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Hillsboro ponders trail, streets, zoning

Staff writer

Hillsboro may get a second hiking and biking trail to run from 3rd St. to Orchard Dr., and then to Sonic if the city is receives a grant from Kansas Department of Transportation.

Hillsboro Cit Council members voted Tuesday to apply for a grant to build the trail in a northern portion of town that lacks sidewalks.

The trail would be in the same area as Hillcrest Grove, a proposed development to be built by Mennonite Housing.

Mennonite Housing has submitted a grant application to Kansas Housing Resource Corp., which will make awards in June. If Mennonite Housing receives an award, construction could begin in the fall.

Hillcrest Grove would consist of 12 duplexes with two and three bedrooms, a clubhouse, and a maintenance garage.

Street work

Work on Adams, S. Wilson, and S. Lincoln Sts. will be paid for by $1.56 million in general obligation bonds.

First, council members passed an ordinance that amended its list of designated main trafficways to include Adams, Wilson, Cedar, W. 1st, and Lincoln Sts.

“If there are sufficient funds left from the projects on Adams, Wilson, and Lincoln Sts., then we would be able to do some additional work Cedar and W. 1st St., specifically north of Grand Ave.,” Stiles told council members.

Stiles told council members he did not anticipate a property tax increase because of the bond sale.

No public vote will be needed to sell the bonds because a charter ordinance allows sale of bonds for infrastructure without a public vote.

Council members approved hiring Greg Vahrenberg as bond sale advisor.

The bonds would be repaid on a 10-year schedule.

Hospital district

Council members approved a hospital zoning district to define requirements and uses of land in the district and eliminate defined hospital services from other districts.

The zoning district was requested by Hillsboro Community Hospital chief executive Mark Rooker.

HCH would need to seek hospital zoning but still can operate in its current location because it was there before the zoning change.

HCH is technically owned by the Public Building Commission, who would need to make the zoning request on behalf of the hospital.

The new district does not prevent future hospitals from coming to Hillsboro. It creates a requirement that a hospital seeks the zoning and provides opportunity for public input, Stiles said.

“I’ve thought of other communities as being all willy-nilly in their planning,” Mayor Lou Thurston said.

Food trucks

Food trucks in Hillsboro will have to meet new requirements after council members approved having the city attorney draw up regulations specific to them.

Stiles said some food trucks recently showed up at a sporting event. He then he got a call from another food vendor who asked about city regulations.

Under the regulations Stiles proposed, food vendors will have options to pay $10 for a one-day license or $50 for a yearly license.

“That allows a vendor to try the community at low cost,” Stiles said.

License agreements would ensure sales tax will be collected and prevent use of public right-of-way except during city-sponsored events. Food trucks won’t be allowed downtown except during city-sponsored events.

Trucks would be prevented from setting up more than five consecutive days on the same property.

Food trucks at the county fair, farmers market, and arts and crafts fair will continue to be regulated by event organizers.

Other business

  • Stiles told council members he hired Brandon Hagemann as new golf superintendent. Hagemann has six years of experience in landscaping and hardscaping and as an arborist for Ryan’s Lawn and Tree, Stiles said.
  • Jerry Mendoza resigned as recreation director a week ago and Stiles is filling in until a new director is hired.
  • Council members agreed to let Hillsboro United Methodist Church have its annual fireworks show June 30. The day is one day before the city’s allowed time period for fireworks.
  • Council members set a special meeting for 7 p.m. May 13 at Bluejay Lanes to discuss with members of the public whether the city should assume ownership of the bowling alley.
  • Jeff Jorgenson was sworn in to fill out the remainder of Eric Driggers’ council term. Driggers sent a letter of resignation to Thurston on Monday. Jorgenson works for MB Foundation.

Last modified May 8, 2024

 

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