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Fund will be held until work is done

Contractor failed to finish ditch on Jade Road

Staff writer

Hillsboro City Council voted Feb. 18 to withhold between $250,000 and $300,000 from a contractor until a ditch is completed to the city’s satisfaction.

Clark Wiebe said the ground between his property and Jade Road is too flat for proper drainage from the road. He didn’t want gravel washing off the road and into his field.

The problem arose during construction of the city’s $3 million wastewater treatment plant.

“On a project of this magnitude, you’re going to have problems,” council member Shane Marler said. “I don’t care how much planning you do.”

Wiebe previously spoke to Marion County Commission, asking them to pressure Hillsboro to get the work completed. County Road and Bridge Superintendent John Summerville sent Paine a letter asking when construction would be completed.

City Administrator Larry Paine spoke with Wiebe and assured him the city would find a way to get the ditch dug.

Paine recommended the city withhold the 10 percent retainage — nearly $300,000 — until contractor APAC-Kansas, Inc. of Hutchinson completed the ditch. He said he doubted the company would give up $300,000 to avoid digging a ditch, but if necessary, the city also could put the contractor on a no-bid list, which would hurt its chances of being awarded bids in other communities.

The city council voted to follow Paine’s recommendation. Paine also was authorized to negotiate with Wiebe to make an arrangement to compensate Wiebe for construction that intruded on his property.

In other business:

  • Mayor Delores Dalke appointed Kelly Schlehuber, June Glasgow, Stan Harder, Pat Nuss, and Peggy Goertzen to Convention and Visitors Bureau board, Clint Seibel to Marion County Economic Development Council, and Seibel and JoAnn Knak to Airport Board. The council approved the appointments.
  • Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk & Loyd of McPherson was awarded contracts for two audits. One contract was for a general audit, not to exceed $10,800. The other contract is for a single audit required for federal grant money, for $5,000. Dalke said she would like to see audit services bid again in the near future.
  • Tax abatement reviews were approved for Golden Heritage Foods, Countryside Feeds, and Container Services at the recommendation of the Abatement Review Committee. Tax abatement reduces property tax on expansions a business makes, if it meets certain criteria, Paine said.
  • The next council meeting will be 4 p.m. March 3.

Last modified Feb. 26, 2009

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