The "Electric City"
City of Horton
February 14, 2016
Although Lonnie Boller has a full-time job as well as owns an existing business (Boller Rentals), he decided in 2013 to start a side business. He saw the need for a local asphalt business after helping someone on a driveway. “I’d been thinking about it for a long time as a side business, and I like working outdoors. So I decided I was going to buy a seal rig,” said Lonnie. A seal rig consists of a tank that holds the sealant and a wand to spray the sealant onto asphalt driveways or parking lots. The sealant protects asphalt from water and lengthens the life of asphalt surfaces.
Sometimes an entire asphalt area does not need to be resurfaced but needs repairs. So Lonnie also purchased the hot rubber and crack-fill equipment that allows cracks in the asphalt to be filled in. The process is labor-intensive. First, a driveway or parking lot has to be cleaned and then swept off with brooms and blowers. Any deteriorated sections of asphalt are cut out and patched back in with new material. Next, larger cracks are filled with hot rubber to keep water out. Then a chemical is sprayed over the cooled rubber so that it doesn’t remain sticky. Finally, a sealant is sprayed over the driveway or parking lot.
Assisting Lonnie are his wife, Rita, and Rita’s brothers, Tony Kimmi and David Kimmi.
Lonnie used simple advertising for his side business: a Facebook account and word-of mouth. He did six driveways during the first year. He continued to buy more equipment, which enabled him to take on more work, and in the third year he purchased a second seal rig. In late 2015 he added an emulsion oil distributor to the business, which allows him to lay chip and seal driveways. This process can use rock, asphalt, or concrete as a base for the driveway.
Lonnie says he really enjoys seeing the end product. “The best part of the business is seeing how it renews the look of a driveway when it has been newly sealed or the look of a parking lot when it has been sealed and the parking spaces have been striped.”
The business does deal with a few challenges. The oil that is needed is not available locally, and one has to drive more than two hours to get it. Plus, the temperatures have to be just right for pouring the sealant----the hotter, the better with a minimum of 80 degrees required. Also, a large job requires more laborers, and sometimes it is hard finding the additional help to finish a job on time.
As a newly appointed Horton city commissioner, Lonnie is enthusiastic about supporting Reinvent Horton. He encourages other businesses to consider locating to Horton because of the small-town atmosphere.“The people in Horton are very friendly,” says Lonnie, “and they are committed to seeing the town grow.”
Lonnie can be reached at 785-547-5523 if anyone would like a bid on sealing an asphalt driveway.