City carryover better this year despite pandemic


Several ordinances, resolutions discussed

By Jeff Gilliland - jgilliland@timesgazette.com



Hillsboro Auditor Alex Butler talks Monday evening to city council as council member Mary Stanforth looks on.

Hillsboro Auditor Alex Butler talks Monday evening to city council as council member Mary Stanforth looks on.


Jeff Gilliland | The Times-Gazette

The carryover this year in the city of Hillsboro’s general fund was much better than expected during a global pandemic, auditor Alex said at Monday’s city council meeting.

Butler said the carryover this year was $1,634,860, compared to $988,584 a year ago.

“I don’t think Covid affected us as bad as we thought it would, so it will be interesting to see how it affects us in 2021, and we hope we will be pleasantly surprised…,” Butler said.

There were multiple reasons for the unexpected carryover, according to Butler.

One, he said, was that water and sewer revenue was about the same as the year before and was not dramatically impacted by individuals who could not pay their bills. Another was the $418,356 the city received in Covid CARES Act funding, a large portion of which went to reimburse expenses. He said the city also received a rebate of $27,000 from the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation in May, and another rebate of $268,215 in December, with about $171,000 of that going back into the general fund.

“The spirit of teamwork, some smart decisions, and sacrifices from city employees and department heads really helped us,” Butler said. “We all pumped the brakes on the spending and spent way less than anticipated for 2020.”

In a separate financial matter, Butler said the city was able to refinance some bonds from a 2004 water system project. He said the refinancing dropped the interest rate from 3.5 percent to 1 percent and should save the city $234,485 by the time the bonds mature in 2031.

During his report to council, mayor Justin Harsha said the city’s new Community Improvement Corporation is up and running with the following members: Harsha, safety and service director Brianne Abbott, council president Tom Eichinger and code enforcement officer Lauren Walker.

Abbott told council during her report that a pedestrian bridge at Liberty Park is under construction and the bridge should be delivered Wednesday.

In notes prepared before the meeting, she said:

* A purchase agreement is being prepared and a note for purchase is being obtained for the former firehouse at the corner of Governor Trimble Place and North High Street. She said interest in the property for development is continuing to grow.

* The Parker Hotel lot on West Main Street is listed for sale.

* A temporary meeting space in the upper level of City Hall is permitted and construction is underway.

* A scholarship program the city created last year will continue in 2021 and plans for a Senior Week are underway.

* The Marriott Hotel developers are requesting $200,000 in TIF funds per a resolution from 2018. The developers have signed a promissory note and if bonds do not sell in six months that amount will be repaid to the city.

* White’s Bakery has closed on its new location at the former BP Station on West Main Street.

* The Magic Tunnel Car Wash has closed on a property on North High Street. Abbott said there is currently no timeline for construction.

In other business, council took action on a number of ordinances and resolutions.

No vote was taken after the third reading of Ordinance 2020-19, establishing an appeals fee in the city. After council member Patty Day spoke against it, no motion was made to approve it.

“I will not be able to support an appeals fee in the city of Hillsboro. I feel that as elected or appointed officials, if someone does have concerns about a decision that’s made, they should have the right to have us look into it without having to pay a $100 fee to do that. So I’m sorry, but I will not be able to support that,” Day said before the motion was requested.

Ordinance 2020-21 was passed, approving the application forms and fees specified therein associated with building and land use controls in the city.

Ordinance 2020-24 was approved, changing the zoning classification of certain parcels and modifying the zone map.

Resolution 21-10 was adopted, authorizing the safety and service director to bid and accept the lowest and best bid for a Springlake Avenue improvement project.

Resolution 21-11 was adopted, authorizing the safety and service director to apply for, accept, and enter into a Water Supply Revolving Loan Account Agreement on behalf of the city for planning, design and construction of the Springlake Avenue Improvements Project Facilities, and designating a repayment source for the loan.

Resolution 20-12 was adopted, authorizing the safety and service director to apply for, accept, and enter into a cooperative agreement for construction of the Springlake Avenue Improvements Projects between the city and Ohio Water Development Authority.

The Springlake project will involve road reconstruction, widening, curbs and gutters, water lines, storm sewer and sidewalks, public works administrator Shawn Adkins said.

Ordinance 2021-02 had its first reading. It would change the zoning classification of certain parcels on West Street and modify the zoning map. Eichinger sent the ordinance to the zoning committee to review and report back on at the next council meeting.

Ordinance 2021-03 was adopted, recodifying ordinances for the city.

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.

Hillsboro Auditor Alex Butler talks Monday evening to city council as council member Mary Stanforth looks on.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2021/02/web1_Council-pic.jpgHillsboro Auditor Alex Butler talks Monday evening to city council as council member Mary Stanforth looks on. Jeff Gilliland | The Times-Gazette
Several ordinances, resolutions discussed

By Jeff Gilliland

jgilliland@timesgazette.com