Hillsboro council selects street bids

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The Hillsboro City Council awarded construction bids during its Nov. 1 meeting for two major street projects.

Vogts-Parga Construction, based in North Newton, was awarded the bid to replace Adams Street from U.S. Highway 56 to First Street. The bid of $877,853 also includes materials to replace one block of A Street from Washington to Main.

Lafarge Construction, with a regional headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., won the bid to replace First Street from Adams Street to Ash Street for $454,487.

The city also received bids from Middlecreek Corp. of Peabody, Smoky Hill LLC of Salina, and APAC-Kansas of Hutchinson.

Darin Neufeld, project engineer with Evans, Bierley, Hutchison & Associates, said the projects can begin ?as early as the city would allow, weather depending.?

City workers have been doing some preliminary work for the projects, including replacing water lines where needed.

The two projects will be paid with $1.5 million in bonds.

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Both streets will be constructed with concrete, which has a 40-year life expectancy instead of the 20-year estimate for an asphalt street, according to Neufeld.

He said the current price comparison between the two materials is so close, he didn?t even ask for asphalt bids.

?I think we got some wonderful bids,? Mayor Delores Dalke said. ?Doing it in concrete is phenomenal.?

Compost, burn site violations

The council discussed the city?s options for addressing ongoing violations at the city?s composite pile and burn site.

City Administrator Larry Paine said he was informed by staff that some members of the public are dumping items at the compost pile in violation of its purpose, which is for leaves, lawn clippings, plants and other vegetation that decomposes quickly.

?People are dumping wood, concrete trash, pallets, action figures, trash bags, Tonka trucks, candy-bar wrappers, limbs, toys, slushy cups, garden hoses and many other kinds of materials that cannot decompose in two years,? he said, adding that the only explanation is that these people think it is a trash-dumping site.

?It would make sense for us to put a Dumpster out there,? Councilor Shelby Dirks said. ?(But) I don?t think we?ll ever stop it. It?s been happening for years.?

City Clerk Jan Meisinger said, ?Dale (Dalke of the city staff) told me they did that when (the compost pile) was down by the sewer plant?and people put tree limbs in the Dumpster. It made things worse instead of better.?

Paine said his chief concern is that if the violations continue, ?the opportunity for a compost site will disappear? by order of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, which authorizes the site.

Paine said even the city?s 4-foot by 8-foot sign explaining the site?s purpose doesn?t seem to make a difference.

?Last year we had somebody carry out bags of leaves (out of the site),? he said. ?I took a picture of it because it was really hilarious. Dale had spray-painted a little sign that said, ?These will not compost.?

Paine added on a serious note, ?The thing is, the people of the community need to recognize that it?s there for a particular purpose. A lot of people use it properly, and we?ve got some people who are not?and we?ve got to deal with them in some way.?

Dirks asked if the police include the compost site on their regular patrol.

?I would say the police department does patrol there, but people who are doing this sort of thing are probably doing it in the dead night, or whatever, to try and not be seen because they know it?s not right.?

Dalke said she has noticed violations at the city?s burn site north of town as well.

?There were asphalt shingles out there?and that thing is even kept locked all the time, except for when people come get a key from here,? she said. ?People will continue to do that kind of thing until they get caught or fined.?

Councilor Byron McCarty added, ?If we close it up, they?ll just throw it in the ditch.?

?KDHE will come along, and they will close it up,? Dalke responded.

Other business

In other business, the council:

? voted, as part of the financing package for the street projects, to authorize Piper Jaffray and Tripplett, Woolf & Garrel?son to proceed with financing $323,905 in bonds to pay for tax increment funding obligations.

? delayed discussion of the request by J. Fred Hambright Inc. for an oil and gas lease for city property east of town. The topic will be addressed at the Nov. 15 meeting.

? started the meeting with 40 minutes of executive session for attorney-client privilege. It was not clear whether public actions that followed later in the meeting were linked to the session.

? approved the following pay estimates related to the sewer-liner project: $97,586 to Wildcat Construction Co. Inc.; $205,222 to Reynolds Inliner LLC; and $11,500 to EBH & Associates. Funding for the work is included in grant funding for the city?s recent wastewater-treatment project.

? approved an increase in the monthly recycling fee charged to residents from $1.95 to $1.98 upon the recommendation of the McPher?son Area Solid Waste Authority, which oversees the removal of materials brought to the city?s recycling center.

? approved the mayor?s appointment of Jim Winslow to the Hillsboro Housing Authority, which oversees the Grand Oaks Apartments.

? heard from Paine that sales tax revenue so far for 2011 is still ahead of last year?s revenue.

?That is still an extremely good situation,? Paine said.

? heard Paine report that the city has submitted a grant request for $100,000 to improve the structure of the city?s small water tower.

?It?s basically a 75-25 grant, so we?ll probably get 75,000 out of that,? Paine said.

The grant money is available because the tower is now on the National Historic Register.

? heard Dirks encourage the city to seal damaged areas of Grant Street before the freezing precipitation of winter does further damage to the concrete.

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