Hillsboro council adds firefighter

The Hillsboro City Council approved at its Nov. 18 meeting the addition of one new firefighter to the local volunteer department, and was told two are working toward that goal.

Upon the approval of fellow volunteers and the recommendation of Fire Chief Ben Steketee, Glenn Ratzlaff was added to the department.

Prior to the appointment, Steketee said the department had 18 volunteers on the roster with room for one more at the fire station downtown. But with the department now housing one fire truck at the city?s AMPI property, Steketee said the department could accommodate the two potential appointees as well.

Steketee said new volunteers require an additional expenditure for gear and equipment. He said it costs about $2,700 in helmets, boots, radio and other gear over the initial two years of participation.

?If people are willing to serve, I think we ought to equip them,? said Councilor Bob Watson.

The council then approved the appointment of Ratzlaff. Recommendations to approve the additional volunteers will come at a later date.

In other business, the council:

n delayed a public hearing regarding the formation of a tax increment financing district from the Nov. 18 meeting to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 23.

The delay was necessary because state law requires that occupants, not just owners, of affected properties need to be notified by letter in advance of the hearing, something the city had not done.

The area in question includes the newly formed Hillsboro Business Park and the city-owned AMPI property, which has several renters on site.

n was told by city engineer Bob Previtera that a pre-construction meeting with Mies Construc?tion regarding the drainage project at D and Oak streets is planned for 3 p.m. Nov. 24.

Mies Construction was awarded the contract for the majority of the project, not Vogts Construction as had been previously reported by the Free Press. City staff will take care of some aspects of the project as well.

n heard City Administrator Larry Paine clarify that the owner of a residential property was not involved in a recent question about financial responsibility for putting in a large water tap at the property site. Instead, the person who asked the question was acting on the property owner?s behalf.

n approved payment for work done by Wichita Electric Inc. at the local airport. The amount submitted by the company was $108,672, but Previtera amended the invoice to reduce it by $1,500 for grass seeding that had not actually been completed yet.

The expenditure is included in the grant funding provided by the Kansas Department of Transportation, which will cover 90 percent of the entire project.

n heard councilors Byron McCarty and Shane Marler say that additional action needs to be taken about parking restrictions at the intersection of Adams and C streets.

Cars parking too close to the intersection block the view of traffic for motorists waiting to cross the intersection, they said. They suggested that those spots be identified as prohibited for parking with the application of yellow paint.

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