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City approves drainage contract

Staff writer

Despite months of discussion and design, and numerous meetings between city personnel and city engineering consultant Bob Privatera, questions raised at the Nov. 5 meeting were enough for Hillsboro City Council to again discuss the drainage project on D and Oak streets.

The council reviewed bids from four contractors which included two bid designs — one with the construction company doing all of the project, and one with city employees doing some of the dirt work.

Tom Koslowsky questioned the size of a culvert under Oak Street and the replacement of a culvert recently installed by Hillsboro Family Aquatic Center. He also expressed his concern, after reviewing the engineer’s designs, of the size of pipes being proposed and the layout of the pipes.

Privatera responded the culvert size proposed was typical in anticipation of future development in the area. He continued that the pool parking lot couldn’t drain without the culverts. The reason for replacing the culvert under the drive to the swimming pool was to replace a metal culvert with a concrete culvert. A metal culvert was a part of the original plans of the swimming pool. The drainage project being proposed could allow for the upgrade.

Councilman Bob Watson made a motion to approve a bid with Mies Construction for $123,378 with city crews doing the dirt work project as proposed. The motion died for a lack of a second. Watson asked council members what they wanted. Councilman Shelby Dierks said he wanted to feel more comfortable with the project before making a decision. Councilmen Shane Marler and Byron McCarty agreed.

Privatera explained his reasons for the proposed design.

“If you’re not comfortable with my design, I suggest you allow me to negotiate with one contractor,” he said, to save time if the council wanted to make changes in the design.

“There’s more than one way to design this,” Privatera said. He continued that an engineer also provides ramifications of a specific design to allow the best solution with the least amount of negative impact on the city and its residents.

In the end, McCarty made a motion to accept the low bid from Mies Construction for $123,378 with the city doing some of the dirt work. That motion was seconded and passed, 4-0.

The project will be paid by residents who live in the area and who will benefit from the infrastructure improvement.

City administrator Larry Paine told the council Privatera had to go through “more hoops” with this project because city officials helped to design it.

In other business:

  • The council approved the development of an ice skating rink and sledding hill with the leftover dirt from the drainage project. Marler asked for a cost estimate of city labor for the project.
  • A sales tax exemption of $5,282 was approved for Flint Hills Rural Electric Cooperation Association to provide electricity to the city’s newly-constructed sewer lagoon. Mayor Delores Dalke asked if RECA will own all rights to sell electricity in that area. City attorney Dan Baldwin said the cooperative would. He suggested the city confirm it is paying for the necessary equipment so the city won’t have to pay for it again. Baldwin suggested the city obtain a list of equipment and a bill of sale to show ownership.
  • Privatera reported asphalt had been poured for tie-downs and turnarounds at the city’s airport. Grass will be planted. He said he met with Wichita Electric, the contractor of the project, and the engineer was not pleased with the progress. A stop work order may be issued to make the sure work is completed as required.
  • Paine told the council the city was having performance issues with APAC regarding dirt work on Jade Road as part of the city’s new lagoon system. Paine said property owners on Jade Road have complained about the lack of storm drainage. APAC was asked to dig a ditch but the contractor refused to do it. The city needs to pay sub-contractors, Paine said, but suggested the city withhold payments to APAC until the dispute has been resolved. The council approved payments of $412,233 to sub-contractors for the lagoon project.

The next regular meeting is at 4 p.m. Nov. 17 at city hall.

Last modified Nov. 12, 2008

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