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Hillsboro addresses traffic safety at school

Parents should take Eisenhower Street to reach elementary school

Staff writer

Traffic and parking along A Street will be restricted during the hours when students are arriving and leaving Hillsboro Elementary School during the school year.

Hillsboro City Council voted Tuesday to put no-parking signs on both sides of A Street from Wilson Street to Eisenhower Street. The council also approved signs that will read “restricted access buses only” for the street.

The council didn’t specify hours for the restrictions to be in effect. USD 410 Superintendent Steve Noble proposed restricting traffic and parking from 8 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 4 p.m., but neighborhood resident Doug Wright urged the council to extend the restrictions through the school day.

The traffic restriction will not apply to people who live along the street.

The school district is concerned about increased pedestrian and car traffic to the school after the district cut an in-town bus route for the 2010-11 school year.

Parents dropping children off along the south side of A Street are a problem, Wright said. That forces children to cross the street to reach the school.

“If I had a little kid, I sure wouldn’t let my 7-year-old kid walk across traffic without holding my hand,” he said. “I hope nobody gets hurt.”

The school district will request parents drive north on Eisenhower Street to reach the school, Noble said. Administrators are trying to teach parents that the east parking lot is where parents should drop off and pick up their children.

The council also approved installing a flashing red light at the four-way stop at the intersection of Adams and A streets, with the condition that the light have a timer that shuts it off at night.

Safe Kids Coalition of Marion County will pay for the light with grant funds the group received.

Resident Gari-Anne Patzwald said she worried a constantly flashing light would lower property values near the intersection.

Wright doubted the effectiveness of a flashing light. He said vehicles ignore the four-way stop at the intersection of D and Ash streets every day.

Tax rate likely to increase 1.563 mills

Despite not budgeting raises and cutting two museum department positions, Hillsboro residents will likely have a 1.563 mill increase on their city property taxes. The increase will represent about 18 cents for every $1,000 of a house’s appraised value.

The published budget will call for a tax rate of 41.726 mills. The city is emphasizing street maintenance in 2011, City Administrator Larry Paine said.

The council will have a public budget hearing 7 p.m. Aug. 17. The budget can be cut without republishing, but if it is increased, it must be republished.

In other business:

  • City employee Chris Brewer was in a motor vehicle accident Tuesday while driving a city truck. The truck was probably totaled, Paine said. The accident did not appear to be Brewer’s fault.
  • A payment to engineering firm Evans, Bierly, Hutchison & Associates of Great Bend of $52,390 for engineering of wastewater treatment projects was approved. The bill was paid with funds from bonds and grants for wastewater treatment received in 2009.
  • Marion County Fire Chiefs Association retroactively received approval to discharge fireworks following the demolition derby Saturday at the fairgrounds. The council gave tentative approval at a work session Thursday, but couldn’t take formal action.

The next council meeting will be 7 p.m. Aug. 17.

Last modified Aug. 5, 2010

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