Hillsboro Council Approves Fee Schedule

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Hillsboro's city council okayed a new Parks and Recreation Fee Schedule as recommended by the Natural Resources Committee at their first meeting of 2020 held Tuesday night, January 14. All council members were present for the meeting ran by mayor pro tem Katie Duncan because Mayor Brian Sullivan's father-in-law just passed. (That obituary is in today's Journal-News.)

To rent the Fireman's Clubhouse will require a $100 deposit plus $75 a day for city residents. The Challacombe House will also require a $100 deposit plus $100 for four hours ($125 for non-residents); $150 for a full day ($187.50 for non-residents), and $200 for a holiday ($250 for non-residents).

Slips at the South Marina (the fees run from April 1 to March 31) cost $650 for the older ones and $950 for the ones just added. Archery deer hunters (no firearms allowed) will pay $150 to hunt on city owned land (designated area only), while a county resident will pay $200 and out of county will pay $250. There is a $50 deposit. Those wishing to build and use a waterfowl blind have the same fee structure, except non-residents' deposit is $200. A $25 lottery fee for any open spots also applies.

Other applicable lake area fees include lake lot fees ($175 for a city resident, $225 for a county resident, and $275 for out-of-county folks, plus a $200 deposit per lot), boat trailer parking ($20 monthly, $100 annually, $15 monthly for anyone leasing a marina slip, and $75 annually for a slip lessee), and watercraft rental. Available will be two paddle boards, four kayaks, and one canoe; see the campground manager for availability.

A daily pass at Central Park Pool will be three dollars in 2020 unless one is under four or over 60. Admission is free for them. An individual season pass is $75 for a city resident, $90 for a non-resident; and a family season pass is $160 for up to five people for a city family (add $25 for each additional person) and $185 for non-resident families (add $30 for each additional person).

A pool party will require a $70 deposit plus $120 fee. Hours are from 6-8 p.m. for parties, plus lifeguards receive $25 directly from the renting party. Two lifeguards are required for up to 30 guests, with an additional one required for each additional ten guests.

Campers will pay $1,400 seasonally if the site has a sewer connection, $1,100 without that hookup. Monthly campers pay $500; it's $125 if the site is rented for a week. Daily campers pay $25 unless they are in a tent; then it's $20. That fee rises to $40 per camper and $30 per tent for holidays and special events.

Illinois resident seniors (over 62 and Class 2 or 2A Disabled) receive a 50/10 discount Monday through Thursday after paying a $10 utility fee per site. Active duty, reserve military, police, and firefighters receive 20% off their camping fee. Disabled veterans, past prisoners of war, and veterans with an IDNA special pass camp free except for the $10 utility fee per site per night.

The cabins go for $20 a day Monday through Thursday with a $50 deposit and $50 a day Friday through Saturday. The cost is $40 per day on holidays and for special events. Winter storage is available at the campground; it's $300 for seasonal and returning campers. Trailers can be overwintered for $75 if the trailer is under 16 feet and $125 if it's over that length.

Seasonal boat permit fees depend on the size of the motor as well as the boater's address. One to 20 horsepower is $30 for a city resident, $40 for a county resident, and $45 for anyone out of county. 21-50 horsepower rates are $40, $50, and $60 for the same categories. The rates top off at over 201 horsepower when they are $75, $135, and $185.

Sailboat owners pay $30, $45, and $50. Jet-skis are $150, $185, and $235 for a season. Daily boat permits are $10, $15, and $20; two-day jet-ski permits are $30, $50, and $75.

A non-motorized watercraft costs its owner $20, $25, or $30 seasonally or $5 for a week in the water. If one is in a tournament, the daily fee is $8 no matter where one lives.

As Finance Commissioner, Duncan presented $368,485.48 worth of bills for approval. Also approved was spending $20,000 to purchase the Eagle Zinc property from T.L. Diamond and Company and to approve a proposal from Hurst and Rosche Engineers to update the city's zoning map for $2,600. That work was last done in 2014.

The council agreed to purchase 11 baby changing stations for bathrooms at a cost of $1,348.70; public law mandates public bathrooms, male and female, have those stations.

A lease agreement for the South Marina restaurant with Ryan Turner was approved. Sherwood Forest will have a campground manager for this camping season rather than co-hosts after the council discussed Parks Commissioner Daniel Robbins motion to make the change. Robbins and Parks' Superintendent Jim May cited problems with co-host retention in the past in asking for the change.

May said, "What we have isn't working," and reported asking those who have camped across the country for suggestions for a more workable method of doing business. Also approved was money to advertise for someone to fill the new position.

Drawing lengthy discussion was Robbins' request to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) so professional mowers can bid on mowing specified city property. The purpose would be to free up manpower to do other duties (Commissioner Don Downs commented about ditches full of weeds last summer). Heavy rainfall at times last summer made keeping up with mowing almost impossible, and having to mow before planned events meant other work couldn't be done. To have others contracted to do the mowing would make scheduling easier. The motion to advertise passed 3-1, with Duncan casting the no vote.

During the time for public comment, Police Chief Randy Leetham reminded the council that he began work for the city as summer help while he was still in high school.

A vacancy will soon occur in the Parks and Public Properties Department as Shawn Robinson is resigning to pursue other options. Other union members can bid for his job, but in case no one bids or no one is qualified, Robbins asked for authority to advertise for an employee.

Hurst-Rosche engineer Scott Hunt had some "quick updates." The proposed Central Park bridges' paperwork has been submitted to the state, but Hunt anticipates significant permitting fees will be required. 2019 Motor Fuel Tax paperwork must be cleared by March 1, and the 2020 initial paperwork for MFT was submitted on Sept. 12 of 2019. It has yet to be reviewed because of engineering turnover. In the commissioner reports segment of the meeting, Robbins mentioned concrete spillway renovation needed at Lake Hillsboro; Hunt said a letter concerning that issue has been okayed and submitted to the state.

Community planner Jonathan Weyer said a new restaurant, Hometown Farmacy, is to go in the Lemon Building on Courthouse Square; hopefully it'll be open March 1 or soon thereafter. Plans for more organized marketing of the city are in development, and he reminded those in attendance of an e-commerce seminar to be held on Feb. 1 - more details about that will be presented at the Jan. 28 council meeting.

Duncan said budget files will begin soon because January is half-over.

Downs met with the Windsor Development Group which is building the subdivision for the Public Housing Authority just west of the Eagle Zinc site. During their work they discovered an inch and a half PCV pipe serving as a water main; they will replace it with approximately 650 feet of six inch main. He talked of other projects the city needs to address with mains that need to be lowered in front of Beckemeyer School and along St. Louis, Fairground, and Big Four Streets. Previous grant requests have been denied, but the work needs done. He also brought up a Huber Hill project.

Public Safety Commissioner Mike Murphy asks that only responsible dog owners use the new dog park. Pick up after your own dogs was the gist of his monologue.

The council next meets on Tuesday, Jan. 28, at 7 p.m. in city hall.

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