AMPI bids will be refigured

The Hillsboro City Council agreed at its June 19 meeting that before it takes action on bids to repair fire damage at the former AMPI building, that all bidders are submitting estimates on the same project specs.

Two representatives from Jantz Construction of Tampa, one of the companies that has submitted a bid to repair the city-owned building, asked for clarity at the meeting.

Cameron Reimer and Mark Pankratz said they?ve been seeing widely different estimates reported in the press and wanted to make sure the competing companies are bidding ?apples for apples.?

Mayor Delores Dalke and council members agreed the project has not been bid consistently, and that they would ensure that the playing field is level before making a decision.

Bids that have come in so far have ranged between $440,000 and $76,000.

Park changes

The council agreed city staff should remove some of the improvements made in the past couple of years at Memorial Park because the improvements have proven to be ineffective, have not been adequately maintained or have never been completed as planned.

Specifically, city workers will be removing most of the loose-brick walking paths that were initiated in the park. The plan includes replacing the brick path to the east shelterhouse with a concrete sidewalk.

The council also discussed the future of the horseshoe pits, the location of recently constructed park benches and the future of the concrete foundation that was poured for a miniature water mill.

The mill was intended as a play object for children, but later was deemed to be a legal liability for the city and has not been moved into position. Councilor Bob Watson said he knows of someone who may be interested in purchasing the mill for private use.

Other business

In other business, the council:

n decided to wait until late this summer or early fall to hard-surface the gravel road that borders the east and south boundaries of the new aquatic center.

The initial plan was to complete the project when APAC Kansas would be hard-surfacing the two blocks of Adams Street within the next week.

But the council decided it first needed more information about drainage improvements that may be required around the aquatic center entrance off of D Street to alleviate flooding problems that have occurred in the neighborhood following heavy rains.

n considered new estimates from city engineer Bob Previtera of Reiss & Goodness regarding repairs to two blocks of North Ash Street.

Changes to the plan increased the preliminary cost from $367,000 to $450,000.

The council said it needed time to consider whether the city could afford the project at this time, given the higher cost.

n heard from auditor Scot Loyd of Swindoll Janzen Hawk & Loyd that the city is making significant progress in correcting bookkeeping deficiencies and statutory violations found by the audit the company conducted last year.

n heard Dalke report that city crews have sprayed three times for mosquitoes at $500 per treatment.

The council decided city staff should use their best judgment about how frequently to spray from now on as the weather grows hotter and drier.

n decided to offer up to $150 off the July utility bill for a prize drawing open to any resident who attends a Chamber-sponsored block party planned for the month of June.

n deferred action on a request from Fire Chief Ben Steketee that the city hire an assistant fire chief for 10 hours a week at $8 an hour.

Steketee said assistance was needed to keep up with required paperwork.

n agreed to notify Peabody city leaders that Hillsboro will be conducting a professional rate-structure analysis for the water it is producing for all its customers, including Peabody. The current rate was established two years ago.

n changed the date for its first July meeting from 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 3, to 4 p.m. Monday, July 2, to accommodate Fourth of July Eve activities planned at the Schaeffler House starting at 5:30 p.m.

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