B Street repair soon to begin

The project to repair or replace damaged portions of B Street because of construction of the new fine arts center at Tabor College is expected to begin by Oct. 30.

The Hillsboro City Coun­cil, at its Oct. 17 meeting, accepted a project bid of $240,581 from Hett Construc­tion of Marion.

City Administrator Larry Paine said he was assured by the contractor that the project would be completed by the second weekend of December, when the college plans to officially dedicate the $13 million facility.

Darin Neufeld, engineer with EBH Associates, submitted plans to five potential contractors. Only two submitted bids, with some expressing concern about being able to achieve the completion target date.

The second bid of $259,882 was submitted by Vogts-Parga Construction of Newton.

The project will begin from the intersection of Lincoln Street to Jefferson Street and move eastward from there. It was initially estimated to cost $332,650.

Sewer line project

In another significant infrastructure project, the council approved two legal requirements to move forward with constructing a sewer line in the Russell Groves subdivision immediately north of Third Street.

The council voted 4-0 to approve Resolution 2017-10, that determines the advisability of creating an assessment district and the method of assessment. The council also approved Ordinance 1283 with a 4-0 vote to authorize the construction of the sewer line.

In addition to Russell and Jeanie Groves, the petitioners include the Hillsboro Develop­ment Corp., Grace Community Church and the city of Hillsboro.

The estimated cost of the project is $311,000, which will be assessed as follows: 88.39 percent to the Groves, 2.95 percent to HDC and 8.75 percent to Grace Commun­ity. The balance is 8.1 percent $25,191) to the city of Hills­boro.

Approval of the resolution and the ordinance starts the process to construct the sewer line. After construction is complete and all costs determined, a public hearing will be called to assess the final costs to the petitioners.

KPP update

Mark Chesney, CEO and general manager of the Kansas Power Pool, updated the council on several issues.

Chesney said KPP, now serving 24 member municipalities, is moving forward with a plan to “refinance” its debt by selling some of it to banks.

He said the transaction should save $450,000 over the life of a 20-year loan in 2012 to acquire the Dog­wood power plant.

He said they may sell additional debt next year as well.

Chesney also alerted the council that KPP is needing to replace 75 megawatts it will lose when a current contract expires.

He said the challenge of replacing that power is complicated because “the price of energy changes every five seconds of every day.”

In addition, Chesney said the transmission cost of energy will continue to rise for the next eight to 10 years, “and you’re going to feel it,” he added.