Hillsboro now has a Future Land Use Planning Committee in place as the three city council members (Daniel Robbins was not present) who met Tuesday evening, Jan. 26, approved the appointment of Rex Brown, Jeremy Connor, Sami Eisentraut, Barb Hewitt, Brandi Lentz, Brian Limbaugh, and Brian Sullivan to that committee. According to city planner Jonathan Weyer, the committee will work in four areas: possible future zoning, use of current public land (owned by the city but not part of current park land), Eagle Zinc site development, and possible annexation.
Hired as part-time police officers, to work for the beginning wage for patrolmen, were Frank Kenny and Tom O’Brien. Kenny will continue his current position with the state, and O’Brien is a Montgomery County deputy. According to Public Safety Commissioner Michael Murphy, the two both received clearance from their full-time employers to accept the offered positions; both will be used to reduce overtime worked by the current staff.
During departmental reports, both Murphy and Utilities Commissioner Don Downs extended condolences to the Kirby family because of the death of Therasa Kirby. In addition, Murphy asks the public to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID 19. He said wearing a mask isn’t a political statement but a matter of public safety, so it’s a civic responsibility. Another civic responsibility is to not put furniture one wishes to discard on a city boulevard or in a ditch somewhere, but to call a sanitation company to have it hauled away.
Downs said the numerous small water leaks that have occurred lately can be blamed on the seasonal variance in temperatures in the ground. He also asked citizens to shop locally while that’s still an option, citing the loss of a major grocery chain store in a neighboring town as evidence of the damage not shopping locally can cause.
The council adopted the necessary Motor Fuel Tax resolution for the 2021 calendar year, appropriating $175,000 for street repair. Hurst-Rosche, Inc. provided the documents (resolution for maintenance of streets, an estimate of maintenance costs, and the engineering worksheet justifying those costs).
Three facade improvement grant requests were approved: the first was from Jamie Ross, who plans to open 3 Fern Hill Bakery in a building owned by Larry Lemon at 105 South Main Street. The submitted list of estimated costs amounted to $5,460; the work is eligible for a $2,000 grant.
The second grant, for $1,150, goes to The Dressing Room owned by Linda Saathoff at 221 South Main Street. That amount, payable when proposed work is completed, will help with the estimated cost of $3,100.
The third, for $2,000, will go to Baltic Avenue Investments Properties, to help with an $8,534 expenditure at 107 S. Main Street (on the west side of Courthouse Square).
The council agreed 3-0 (all votes taken at the meeting were 3-0) to spend $1,750 for fish at the North Access Kids’ Fishing Pond and $5,001 to restock Glenn Shoals Lake with 1,667 5”-8” Largemouth Bass. In addition, the cost of delivery will be $125.
Two payments were approved from the HUD grant to Bill’s Home Improvement (located in Litchfield) for work completed; Hillsboro -Site 2’s (on Beal Street) cost was $5,975 and represents final payment for that unit. The other was a partial payment for work done on an Anna Street residence for $11,430.
The last action before a 7:40 p.m. adjournment was to remove a city utility easement from the back yard of Allan and Letitia Spelbring at 7 Westwood. The easement was put into effect to allow for a manhole to service a sewer main in February of 2000, but the manhole was not installed on the Spelbring property, missing it by a few feet. That easement will be vacated.
The city council next meets in regular session on Tuesday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m.