Calling the uptown fountain project something “that could not have possibly happened without this gift from the Bagshaws,” Hillsboro Mayor Drew Hastings stood with Safety and Service Director Mel McKenzie, and Bob and Anne Bagshaw, Monday at the site of the proposed decorative cascade, to be located behind where flags currently fly on the southeast corner of the Highland County Courthouse grounds.
“This will be an outstanding addition to uptown Hillsboro,” Hastings said, calling it “a great gift from a great family.”
He said the Bagshaws approached him about four years ago with an offer to build a fountain for the city of Hillsboro and since that time, there have been some “stops and starts” until Monday’s small ceremony on the courthouse square.
“The county gave permission for a small piece of land that the fountain would sit on,” Hastings said, adding that the city would be responsible for building and maintaining it.
He described maintenance costs that would come from the city’s street operations fund as minimal.
As previously reported in The Times-Gazette, the Highland County Board of Commissioners approved a contract last August between the county and the city regarding the new fountain.
McKenzie said the fountain will be located where a flagpole currently stands, and that the flagpole would be relocated to set behind the fountain when construction is completed. A Bagshaw family spokesperson indicated the fountain should be operational sometime in September.
The spokesperson wanted to set the record straight that the uptown fountain project is being paid for by the Bagshaw family as a gift to the city of Hillsboro and Highland County, and the family is footing the bill, which is now in excess of $100,000.
“There has been a little bit of work done by the city like preparing the infrastructure for the fountain,” the spokesperson said. “But I want everyone to know that about 99 percent of the costs of this is being funded by Anne and Bob Bagshaw.”
Much of the success of the fountain project up to now rests with Jim Bailey of the Evans Landscaping Company, whom the spokesperson said has donated hundreds of hours to the project without charge, and who has also done the legwork in bringing in the various subcontractors.
She also attributed the realization of the project to Hillsboro Public Works Superintendent Shawn Adkins, who the spokesperson said made “every meeting that we had on this was better because he was there with his expertise.”
Now that the fountain’s rendition, appearance and costs have been approved, the spokesperson said Bailey has been given the green light to line up the local subcontractors for the project and to contact the fountain installation group to determine when they can begin, and that the timing for construction would then be figured backward from that date.
“If they say they can be ready by mid-August, then they’ll time it so that everything involved like plumbing, concrete and anything else infrastructurewise gets done before they pour the final concrete, finish the wall or whatever they have to do on the fountain itself,” the spokesperson said.
Hastings said that as someone who appreciates the history of Hillsboro, the fountain will be one that is historically and aesthetically pleasant, adding that he was honored and grateful to the Bagshaws for wanting to give some something back to the community.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.