Roberts Lane design goes before council

Hillsboro City Council was likely hear and vote on a resolution that will bring the proposed Roberts Lane extension construction project closer to reality during a meeting Thursday.

The resolution is up for its first reading before the city council, and, if approved, will allow the city to enter into a contract with DLZ Ohio, Inc. to perform design services for the project at a cost of no more than $712,835.

The current estimated cost for the entire project is $9.6 million. The city has been awarded $2.3 million in grant funding and continues to seek further funding opportunities for the project. Estimated start and completion dates for the entire project are unknown at this time, according to information provided by Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Brianne Abbott.

The project will include two roundabouts and a section of roadway connecting Roberts Lane and S.R. 73, essentially connecting two separate commercial districts within the city.

According to the project narrative laid out by the city, the proposed Roberts Lane extension “is a huge priority and necessity for the city of Hillsboro to welcome economic growth, expansion and retention.”

Hillsboro has seen a great deal of commercial development during the past few years, and the city currently has a limited supply of available vacant commercial property to increase economic development efforts, the city said.

The city recently welcomed Dunham’s Sporting Goods and is anticipating a spring groundbreaking for a Marshall’s department store. Additionally, there is a proposed Marriott Hotel location in the city, and Fenner Ridge Apartments, a 52-unit apartment complex that is under construction.

“With the completely central location that opens up from this extension, the possibilities are endless for economic growth for our community and beyond,” the project narrative reads. “As a city, it is important to be intentional and proactive to continue the economic momentum we have seen over the last few years and our objective is to pave the way toward continued growth, development and progress for those who live, work and play in Hillsboro, Ohio.”

According to the narrative, the project has the potential to create jobs, provide entertainment, and create entrepreneurial opportunities in Hillsboro. It is also predicted in the narrative that the project would increase tax revenues locally and statewide as well as improve the quality of live for Southern Ohio residents.

“A project of this magnitude is an aggressive goal for a city of our size and funding opportunities will make this development a reality,” the narrative reads.

Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.