Jeremy Connor, a Hurst-Rosche engineer, conducted a public hearing at Hillsboro's City Hall to complete phase I of a federal grant application due in November for a $2 million Main Street renovation on Thursday, Sept. 12,
If received, the grant would provide 80 percent of the cost for street paving, sidewalks, and curbing around the court house and south on Main to NAPA, where the street intersects with Route 16 and Route 127 at the curve. The grant would pay 50 percent of new lighting costs.
Mayor Brian Sullivan said if this request is granted, then the city could pursue other ways to pay for new water and sewer lines in the same area. Those mains are antiquated, most likely near the end of their usefulness, so it only makes sense to replace that infrastructure while the street is torn up.
Connor said 80 towns across the nation had applied for this grant two years ago when it was last available, and Hillsboro was one of the eighty. Only 20 projects were funded; Hillsboro was not in that group. Connor felt the government was looking for shovel-ready projects; those who won grants had completed Phase I. Now Hillsboro has done that. The grant awards should be made known by March of 2020.
The architectural rendering presented Thursday night incorporated some of the changes suggested when a similar presentation was made to a meeting of the Historical Preservation Committee. The crosswalks, for example, are of pressed brick and triangular green spaces have been included in the street scape. The mayor said easier hookups for water and power would be part of the plan to help with festivals and events.
The renderings are available for viewing at city hall during regular 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. hours. Forms for viewers' responses are also available. The goal is to allow every citizen who has an opinion a chance to voice it. Input is welcome.