Council reviews wish list for wastewater plant

Staff reporter

Even though it appears there will be money left over after paying bills from the original wastewater treatment project, Hillsboro Mayor Delores Dalke is none too eager for Hillsboro City Council to commit to additional projects.

Engineer Jim Kohman of Evans, Bierly, Hutchison & Associates of Great Bend, informed the council June 17 that since the wastewater project was being completed below the original estimate, the council should consider additional projects.

"Not so fast" was the message Dalke was sending, citing past experiences when contractors had said the same thing and the city ended up over budget.

Among the items the contractor recommended were the relocation of a forced main sewer from ALCO to the water plant to the pumping station by Lutheran Cemetery.

It was noted by the contractor that the pump station at the cemetery was corroding and needed to be repaired.

He then recommended the main sewer line follow Ash Street from ALCO to connect to a manhole in front of Casey's General Store. By doing this, the length of the main line would be reduced and the size of the pipe would be increased from four inches diameter to six inches.

Another recommendation by the contractor would be to put a plastic PVC pipe inside the existing pipe which would an economic fix.

City employees compiled a "wish list" with the items in the most need of repair at the top.

The contractor also recommended the lining of the main pipes.

The oldest pump station in town is on Willow Road. A pump station at Hillsboro Industrial Park also is older and needs to be rehabilitated.

Equipment needs also were prioritized by department employees which included a trailer-mounted generator, mower, and metal detector to find manhole covers. He assured the council that all of the items on the list would qualify for grant and loan funding.

"We were told this same thing when the water treatment plant was being improved," Dalke said, "but the city ended up in the hole. I don't want any additional projects engineered until we know where we're at."

The contractor advised the council that if it waits too long it could run the risk of not being able to expand the project before the loan and grant are sealed up for the project.

A representative of USDA Rural Development was to attend the meeting was not present.

The total project, funded through a Kansas Department of Health and Environment grant and a loan through Rural Development, is $2,342,266. The project began a few months ago and is anticipated to be completed by the end of the year.

In other matters related to the project, the council approved a payment of $454,916 to APAC-Kansas, Inc. of Hutchinson, and a total of $24,613 to Evans, Bierly, Hutchison & Associates.