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City to provide safe routes

Staff writer

Hillsboro was one of three Kansas schools recently awarded a Walking School Bus grant by the state, and city council members studied maps at their meeting Tuesday that detailed the city’s plan to provide safe walkways for children going to school.

“We only got $250,000 from the Safe Routes to School fund so we will spend it where needed most,” Mayor Delores Dalke said. “The school will also fund this project by paying for part of the engineering.”

The city will spend grant money to widen sidewalks and create safe walking space on routes prioritized earlier by city and school officials.

“Basically we will start on the west side of town on Hickory Street and go down Grand all the way to the high school parking lot, then to A Street, the corner, and the 4-way stop,” Dalke said. “This creates a safe path for children to walk to school. With the Walking School Bus plan an adult will accompany them, picking up ‘passengers’ along the way.”

Dalke said she was proud that Hillsboro could be a pilot city for the program.

“In the example I heard, the school principal was the adult who walked with the children through town and it went really well,” council member Marlene Fast said. “He said he got to know the children really well and it was a great idea.”

Fast also thought it would be a great idea for museum board members to raise their rates for tours at the city’s facilities, after Museum Board member Mary Regier presented a synopsis of summer tour groups.

Regier said it was a busy summer, with almost 100 visitors from 4 different countries, 8 states, and 6 different Kansas towns on 11 different dates.

“I just thought it would be wise for us to share with you what people are coming to tour our museums and where they are coming from,” Reggie said. “It is really interesting to see that we have a lot of people interested in our history here in Hillsboro.”

The museum board currently charges $3 per adult and $1 per student for tours.

“People are always so happy that we do not have things roped off like so many other museums,” Reggie said. “They even offer to pay more for the tours, sometimes giving us $5 per person, even though that is more than we charge.”

Fast said she would encourage the board to look into increasing their tour fees, even if that meant reprinting brochures.

In other business:

  • Council members approved a request from street supervisor Dale Dalke for a new valley gutter at the intersection of West B Street and Floral Drive. The gutter would smooth a rough approach from B Street, resulting in a permanent fix for a problem that has bothered residents for years.
  • Dalke said that the sewer department would blow oxygen into lines at the sewer plant on Thursday to help with smell reduction at the ponds.
  • Members approved paying Vogts-Parga at $165,000, LaFarge for $248,000, and EBH for $19,000 for street construction.

Last modified Aug. 8, 2012

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