Four ordinances were passed at the Hillsboro City Council meeting last Thursday and four resolutions that require at least six of the seven council members to be present will be voted on during a special council meeting later this month because of the absence of three council members.
During the meeting, Hillsboro Mayor Justin Harsha announced the award of $6,000 in scholarships to three Hillsboro High School graduating seniors. KaleyJo Myers, Sarah Newsome and Eden Edenfield each received $2,000. Meyers and Newsome were at the meeting for the presentation. Edenfield was at a track meet.
Local businesses and individuals contributed $3,000 to the scholarships, and the city of Hillsboro matched that amount.
“They did great on their essays, and I would like to welcome them here,” said Harsha.
Harsha also proclaimed the Week of May 9-13 as High School Senior Recognition Week within the city of Hillsboro.
“Families, friends, neighbors and educators should encourage everyone to focus on the abilities of all young people and honor their hard work,” said Harsha during the proclamation.
In her report to city council, Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Brianne Abbott highlighted information about three upcoming city projects. She said the city received a grant of $336,000 from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for pedestrian safety projects.
“This will allow the city to install high visibility crosswalks in the mid range crossings in the historic district downtown,” said Abbott.
Abbott said the Highland County Commissioners Office has approved an application for a grant for additional funding for a handicap-accessible playground at Harmony Lake to be submitted to the state of Ohio. “If all goes as planned that project can be a reality,” she said.
According to Abbott, the city received notice of an award of $2.3 million through the state controlling board for a road extension project on Roberts Lane.
“I would like to thank all the individuals who made that possible from the people who wrote the grants and put the projects together and the individuals who thought our projects were important enough to fund,” said Abbott.
Council member Dan Baucher reviewed the minutes of a joint meeting of the finance and civil service committees from May 3 to discuss an ordinance concerning the pay of city employees. “Copies of the ordinance and benchmark data were given to the members,” said Baucher. “Pay rates of the city officials were discussed, and members are to look at the data presented and the handouts for further discussion at further meetings.”
Council approved and adopted an ordinance to amend the fee associated with amusement devices in the city. The ordinance will raise the annual license fee for gaming machines that award redeemable tickets to $50.
An ordinance to appropriate funding for a water rate study was approved and adopted. “The utility committee is requesting that the administration conduct a water rate study, and this expense was not in the 2022 budget so an appropriation increase is necessary to proceed with the assessment,” said Abbott, speaking for Hillsboro Auditor Alex Butler. “The cost is $6,500.”
An ordinance to transfer $9,050 from the Water Revenue Fund to the Water Debt Retirement Fund to pay for debt service related to Spring Lake Avenue infrastructure improvements was approved and adopted.
An ordinance to make available an $8,500 donation and $1,205 from the sale of a retired Dodge Charger to the budget of the Hillsboro Police Department was approved and adopted.
An ordinance to increase water usage rates by 3 percent was given its first reading. “The utilities committee met in May to discuss the potential for a water rate increase for usage, not an increase on the base fee,” said council member Jason Brown. “It is needed because by law the water fund has to be balanced, and it looks like in the near future it won’t be. We are all very aware that the city’s water rates are already high, and no one wants to see an increase.”
Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.