City will move ahead with wastewater project

Staff reporter

Even though the City of Hillsboro has not received official approval of the wastewater treatment plant project from USDA Rural Development, it will move ahead.

Rural Development has not released the project for construction even though the city has complied with deadlines.

The city applied for and was awarded a grant and loan for $5.2 million in August 2006 for a new sewer plant. Plans and specifications were submitted by the city Feb. 2, to Rural Development. Rural Development was to disperse funds within 90 days after the review period.

Hillsboro City Administrator Larry Paine reported he had called the Rural Development office at Iola and was told to move forward with bidding even though the project had not been released for construction.

More than 30 plan sets have been purchased, Paine said, prior to the bid opening which will be Nov. 27, which could mean competitive bidding.

A wastewater plant project is in the works because the city's sewer plant is not meeting discharge requirements.

"KDHE (Kansas Department of Health & Environment) has the city on its 'must fix this' list," Paine said. "We're out of compliance and we have to deal with it."

The city purchased property east of town where the new plant will be located.