Hillsboro continues to work on improvements and projects

The City of Hillsboro met at their new time of 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 15.

Based on council direction at the last city council meeting, the public works department put out solicitations for bids for a new backhoe and new vacuum excavator trailer.

“Specs for the requested bids were sent directly to vendors and posted on the city’s website.

For the backhoe, we received five bids. The public works staff are recommending the purchase of the low bid at a cost of $117,000,” said Hillsboro City Administrator Matt Stiles. “On the vacuum excavator trailer, the city received only one bid. The total bid price for the vacuum excavator trailer is $79,875.”

The total purchase price for both is $196,875.

The Council had also approved the purchase of a street department job trailer up to $13,000. The purchase of all of the equipment totals $209,875. Stiles recommended shopping for lease-purchase agreements for the two new pieces of equipment and purchasing the job trailer outright for $13,000. The cost would be split between Street, Water/Sewer and Electric.

The council approved the proposed bids for the backhoe $117,000 and vacuum excavator trailer for $79,875 and authorized Stiles to solicit lease-purchase agreement financing.

Stiles gave an update on the Senior Government class projects. The city is working on putting together costs for the park shelter improvements. He explained that the Golf Association has approved the driving range project proposed by one group, and the Recreation Commission has also approved adding tee boxes to the disc golf course.

“The street department will be evaluating the north pond in the near future to determine what the best solution would be for it,” said Stiles. “With those projects we will have completed four of the seven projects proposed by this year’s senior class. We are also working on a few of the projects from last year’s senior class.”

Tabor College President Dr. Janzen recently announced that Tabor would be starting to build a new dorm, the first of four potential dorms after this school year is completed. The City of Hillsboro has been working with the college since late last year on potential issues with the proposed dorms.

“We’ve started working with Tabor doing electrical upgrades and have also received a petition to vacate the alleyway between the Dakota dorms and the proposed new dorm —utility easements would remain intact,” said Stiles.

Stiles told the council that the city has submitted a TASK grant from the KDOC Tourism Division for four museum projects: the Bartel House, HVAC at the school house, an outdoor classroom in the Community Plaza, and rebuilding the Schaeffler Carriage House. The grant requested $208,000 on a 50/50 match. Matching funds were leveraging existing over $160,000 already raised museum funds. Stiles said, “The remaining matching funds could potentially be in-kind labor, more donations or potentially city capital improvement funds.”

Vogts Construction submitted a bid for the demolition of the red brick building at 128 S Main. The proposed bid was for $53,495 which includes the remediation of the asbestos in the building. “Contractors will demo the building and remove the tree on the east side of the property. The site will be filled and compacted and the sidewalk replaced if needed. The city will provide the dirt for the

backfill,” said Stiles.

Vogts will file a demolition permit with KDHE which has a 10-day waiting period.

During that 10-day period Vogts Construction will abate the asbestos in the building. Once KDHE gives approval, then Vogts has requested a 10-day period to complete the project. According to Vogts, the estimated completion would be the middle of April.

Stiles explained that the $53,495 would come from the city’s Capital Improvement Fund. The budget

for the year is $90,000.

“As I mentioned at the last meeting, there is an opportunity to reimburse the city for expenses that occurred during the pandemic with a portion of the ARPA money received from the Federal government. The city is slated to receive $427,206 in ARPA money. Of that total amount,

the city has the ability to reimburse itself $143,645.86. The remaining $283,560.14 can

be used for water, sewer or broadband projects,” said Stiles.

The council approved the demolition bid from Vogts Construction for $53,495.
In other business, the council:

n approved awarding a modified Area 5 to Plenert Mowing and Outdoor Services at a cost of $1,620 per month and awarding Area 6 to Mike Duerksen at a cost of $1,100 per month.

n The Water/Sewer department has filled its last remaining position by hiring Jason Wheeler. Wheeler comes with nearly 10 years of experience and all the required certifications for operating the water facility. Wheeler was previously with the City of Marion.

More from Laura Fowler Paulus
Beer garden to expand at county fair
The Hillsboro City Council approved the plans to have a larger beer...
Read More