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Plans for pond presented

Staff writer

A city-owned Hillsboro pond where an employee drowned in late August when his riding mower turned over and pinned him under water could be renamed in his honor, improved for safety, and turned into a fishing attraction.

Hillsboro High School students Blake Bernhardt, Charlie Peters, and Nate Hein met with council members March 9 to present their ideas to make the pond safer and more attractive to anglers. The three are students in Darrel Knoll’s government class.

Students have interacted with city council members this academic year and last.

The students recommended naming the pond, located between Bomgaars and R&D Liquor, the Ken Carlson pond in recognition of the mowing accident that cost Carlson’s life.

Carlson had been mowing around the pond when his mower slipped off an embankment.

Surveillance video from a nearby business showed Carlson was under water 50 minutes before he was found.

A safety committee of residents and Hillsboro’s street superintendent later discussed landscaping and reshaping the pond to enhance safety.

The three students presented a detailed plan as a class project.

They recommended installing limestone rock and flagstone around the bank to enhance safety.

That was the most expensive part of the work the students envisioned, at a cost estimated to be $9,600.

Dirt work averages $1,500 to $5,000, they said.

They recommended planting two weeping willow, three stands of pampas grass, and two cottonwood trees, at a cost of $249.83.

The students recommended stocking the pond with mosquitofish, Siamese algae eaters, grass carp, common pleco, bass, bluegill, channel cat, and fathead minnows, at a total cost of $851.05.

Their total estimate for the project was $13,200.61.

Council members were pleased with the ideas and expressed interest in following through with the plan.

Mayor Lou Thurston asked whether they would be able to raise the $851.05 for the cost of fish.

“I know there are people who have quit fishing in the pond,” Thurston said.

Council members also liked renaming the pond after Carlson.

Last modified March 17, 2022

 

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