City council to review sidewalk payment policy

By David Wright - [email protected]

Hillsboro City Council members discussed repayment policies for city sidewalk projects Wednesday evening in a special meeting, and voted to extend a property owner’s tax assessment from five years to ten years.

At council’s last regular meeting, Justin Crosley, who owns a corner building on High Street, appealed his property tax assessment for an upcoming sidewalk project affecting his property.

Hillsboro Mayor Drew Hastings recently told The Times-Gazette the city is fronting the initial funding for the project, and the affected property owners will pay the city back either up front or through property taxes. Hastings said some property owners have already paid up front, while others, like Crosley, were being assessed for a five-year property tax increase.

Crosley said during that meeting that his portion of the repayment was too expensive – about $12,000 spread over five years – essentially doubling his property tax for that time.

Council voted Wednesday to extend Crosley’s assessment from five years to ten years. Crosley was not present at the meeting.

Council members agreed the city should adopt a repayment policy for sidewalk projects, and council president Lee Koogler placed the issue in the Street and Safety Committee. Koogler said it will eventually be moved to the Finance Committee for further review.

Council went into executive session at the beginning of the meeting to discuss purchase of property. Hillsboro City Auditor Gary Lewis walked out of the executive session early and did not return for the meeting when council resumed business in open session. No action was taken on a property purchase.

Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.

By David Wright

[email protected]