The Hill City Business Improvement District Board (BID board) met Aug. 29 to look at the designs of its project to upgrade the senior center and parking behind the center.
Due to a busy summer schedule, it was the first time the board met since June and it took a step forward by approving designs for the project.
“I received the plans from (Kale McNaboe, city engineer for Hill City) just earlier today,” said Brett McMacken, city administrator for Hill City. “It needs some fine tuning, but for the most part it’s ready to go.”
The project consisted of the base bid (the alleyway) and three alternatives that could be added on to the project (a concrete or asphalt pad at the rear of Hill City Senior Center for parking, paving the tennis courts and redoing the area near the Boys and Girls Club).
In order to do the project, the city would need to obtain easements from the businesses that border the project area, McMacken said, and access to the alleyway would need to be restricted while the project is underway.
Because of this, McMacken said, it is important to communicate with the businesses regarding what is happening during the project.
The board looked over the plans, which called for a handicapped-parking area near the senior center.
“Our only question is: do we want this area to be that big?” asked Dennis Krull, a member of the BID board. Krull was not suggesting that there be fewer spots, rather, he was suggesting if the area in which the spots would be located should be that big. Krull also wanted to know if there would be a sidewalk that would lead people from town to the parking near the senior center.
There would be, said Buzz Grover, project manager for the BID board.
Access to the lot will only be from the alleyway, McMacken said.
Krull said he hopes much of the parking could be used for employees on Main Street so that visitors can park on Main Street.
“If we get all of the businesses to tell their employees to use the angled parking (by the senior center), that could work,” Grover said.
Overall, though, the BID board was pleased with the plans.
The plans are “really, super close,” McMacken said, and they are “ready to go” for the most part.
The issue of timing with the project was then brought up.
Since the summer has been wet, Chuck Voorhees, a member of the BID board, said many contractors are behind.
McMacken agreed, saying the board would pay a premium price for the construction. Krull wanted to know if the board could have it done by the beginning of next May.
McMacken said McNaboe recommended the board give the contractors as big of a window as possible to get the work done.
“We could give them an end date for the end of May,” Krull said.
McMacken liked this idea, saying the board needs to get the project out to bid, which would result in a wider window to get the project done.
Grover suggested the project end date be May 31.
McMacken said if the board votse to go out to bid at that meeting, the Hill City Common Council could approve both the plans for construction and the plan to go out to bid at its next meeting Sept. 9.
Then, after the council approves the plans, the board could publish the bids with official bid opening in October.
The board liked this plan.
“We need to get this going,” Krull said.
Krull made the motion to approve the plans. BID board member Tim Johnson made a second.
The plans were approved 4-0, a unanimous vote by the BID board members in attendance.