Driggers confirmed for Hillsboro City Council seat

Courtesy photo<p>Assistant City Clerk Glenda Stoppel administers the oath of office to Brent Driggers, who was affirmed as the successor to West Ward council member Shelby Dirks at the Oct. 6 meeting. Dirks, who served on the council for 131?2 years resigned his seat because he now lives in the East Ward.

The Hillsboro City Coun?cil confirmed Brent Driggers as the successor to Shelby Dirks as a representative of the city?s West Ward during its Oct. 6 meeting.

Dirks, who had served in that capacity for 131?2 years, resigned his council seat as required by city bylaws when he recently changed his residence from the West Ward to the East Ward.

?I do want to say thank-you for the opportunity to serve the city,? he wrote to Mayor Delores Dalke in his letter of resignation. ?It has been a pleasure.?

After accepting Dirks? resignation, the council followed immediately with unanimous affirmation for Drig?gers, 39, a Hillsboro native and 1994 graduate of Hills?boro High School.

Driggers and his family had been living in the Kansas City area for several years, but they moved back to Hillsboro about five years ago. Drig?gers operates a home-based business, Jetset Media, which provides digital signage for private airports.

Election confusion

City Administrator Larry Paine initiated a preliminary discussion about the future of local elections in the light of the 2015 Kansas Legis?lature?s vote to move those elections from spring to fall.

Paine said the League of Kansas Municipalities has the opinion that the new statute eliminated the opportunity to have a spring election, but the Kansas Sec?re?tary of State believes cities can still schedule elections then.

While the question is being addressed in Topeka, Paine invited the council to consider a variety of issues related to council elections, including the length of a term and whether council members should continue to be elected from wards or at-large.

Paine said any change in current practice will require the council to amend a ?fistful of charter ordinances,? making this a good time to discuss other aspects of council service.

Other business

In other business, the council:

? authorized EBH & Associ?ates, the city?s engineering firm, to develop options for rerouting a water line at the city?s south water tower. Tabor College is seeking to build an indoor baseball training facility where the city?s waterline and maintenance right-of-way currently exist.

Engineer Don Heller presented some initial options, but said he had not yet met with college officials about the project.

Heller recommended using PVC for the new line, which means disposing of the current asbestos-concrete pipe according to Kansas Department of Health and Environment guidelines.

Heller said he hopes to develop a project plan in time for the council?s Oct. 20 meeting.

? heard from Paine that the out-of-state owners of the abandoned Prime Time convenience store building in the 200 block of East D Street are negotiating the sale of the property to a potential buyer, whom he did not name.

The potential buyer has been informed about condemnation procedures the city has initiated with regard to the property, and Paine said the buyer has committed to remove the deteriorating building and canopy as well as underground gas tanks.

Paine said the city will be in a position to pursue condemnation procedures if the new buyer does not follow through with appropriate action.

? approved the purchase of a year?s supply of bulk carbon for the water department for the price of $15,984. Paine said purchasing a year?s supply will save the city about $1,400.

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