Hillsboro to apply for cops grant

The Hillsboro City Council voted to proceed with an application for a federal grant that would fund the salary of an additional police officer for three years.

Police Chief Dan Kinning, who had completed the application, reminded the council that if it is approved, a Department of Justice grant would cover an entry-level salary for three years.

He also reminded council members that the city would have to provide funding for a vehicle and all equipment for the new officer. Assuming a used vehicle, he estimated the cost to the city to be around $10,500.

?We need to do something,? Kinning said about the staffing needs in his department. ?I physically can?t keep up anymore (with the workload).?

He projected the grant awards would be announced in early fall with the new position to become active Jan. 1.

Kinney noted that it was through similar grant programs in the past that he and fellow officer Jessey Hiebert were hired with the local department.

City engineer Bob Previtera, of Reiss & Goodness Engineers, reviewed the renovation project planned for two blocks of North Ash and a portion of Third Street coming off of Ash.

The project recently was approved for federal stimulus funding. The government will pay up to $412,000 for the Ash Street portion, which includes some concrete reconstruction and a 2-inch asphalt overlay.

The city will pay an estimated $81,000 for the Third Street portion, which did not qualify for federal funding.

In response to questions, Previtera said he would find out if the council has the option of reducing the scope of the Ash Street project if costs for the current plan would exceed the $412,000 limit once actual bids are accepted.

Meanwhile, City Administrator Larry Paine reported that a walk-through session with the APAC Kansas resulted in a final ?punch list? for the wastewater lagoon project east of town.

Paine said the contractor and representatives from the county reviewed the half mile of Jade just south off of 190th. Clark Wiebe, who owns land adjacent to the road, had expressed frustration several weeks earlier with the conditions created by the project, including the lack of a proper ditch.

Paine said further review indicated the contractor had completed its responsibility adequately. The county then agreed to recreate the ditch.

In other business, the council:

n heard from Paine that the city seems to have solved potential problems at the swimming pool that were created by a new federal law. He said the engineering of the pool regarding drains has been approved and will not need to be moved. The only expense the city will incur is to replace one drain cover. The pool should easily open on schedule, he said.

n heard about removing a dying tree and replacing some of the sidewalk around the city-owned Schaeffler House to eliminate potential liabilities. The project is expected to be completed before the annual farmers? market opens there for the season May 7.

n approved a written request from Sara Sigley, student activities sponsor at Tabor College, to extend the limit of the city?s noise ordinance from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, April 18, to accommodate Taborstock, an all-afternoon event of live music outdoors on the lawn. The extension was requested ?to be safe? in case the event doesn?t end by 9 p.m., as planned.

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