By Jeff Gilliland - jgilliland@timesgazette.com



Council discusses Parker House and Marriott Hotel

During a virtual meeting Monday afternoon, Hillsboro City Council discussed the Parker House and ongoing plans for a Marriott Hotel in the city.

With no council committee meetings held the past few weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, council skipped committee reports, along with the mayor and safety and service director’s reports, and went straight into the legislative portion of the meeting.

Along those lines, council approved a resolution deeding a wall that was shared by the city-owned and now demolished Parker Hotel over to the owner of the formerly adjoining Parker House.

“It was a shared wall, the Parker Hotel has no need for the wall, so we’re deeding it over to the adjoining owner,” Hillsboro Safety and Service Brianne Abbott said.

She said the city would have no liability for the wall once it is deeded over, and that the Parker House owner is paying for repairs to the wall.

Mayor Justin Harsha said the part of the wall the city owned was left standing to help support the adjoining Parker House wall. He said the area where the two walls join is between the front and rear of the building and is probably 40 to 50 feet long.

Council also discussed an infrastructure improvement agreement for the Marriott Hotel. Abbott said there were several changes from the previous agreement, and that the city wanted to make sure sidewalks, street lighting and other “things that will improve the city” were in the agreement.

Abbott said it was her understanding that the developers still plan to move forward with construction of the hotel.

“There have been several start dates, with May being the most recent, but unfortunately with everything going on it’s going to continue to be pushed back a little,” Abbott said.

Council president Tom Eichinger placed the issue with council’s finance committee.

The multi-million dollar development will be situated on currently vacant land approaching the intersection of North West Street, SR 73 and Harry Sauner Road. Developers have estimated the project will take 12 to 14 months to complete.

In another matter, council approved an agreement for mutual police aid between Hillsboro and Greenfield.

“It’s so we can provide and receive police protection with the village of Greenfield,” Abbott said. “I think it’s always important, but even more so now, and if someone got sick we’d like to be able to provide mutual aid.”

Council passed three pieces of legislation dealing with refinancing bonds. The bonds will be used to pay off the USDA loan that was used to pay for improvements to the city’s water system back in 2005, primarily the new water plant near Richard Shaffer Park.

The refinancing is being done to save the city money. Auditor Alex Butler said it’s hard tell exactly how much the refinancing will save because rates have been so volatile. He said that when the topic was first discussed back in February it could have saved the city nearly $700,000, but as of last week it looked more like around $430,000.

Eichinger also urged Hillsboro residents to be sure to fill out their 2020 census.

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.

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By Jeff Gilliland

jgilliland@timesgazette.com

Council discusses Parker House and Marriott Hotel