The first June meeting of the Hillsboro City Council perhaps set a record for brevity when they met for 29 minutes, gavel to gavel, on Tuesday, June 11. A full house was gathered to witness the proceedings, however.
The first action item on the agenda was the swearing in of Adam Fath as the newest member of the Hillsboro Police Department. Public Safety Commissioner Michael Murphy administered the oath; Fath's wife, Kayla, pinned the badge on his uniform.
Kathy Gonet, representing the Salvation Army store on South Main, asked for help with storage space at that facility. Currently in use is a storage trailer parked behind the store on Berry Street, but a city ordinance limits the time such a trailer can be parked on a street. One option she suggested was a variance to the ordinance allowing that trailer to be stationary for more than a week.
The council and its legal council didn't like that option because it might lead to others wanting the same type variance for cars, travel trailers, and the like.
A second option was to park on the parking lot east of Berry Street, using perhaps three spaces. That option wasn't acceptable either because trailers aren't allowed on that or any other city-owned lot, partially because of past problems.
Mayor Brian Sullivan suggested using the third floor of the building they're in for storage; it had been used as apartments for domestic violence victims, but hasn't been used at all for a few years. Ms. Gonet said access to those apartments from the store isn't easy. She does need a solution, however, for the busy season of June, July, and August when donations are heaviest. "I don't want to turn donations away," she said, because donors might go to an out-of-town facility.
The mayor and city attorney Kit Hantla asked for time to find a solution; no formal action was taken Tuesday.
Finance Commissioner Katie Duncan brought May bills to the table amounting to $354,638.60. Paying the bills was approved unanimously.
Chamber of Commerce spokesperson/executive secretary Theresa Reeves asked council permission to barricade the entrance to the Courthouse Square on East Seward (off Rt. 16/127) this Saturday afternoon, June 15, as they host a Taste of Hillsboro celebration. Mrs. Reeves said they had five food vendors last year and expect ten this Saturday, and blocking off the one entrance will make it safer for the anticipated crowd. Businesses along Main Street can still be accessed by using North Main or West Seward. Permission was granted.
Commissioner Murphy said the fire department has a 1973 pumper truck that could be serviceable for a smaller department, so he asked it be listed as surplus property so it can be added in speciality trade magazines. That permission was also granted.
The last action item was an amendment to Liquor Control Ordinance 1532, which established a Cafe Permit Ordinance. The before amendment ordinance required food be served by any establishment selling liquor to be consumed at tables outside the establishment. The amendment removes the "food must be sold too" requirement. It too passed unanimously.
As is routine, Commissioner Daniel Robbins gave the first commissioner's report. JLS Marine is still assembling the new slips for the South Marina, and the Public Properties personnel made "multiple" repairs to doors and buildings at the sports complex after a recent break-in spree.
Robbins traveled to the lake to evaluate lot refunds, and to prepare a list of available lots. He reported the annual pool inspection with the Illinois Department of Public Health went well. Repairs and landscape work in all parks are done as needed; for example, the flags in Triangle Park have been replaced.
The Street Department installed a new eight inch water main behind the Red Rooster, and they have blacktopped Ninth Avenue and around Park-N-Eat. Tuesday was the first day of the city's new every other week leaf and limb pick-up service.
Murphy asked that the police dispatch number 532-6129 be printed so that citizens who see anything untoward can call for immediate help.
Duncan said she is now ready to put the budget together.
Water and Sewer Commissioner Don Downs said that Seward Street would be the site of water line replacement work soon as they shut off smaller feeder lines to the Red Rooster. The chlorine feed system at the water plant is undergoing repair. Downs also discussed new Illinois regulations about flushing fire hydrants.
The council next meets in regular session on Tuesday, June 25, at 7 p.m. in city hall.