City asks $650K in capital funds

By Gary Abernathy - [email protected]

Hillsboro City Council members were presented Monday with a look at the $650,000 Capital Budget Request that Mayor Drew Hastings plans to present to Ohio Speaker of the House Cliff Rosenberger this week, which includes a request for $375,000 to finish a sidewalk link from the courthouse square in uptown Hillsboro to Southern State Community College.

The pathway “improves pedestrian safety and access on U.S. 62 (North High Street) from Courthouse Square to the campus of Southern State Community College, a distance of 1.5 miles,” Hastings writes in the request. The funding will pay for “a minimum of 4,675 (feet) of new sidewalk segments and project engineering.”

Hastings notes that in November, “the city opened a crucial pedestrian bridge over a tributary of Clear Creek, which is required to complete the SSCC Pathway project.”

The capital request also asks for $100,000 for sidewalk repair “along numerous state and federal highways that converge in Hillsboro.”

“Ideally, the city seeks added authorization to use the state’s investment as a foundational contribution to a revolving loan fund for ongoing sidewalk repair projects along state and federal highways,” writes Hastings.

The request also seeks $175,000 for “City Center Lighting,” which “completes work on a 17-year-old plan to provide pedestrian street lighting along U.S. Routes 50 and 62 in downtown Hillsboro.”

The project “extends street lighting to the city’s only supermarket located in the central business district and to a proposed site for a hotel now in the development stages…”

Hastings writes that the stretch from uptown Hillsboro to Southern State includes “broken or non-existent sidewalks and long stretches of partially built and orphaned sidewalk segments that Hillsboro proposes (to) connect and rebuild… Providing a safe pedestrian link between home, school and work is a priority for the city in this capital request.”

The document says that the state investment “will jump-start the city’s rebuilding efforts” for sidewalks.

The mayor writes that the city “expects to significantly match the state investment made in this Capital Budget request, as it did with the recently completed pedestrian bridge project, and anticipates that all projects will be finished no later than the summer of 2017.”

Council also approved a 2016 city budget that anticipates nearly $5 million in General Fund spending and $13.4 million in grand total appropriations.

Planned expenditures include nearly $1.5 million for the police department, $44,000 for building inspections, $826,000 in street funds, $140,000 in recreation funds, and $154,000 in the Revolving Loan Fund, which the city has been using more frequently to help business growth in the city. The budget also includes $580,000 for the city’s contracted fire coverage with the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District.

Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or on Twitter @abernathygary.

By Gary Abernathy

[email protected]