Hillsboro approves agreements to get help with water issues

The Hillsboro City Council met on March 21 and approved signing an agreement with KDHE for the loan in the total amount is $1.1 million in order to address problems with iron and manganese in the Marion Reservoir.

City Administrator Matt Stiles said, “Eligible costs include the engineer, design and administration of the loan. This loan is eligible for 100% loan forgiveness as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act federal funding because the iron and manganese are considering emerging contaminants.”

The council approved the ordinance for the agreement which authorizes the city to execute the proposed agreement, dedicate a repayment revenue for the project and authorize the execution of any needed documents.

The council also approved a proposed agreement with EBH which states that EBH will handle the design and administration of the KDHE Loan through the completion of the project. The lump sum cost in the contract is $203,100 with the possibility of additional charges according to the set fee schedule in the agreement. All those costs are eligible to be paid through the loan proceeds.

Stiles also explained that in anticipation of starting the pilot project to prove the proposed technology is effective, the city has submitted a request to KDHE to allow for sole-source purchase of the chlorine dioxide generator immediately.

“That equipment is $58,750 and is needed to be installed before summer to get an effective measurement of its ability. That pilot data will be used by KDHE to determine if the treatment can be used safely in our water treatment process. That request with KDHE is pending approval and would be paid out of proceeds from the loan,” said Stiles.

He told the council that the full amount of the $1.1 million loan will be forgiven. However, the city will still be responsible for the service fee and any accrued interest. According to the estimated amortization schedule, that amount is anticipated to be $2,016.66.

In other business, the council:

  • heard from a resident regarding implementing an ordinance to allow people in town to have chickens. The council agreed to look at an ordinance and approve it once it is drawn up.
  • approved a liquor license to the new owners of the liquor store at 500 Western Heights. The store was formerly known as R & D Liquor and will now be called Vondy’s Liquor.
  • approved sponsoring the building at 126 N Main, known as the Olde Towne Building, which was purchased earlier this year. The building’s owner, Eric Driggers, has hired Ranson Financial to write a HEAL grant (Historic Economic Asset Lifeline) through Kansas Department of Commerce. The grant is for up to $75,000 for the repair and renovation of a historic building in a downtown area. The building has been added to the Kansas Historic Resources Inventory. The data sheet for the Historic Resources Inventory is attached. Driggers is requesting the full $75,000 to assist with the renovation of the main floor. Funds will be used to rehab and seal the floors and other main floor renovations. The long-range plan is to have the main floor be a rentable event space(s), the upper floor be apartments or short-term housing, and the base will be used by a nonprofit church group. “We have discussed other grant and incentive programs that exist for downtown and historic spaces,” Stiles said, “Part of the grant requires that the city sponsor the application. Sponsoring the application does not commit the city to any action aside from the sponsorship. A formal action to support the application must be recorded in the city’s minutes.”
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