Hillsboro chooses KDHE loan for waterline project

The Hillsboro City Coun­cil approved an ordinance at its Jan. 23 meeting to fund the city’s $3.8 million waterline project through a Kan­sas Depart­ment of Health and Environment loan.

The council had been weighing the benefits of going with KDHE or with USDA Rural Development, a federal program.

City Administrator Larry Paine said because Congress has yet to approve funding for Rural Development, plus the threats of future government shutdown, going with KDHE would be in the city’s best interest.

The agreement would charge 2.15 percent interest over the 20-year loan. It allows additional principal payments through the course of the loan agreement.

Total annual repayments to KDHE would be $192,002, plus interest payments of $55,376 and an annual fee of $10,767.

Another advantage of the KDHE agreement is that the city could drop a component from the waterline project, and KDHE would reduce the loan payment schedule accordingly with its draw-down approach.

The waterline projects were affirmed in February 2017, with the most urgency focused on Wilson Street, which has endured 90-100 water leaks since the area was developed in the late 1950s.

Though separate from the KDHE waterline agreement, the city plans to redo Wilson Street and possibly other streets once the new waterlines are in place, Paine said.

Mower purchase

During the rest of the meeting, the council took action on equipment purchases and routine city maintenance issues.

The council approved (4-0) the purchase of a 16-foot brush mower from Lang Diesel in Hillsboro at a cost of $17,885. The new unit will replace the 16-foot finish mower that has been used to cut the city’s larger tracts of property the past several years.

“When we purchased the (older) unit, we felt like it would be sufficient for the type of mowing we wanted,” Paine told the council. “Since that time, we have had many maintenance issues with the mower.”

Dale Dalke, representing the mowing department, said the first pull-type finish mower was used in areas such as the U.S. High­way 56 right of way, airport, sewer lagoon dikes and undeveloped lots owned by the city in Hills­boro Heights.

Dalke said the original mower was not built heavy enough for the city’s intended use. As a result, the city has had to deal with bent wheel assemblies, bent blades and burnt-up belts because of rough ground and heavier grass than it was intended for.

As a replacement, the city received bids from two area business: $17,850 from G&R Implement in Durham, and $17,885 from Lang Diesel in Hillsboro.

The council voted 4-0 to accept the Lang Diesel bid. The city has a 10 percent local purchasing policy, but the Lang Diesel bid was only $35 higher, and it is a local business.

Dalke said the city will try to sell the old mower through Purple Wave.

Skid loader funding

On another equipment issue, the council approved a proposal from Marion National Bank for financing the purchase of a new skid loader in late December.

Paine said he sent bids to four banks, including three from Hills­boro. Marion National Bank’s bid was the only one to arrive prior to the deadline.

MNB’s proposal was to have six equal payments over three years at 3.34 percent. The skid loader was purchased for $41,835. With financing, the acquisition will cost $44,324.

Manhole rehabilitation

The council approved a $12,500 agreement with Mayer Specialty Services for manhole rehabilitation in town.

Paine described the rehabilitation process as putting coating on the inside of the manhole to protect the concrete from deteriorating from the sewer gasses that are present.

The purpose is to prevent water from the outside, such as rain storms or snow melts, from entering the manhole and contributing to the flow of water in the sewer line.

The extra water could cause an overflow at the treatment plant, which would need to be reported to the Kansas Department of Health & Environment as a “spill.”

Paine estimated the city of Hillsboro has 300 to 400 manholes. The new contract with Mayer Specialty Services, based in Goddard, is the only company in the area that rehabs manholes, Paine said.

This year’ project should take care of 10 manholes.

Other business

In other business, the council:

◼ heard Paine announce that the city’s application for $416,000 in grant funds through KDHE for street upgrades totaling $1.272 million was not approved for the coming year.

◼ approved Mayor Lou Thurston’s appointment of Peggy Goertzen to the Hills­boro Museum Board (4-0).

◼ approved a pay estimate for $20,687 from Hett Con­struc­tion of Marion for work completed on rebuilding B Street (4-0).