City sells lots at two development parks

Staff reporter

Hillsboro City Council met in special session Monday to approve the sale of land in the newly acquired, yet-to-be-developed Hillsboro Business Park and two lots at Hillsboro Heights.

Lots 1, 2, 3 in Block 1 at Hillsboro Business Park were purchased by JKC, LLC for $123,246.

On the city council's agenda from the previous week, it was divulged that Midway Motors of McPherson was the purchaser of the lots. The sale of the lots are contingent on the city providing a street from Washington to U.S.-56. If the property is not developed within three years, the city can buy back the lots.

Development of the infrastructure will not begin until construction is planned.

Lots 4 and 5, Block 1, at Hillsboro Heights were sold to Vada M. Reimer Trust. The lots are located between Country Haven Motel and Sonic Drive-In.

The council approved the sale for $20,000 but wanted it written on the contract that the buyer will be responsible for drainage.

City administrator Larry Paine said the council needed to discuss infrastructure options at the business park at a future meeting. He was checking into temporary financing and wants to be ahead of buyers and construction of businesses.

Other discussions have occurred between Paine and Hillsboro Development Corporation Director Clint Seibel regarding a prospective business at the city's industrial park that will require additional infrastructure. Bids for the two projects could be together to save money on a contractor.

In other business:

— With more information obtained, the council agreed to pay Kansas Power Pool a $64,000 advancement for the electric utility. When the bill is calculated with actual usage, that $64,000 will be deducted from the monthly statement.

The agreement stated there was a clause that guarantees two months of funds from KPP to SPP (Southwest Power Pool) for electric transmission fees. SPP holds a letter of credit from KPP for the cost of transmission from each city participating in the pool. Hillsboro's portion of the letter of credit is $19,000.

When the agreement is approved between KPP and Westar Energy and received by SPP, the deposit will be returned to KPP. Paine said no city funds are involved at this point but if the agreements are not received, each city then would have to deposit the letter of credit funds with KPP to cover the cost of transmission.

Currently the interim contract with Westar requires a monthly pre-payment to purchase electricity. When a permanent contract is approved by all parties and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the city's contract will be billed on a consumption basis.

Mayor Delores Dalke asked if Westar's $22 million increase would be collected from their direct customers or will be city be directly affected. Paine said the city's contract was locked in and the rate increase won't affect that rate.

Councilman Shelby Dirks asked if the city could generate its own power. Paine responded it would not be cost-effective for the city to do that unless it had an option of a coal-fired plant, which won't happen.

Dalke said it was fortunate that the council decided not to do a joint natural gas plant with Marion. She continued that it is unfortunate that county zoning only allows wind turbines in a specific area, near Florence.