Commission approves purchase of vacuum excavator

Longtime Hiawatha volunteer firefighter Gene Atland was recognized at Monday's City Commission meeting. Pictured with Atland are Fire Chief Patrick Sheldon and Mayor Becky Shamburg/Picture credit: Dawn Boyles

(KNZA)--The Hiawatha City Commission this week approved the purchase of a vacuum excavation trailer in order to complete a survey of lead and copper service lines in the city, which is required by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

On the recommendation of Public Works Director Brad Scott, the Commission approved the purchase of the piece of equipment from Vermeer Great Plains for $98,931. It was the lowest among four bids received from three companies.

Scott said the vacuum excavator can be used for other projects as well--including cleaning storm sewers.

Also on the recommendation of Scott, the Commission accepted a proposal from Maple City Heating for the replacement of the HVAC system at the public works building for $15,860. Bids were received from three companies.

In other business, the Commission on a 4-1 vote adopted a resolution setting a July 1st deadline for the repair or demolition of structures on 10 properties deemed by the city as unsafe. Commissioner Brian Shefferd cast the lone dissenting vote.

Mayor Becky Shamburg said the city recently learned that its grant application for a proposed housing development project near Bruning Park has been turned down for a second time. Shamburg said the Kansas Housing Resource Corporation was only able to approve 12 projects out of the 50 projects submitted. She said the city will keep pursing the grant.

At the beginning of the meeting, Shamburg presented a plaque to Gene Atland in recognition of his 20 years of service with the Hiawatha Fire Department. Atland has retired from the department.

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