begin until next spring.

n approved the mayor?s appointment of Larry Cole to the Hillsboro Housing Authority board; he will succeed Sharon Ressler, who had resigned the position.

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