Contractors will need proof of education

An ordinance passed by the Hillsboro City Council at its Dec. 16 meeting will require technical contractors to show proof of continuing education in order to renew their city license each year.

An ordinance passed by the Hillsboro City Council at its Dec. 16 meeting will require technical contractors to show proof of continuing education in order to renew their city license each year.

The ordinance puts the city in compliance with a state law passed several years ago requiring electrical, plumbing, and heating and air-conditioning contractors to show proof of 12 hours of continuing education over a two-year period.

The city?s Ordinance 1172 would require contractors, beginning with their renewal for 2010, to show six hours of continuing education each year rather than 12 hours over a two-year period?an approach that would make it easier for the city office to keep track of hours for each contractor, according to city Administrator Larry Paine.

The ordinance was introduced at the council?s Dec. 2 meeting, but was tabled. The council asked Paine to check with the city of Marion and Marion County to ensure that all three entities would have a uniform approach to the issue for the sake of contractors who desire to work for them.

Paine reported at last Tuesday?s meeting that representatives from the other two entities were satisifed with Hillsboro?s approach and would follow suit when they address the issue.

Under the state law, renewal of a license is not contingent on passing a state-sanctioned test. As long as a contractor continues to keep his or her continuing-education hours current, the license will be renewed. The city has sent letters to contractors it has licensed locally to inform them of the new requirement.

In other business, the council:

n renewed cereal malt beverage licenses to Cooperative Grain & Supply/Ampride, Alco, the Hillsboro Golf Association, Casey?s General Store, JTJ Inc./Vogt?s HomeTown Market.

n agreed to renew a lease with White Star Machinery & Supply Co. of Wichita for the use of a skid loader for 300 hours in 2009. The cost will be $4,650. The lease for 2008 cost around $3,700 for 200 hours.

n approved a 3 percent cost-of-living increase for city employees for 2009. The increase was included in the 2009 budget, as was a 15 percent increase for health-care coverage. Paine said some merit increases have been planned as well. The net budget impact of the COL increase is $15,000.

Councilor Shane Marler, who is married to a city employee, abstained from voting, citing a conflict of interest.

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