Hillsboro tackles bevy of city issues

The Hillsboro City Council opened up their meeting on Tuesday, Nov 5 with an executive session to discuss attorney-client privilege regarding the ongoing legal procedures with Hillsboro Community Hospital. No decisions were made.

The council voted to allow the Hillsboro Fire Department to purchase rescue boats and equipment now that they have been awarded a grant from Firehouse Subs Restaurants. The purchase will include two inflatable boats, a self-bailing raft, paddles, a double stack trailer, 2 motors, a runner adapter for the trailer, an adaptor and a quick fill kit.

“Ben (Hillsboro Fire Chief) has run the numbers and we are going to have a $30, 234.00 purchase. I am asking you to authorize the purchase knowing that the grant award of $30,000 is in the bank plus we received a $1,000 donation to assist in that so we really are not out any cash,” said City Administrator Larry Paine.

“That’s one of the easier motions to make,” said chairperson Brent Driggers as he moved to make the motion.

The motion passed to authorized the purchase of rescue boats from Tactical Rescue Services, Inc.

The council also discussed special-purpose vehicles on Hillsboro city streets and reviewed a revised ordinance that Paine prepared for review and discussion.

“Several years ago, the council approved permitting certain special purpose vehicles to travel on and cross over certain city streets. The ordinance limited access to the Tabor College zoning district. General-purpose golf carts were allowed only if the driver was going to or from the golf course,” said Paine. “Since that time, there has been a demand for other types of special purpose vehicles to travel the streets as well. From a purely law enforcement position, vehicles that did not have safety equipment installed either by the manufacturer or by after-market vendors create hazards to both the special purpose vehicle operator and the general driving public.”

Paine explained that in order to prepare the ordinance, he received a copy of the LKM Model ordinance and several ordinances from 6 other cities (Marion, Russell, Halstead, Paola, Minneapolis and Fort Scott). He also had a copy of one for Marion County Lake.

“The LKM model ordinance has four different types of vehicles described in their draft. For each of the four types duplicate language was included—definitions, operations, licensing, insurance, registration and the attachment of a slow vehicle sign. The LKM document was 17 pages long. I figured I could reduce the length by combining all the individual sections that were identical into one that described the type of vehicle, Licensing, insurance, registration, and the slow-moving vehicle sign attachment,” said Paine.

Paine explained that it is his intent to have the council review the document and make suggestions before presenting a final version at a second meeting.

Mayor Lou Thurston asked, “Has anyone had any constituent input into this issue?”

“They would like to be able to cross through town. They would like to be able to go pick up parts from mechanic shops. There are quite a few who have interest in this,” said Council member Jonah Gehring.

Driggers mentioned that he has heard from older people regarding wanting to use golf carts to move around town.

“And the way that the ordinance is crafted, the golf cart would have to have basic vehicle safety lighting like brake lights, signals, headlights,” said Paine.

The council discussed that all vehicles would need to have registration as well as slow-moving vehicle signs attached. They also discussed licensure and insurance as well as age requirements.

“If you have anything you want to add or have a concern about, send me an email soon. It’s a complicated ordinance. Josh (Boehm, city attorney) and I haven’t gone over it with a fine-tooth comb yet. Dan (Kinning, Hillsboro Police Chief) has gone through it and doesn’t have any issues with it at this point. But before we get to that time for the next meeting, we are going to need some time for the redrafting,” said Paine.

Thurston urged the council to let their constituents know to show up at the next council meeting if they have concerns about the ordinance.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, Nov 19.

In other business the council:

  •  heard from Lincolnville resident Mike Beneke about concerns about safety on Highway 56. He asked for ideas on what can be done to slow down traffic and make it safer, especially now that he has a restaurant down the road from Hillsboro. He said “My worse fear is somebody getting killed there one of these days so I feel like if I don’t put some effort into it….if I can’t change it, that’s fine, but I need to try.”
  • heard that the West Grand construction project is complete. The final payment to Vogts-Parga of $4,573.40 was authorized bringing the total amount for the project to $201,294.00 which was $2,048.34 under budget.
  • approved payment of the Triplett Woolf and Garretson invoice for ongoing legal services for the hospital for the amount of $9,722.00.
More from Laura Fowler Paulus
DEATH: Helen Schafer
Helen Schafer, 93, died on March 16, 2019, at Kansas Christian Home...
Read More