• Last modified 3423 days ago (Nov. 4, 2009)


Hillsboro council increases sewer charge

Staff writer

Hillsboro City Council voted Tuesday to increase the price of sewer service by $8.70 per month, from $16.75 to $25.45. The vote was 3-1, with Councilman Byron McCarty opposed.

The increase will allow the city to pay back loans for the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant in 21 years instead of 40. It also will save the city $2.8 million in interest payments during that time, City Administrator Larry Paine told council members.

“If any of us could pay $8 extra and pay our home loan off in half the time, we would,” Councilman Bob Watson said.

After the meeting, McCarty said he supported paying the loan back quicker, but he didn’t think it was appropriate at this time. He would have preferred to wait until after Marion County makes a decision about jail facilities before raising the rate.

At the Oct. 20 council meeting, residents expressed concern that the increase would put an extra burden on people with a fixed income.

Council directs attorney to take action

The council met in closed session with Paine and City Attorney Dan Baldwin for about 40 minutes to discuss matters protected by attorney-client privilege.

When the council returned to open session, Mayor Delores Dalke instructed Baldwin to attempt to reach a resolution with the contractor that built Hillsboro Family Aquatic Center to fix some problems at the pool.

Burbach Aquatics, Inc., of Keystone, Colo., was the contractor.

Baldwin also was instructed to address covenants and restrictions in the Willow Glen subdivision. The city owns nine lots in Willow Glen.

In other business:

  • City employees were recognized for their years of service. Dalke thanked City Clerk Jan Meisinger, 30 years; Golf Course Superintendent Gary Andrews, 15 years; Refuse Department Head Kenneth Carlson, 10 years; and Senior Water Treatment Technician Morgan Marler, 10 years.
  • The council approved a 10-year commitment to Kansas Power Pool, at a base electric rate of $37.78 per megawatt-hour. Previously the city could opt out of KPP with two-years’ notice. The agreement will help stabilize electricity prices, Paine told the council.
  • The city will purchase equipment for the city sewer system for $108,325 with funds remaining from the wastewater treatment plant project. The funds cannot be used for any purpose except the sewer department, and if the city doesn’t use it, the grant money will be lost, Paine said. Equipment to be purchased includes a used backhoe with a four-way bucket and extend-a-hoe for $65,000 and a camera for sewer line inspection for $40,000.
  • Dalke appointed Paine to Marion County Economic Development Council.
  • Dalke appointed Councilman Shelby Dirks to meet with Hillsboro Development Corporation about raising money for the salary of the economic development director.

The next council meeting will be 4 p.m. Nov. 17.

Last modified Nov. 4, 2009