City of Hillsboro talks street improvements

The Hillsboro City Council talked about a street project that could be an opportunity for community involvement at its March 6 meeting.

In addition to the area which could require volunteers, said Larry Paine, city administrator, the other streets included are the waterline streets at First Street from Adams to the alley east of Wilson and from Wilson Street from First to C streets.

The other area is East Grand with four options to include Adams on the right, Hillsboro High School and Jefferson in the middle and street, curb and gutter in concrete completely across all four blocks, he said.

Darin Neufeld, a professional engineer with EBH Construction Services, said the bids were opened Tuesday, March 5, for the remaining street sections on the planning list.

Paine said: “The temporary financing we did last year has $1.173 million left in the fund.”

When the budget was being planned, he said, the bids came in lower than anticipated.

Vogts-Parga Construction LLC, Newton, was the low bidder on the base project for both the waterline streets and East Grand street at a cost of $600,360 and $378,833 respectively.

The other bidders included Cornejo & Sons LLC, Wichita, with base bids for the waterline streets and East Grand of $821,235 and $567,068.

Hett Construction, Marion, bid only on the East Grand project at a cost of $368,553 with add-on alternatives, and Prairie Landworks, McPherson, bid only on the waterline streets at a base bid of 735,010, also with add-on alternates.

Hett Construction was low on two of the add-on alternates.

The add-on alternate bids for the waterline streets, Neufeld said, included alternate No 1, C Street from Adams to Kennedy; add-on No. 2, Kennedy Street from A to C streets; and add-on No. 3, Intersection of D and Ash streets.

The first add-on alterate is for the East Grand street project, he said, for concrete paver surface option for Grand from Washington and Adams street.

The other two add-on alternates include No. 2 for four off-street parking areas on Grand from Washington to Jefferson streets; and No. 3, two off-street parking areas on Grand from Jefferson to Madison streets.

Councilor Brent Driggers asked if the planning budget has all the add-on alternates in it?

“Originally, we didn’t have Kennedy and C streets but as it progressed, those were added,” Neufeld said.

“The important streets that we put on time restrictions are at the intersection of A and Wilson to the (Hillsboro) grade school to keep that access going.”

Another area with time restrictions is at D and Ash streets, he said, which need to be done by July 1 so that it doesn’t impact the Marion County Fair or Tabor College and students starting classes

Mayor Lou Thurston asked about harvest. But, Neufeld said there’s something going on most months meaning that some events needed to be prioritized above others.

“On C Street, the work needs to be done within in 30 days,” he said. “A school delivery route is being adjusted specifically for that reason.”

The month of June, and possibly July, is being set aside for the intersection of A and Wilson streets, Neufeld added.

Councilor Jonah Goering asked if there are any liquidated damages (for late performance) on the other streets?

Neufeld said: “Oh, yes. I think we gave (the contractor) 60 working days for liquidated damages at $1,000 a day on the base bid and 20 working days for curing concrete (for maintaining temperature).”

During the street projects, he said, some locations will include detouring to Main Street to avoid the asphalt rutting or settling.

Community involvement

Dale Dalke, street supervisor, offered his suggestion to the street project by saying that D and Ash streets were mill and overlay in the summer of 2018.

“I think it has bought us some time,” he said, “and if we don’t spend the $87,000 by including those streets we could do a brick project on Grand.”

Dalke’s suggestion would be to use brick for two blocks, starting at the Schaeffler House alley and going to the alley by the high school parking lot which is between Madison and Adams streets.

Included in the idea would be involvement from the community to help lay the brick, along with help from city employees, Dalke said.

Neufeld said that based on some rough estimates, he believes that if 40 people could get together on a Saturday, theoretically two blocks of brick could be placed.

“It wouldn’t be too much in cost because the city already owns the bricks,” he said.

If the public would be interested in volunteering to be involved in the project, Neufeld said the cost wouldn’t be much more than using concrete only.

“It wouldn’t change the base bid,” he said, “but in the add-on alternate, the only cost would be the excavation by cubic yard from $31,000 to $40,000.

If the contractor were to bid on laying brick in that area, it would be cost prohibitive, Neufeld said.

Thurston recommended that Neufeld, Dalke and Paine review the numbers together with community involvement and other aspects of the street project.

“Bids have a 30-day expiration, which gives us time to review the ideas and post the bids next week,” Neufeld said.

In other business, the council:

◼ approved vouchers in the amount of $165,396.

◼ approved payment request from Mike Younger, EBH Construction Services. Paine said the water pipework is 98 percent completed and the last 2 percent is for meter connections, work around the water tower and some fixing at Tabor College.

“The invoice is for $85,000— with about $10,000 for EBH on the inspection and engineering side of the work— and about $74,000 for the construction,” he said.

“The city will file disbursement request with KDHE, and then pay the bills.”

Thurston asked if the city is making progress relative to the weather on this project.

“Are we behind or on schedule,” he said.

Paine said: “I think we are on target. The next critical issues we will deal with are on West Grand related to the street work.”

◼ heard from Dalke on the dumpster bids. He said he received the bids two weeks ago, but couldn’t make an immediate decision because low bidder, Kelly Equipment was unfamiliar to both Paine and Dalke.

“We needed time to research the company and equipment, but had a dumpster brought to us, and we put it to use,” Dalke said. It seems fine and seems better than some of the other dumpsters.”