Bid good-bye to street bumps

Staff writer

Hillsboro City Council members approved a bid from Barkley Construction at Tuesday’s meeting for improvements on Cedar, Birch, and Date Streets in Hillsboro. Work could begin as soon as April 1.

Engineer Darin Neufeld told council members that seven contractors submitted bids for the curb, guttering, and street repair project that will encompass three main streets on the west side of town.

“We have about $382,000 of grant money to spend, and three options to consider spending it on,” Neufeld said. “Barkley came in the lowest of all contractors and their bid for our option No. 2 fits perfectly with the money we have, right in the money.”

Neufeld said option 2 for street repairs cut out work on the north section of Birch and part of Cedar, but included all of Date Street.

“I am so glad we are getting this fixed,” Mayor Delores Dalke said. “If you turn off of Grand onto Date, it’s just really bad there. All along that street the curbs are broken and sometimes your car even bottoms out on the holes.”

Neufeld said the project would fix handicap sidewalk ramps at the intersection of Birch and Grand streets, and tie into the walking school bus sidewalk program spearheaded by the school.

“The next step in the project, pending Community Development Block Grant approval, will be a public meeting tentatively planned for the first or second week of March,” Neufeld said. “I will try to get the contractors there so they can answer people’s questions. The more informed everyone is the better the construction phase will go.”

Neufeld said he hoped Barkley Construction would consider offering good rates to private individuals in the area who might want to make personal property improvements at the same time.

“This is the same company that did Hillsboro’s downtown sidewalk project eight years ago,” he said. “Their work is all still in good shape, not cracked, and holding up well. They have done work in Pratt, and a lot of jobs in Wichita.”

Council members unanimously approved the Barkley bid selection recommendation from Neufeld, who will oversee the project along with city street manager Dale Dalke.

Council members also approved the final plat for South Carriage Hills Development, presented by developer Darrel Driggers.

The Hillsboro Planning and Zoning Commission met last week and recommended the final plat for city approval, contingent on three stipulations regarding grading and monument marking rods.

Driggers said people could expect to see a lot of dirt work taking place as he planned to elevate the street at least 3 and ½ feet in places.

“I want to get high enough to allow daylight in basement windows and room for walk-out basements,” he said.

City Administrator Larry Paine said a drainage study found that a heavy rainstorm would not send additional water toward the Willow Glen development.

“The pond will fill up and overflow will run across the highway and onto the drainage areas of the Barkman property,” he said.

Driggers said he appreciated the support from the city and the work of the planning committee to get details ironed out in his plans.

“It’s on my timetable now,” he said. “Preliminary budget numbers are huge so I have no visions of this work being done tomorrow.”

Dalke said she was pleased to see something new in the way of housing development come in to Hillsboro.

“It will give us all something to talk about and go see, when the dirt starts moving in spring,” she said.

In other business:

  • Marion County Commissioner Roger Fleming told council members about single-stream recycling plans the county was considering that would involve curbside collection of recyclables from Hillsboro on an approved time schedule.
  • Council members approved a recreation commission bylaw that would allow the board to meet at 7 p.m. on Sunday evenings.
  • Dalke made board appointments and reappointments of Cynthia Fleming, June Shreve, and Mervin Lare to the Hillsboro Community Planning Commission. The council also approved the reappointments of Clint Seibel and Joann Knaak to the airport board.
  • Paine informed the council he would be on vacation somewhere warm and beautiful next week, and unavailable for questions until his return.
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