Hillsboro council approves additional airport improvements

The Hillsboro City Council approved at its May 18 meeting two more improvement projects for the Hillsboro Municipal Airport.

One project is the addition of a pilot-controlled runway lighting system that would allow the city to keep the lights turned off until activated by an approaching pilot.

City Administrator Larry Paine said since the city installed its new runway lighting in 2008, the city?s electricity expense has doubled from $100 to $200 a month.

Paine said the installation of the pilot-controlled element should pay for the $5,785 cost to install it within three years. The council approved the bid from Wichita Electric Co., which installed the lighting system in 2008.

The council also accepted a bid of $23,046 from P.B. Hoidale Co. Inc. of Wichita for an airport credit-card fuel-dispensing system for the Hillsboro Municipal Airport.

The Hillsboro Airport Board had recommended the Hoidale bid over one of $21,157 from Double Check Co. Inc. of Kansas City, Mo., because the Hoidale bid included conduits for power and a phone that goes directly to the dispenser provider in case of servicing needs.

Paine said the new system will be an improvement because the present pump is in poor condition, it is inconvenient to have local law enforcement or an individual on call to service an incoming aircraft, and city staff spend ?a significant amount of time? keeping track of fuel purchases.

The Kansas Department of Transportation approved in April 2009 the city?s grant application through the Kansas Department of Transportation to pay up to $10,000 of the cost of the self-fueling improvement.

Hillsboro?s grant application was among the 35 statewide that were approved by KDOT; 80 applications were received.

Other business

In other business, the council:

? heard resident Steve Stafford, 401 E. Grand, suggest that the city sell the Wm. F. Schaeffler House to a private owner in a way that would preserve it as a historical attraction.

Stafford, who is restoring the historic P.H. Schroeder House to the east of the Schaeffler House, said he has noticed the city has spent significant money on the house for upkeep and repair with little revenue return.

He said he is aware of historic-home enthusiasts around the county who would pay $200,000 or more to acquire the Schaeffler House. He said the city could write the contract of sale in a way that would require the private owner to maintain the historic authenticity of the house.

The council accepted Stafford?s comments without discussion.

? accepted a bid of $93,034 from Sellers Equipment Inc. for the purchase of a backhoe and front-end loader for the city. The money will come from Rural Develop?ment Adminstration loan funds as part of the wastewater lagoon project. Murphy Tractor & Equip-ment Co. Inc. of Wichita submitted a bid of $93,307.

? met as the Public Building Commission, elected Kevin Suderman chairman of the PBC, which owns the facilities now occupied by Hillsboro Community Hospital and Salem Home. Suderman succeeds Bob Watson.

? appointed Lynn Penner to the city?s Board of Zoning Appeals; he succeeds Jim Brennan.

? heard the city had received a dividend check of $4,029 from Employers Mutual Casualty Co. as a participant in the Kansas Municipal Utilities Safety Group insurance program.

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