Auditor says Hillsboro funding in ‘great shape’


Several projects in construction phase making good progress

By John Hackley - [email protected]



Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Brianne Abbott (left) and Hillsboro Public Works Superintendent Shawn Adkins are pictured at last week’s city council meeting.

Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Brianne Abbott (left) and Hillsboro Public Works Superintendent Shawn Adkins are pictured at last week’s city council meeting.


John Hackley | The Times-Gazette

Two pieces of legislation were passed and updates on city projects were given during Thursday’s meeting of Hillsboro City Council.

Hillsboro Auditor Alex Butler kicked off the meeting with an update of the city’s current available funding. “As we look to close 2022, I want to point out that our current general fund’s unencumbered balance is $1.7 million, and that is significant,” said Butler. “That’s significant because we had estimated that we would have about $1.1 million at the close of this year.”

Butler attributed the additional funding to good planning. “It’s not a surprise because it is the result of planning and fiscal conservatism,” he said. “That is a nice position to be in at this point in the year, so we are in great shape as we look to close 2022.”

Butler said income taxes collected by the city were estimated to be about $3.8 million for the year, and they are currently about to pass $3.9 million. “I anticipate we will top four by the close of the year, so that’s another good position to be in,” he said.

He said water revenue for the city is at 77 percent of what it is expected to be by the end of the year, and sewer revenue is at 76 percent of the expected total for the end of the year. “By the time we hit the end of December, we will be just about on the money,” he said.

Butler said some increased expenses were anticipated in the year’s budget. “We did increase our expenses for this year’s budget as far as fuel costs, and general operating supplies, maintenance repairs, facility repairs, and things of that nature, so I don’t see us having any problems making it to the finish line in 2022,” he said.

Butler said state auditors have been working to complete an audit of the city for the past two weeks and will continue the work for the next few weeks.

During the citizen’s comments potion of the meeting, three Hillsboro residents expressed concerns about a business on Muntz Street continually blocking access in and out of their private property, leaving trash in their yards, and people urinating in public in the area.

Council President Tom Eichinger said the city will look into the matter.

During her report to city council, Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Brianne Abbott said eight residential and eight commercial building permits were received by the city in September.

She said environmental work has been completed for 69 acres off of Fenner Avenue to be used for a proposed extension of Roberts Lane, and the city closed on the property last week. “We are continuing to seek additional funding for the Roberts Lane extension project as well as attract economic development opportunities,” said Abbott.

She said the city is awaiting the results of environmental work and seeking funding opportunities for the West Main Street greenspace project.

She said phase three storm sewer improvements, the North West water line replacement, and the water rate survey are all underway while the tornado sirens’ replacement, road crack sealing, Shaffer Park paving, and a pavement marking project have been completed.

Abbott said private developments that are currently in the construction phase and “making good progress” include Fenner Ridge Apartments, Buckeye Eye Clinic, and Patriot Public House. “The Marshall’s Department Store has been granted extensions on building permits, and the contractor has indicated they are awaiting the shell of the building to be delivered,” said Abbott. “The Marriott Hotel project is awaiting environmental work.”

Abbott said Trick or Treat and a special “Movies Under the Stars” event at the city’s greenspace will take place Thursday, Oct. 27. She also said anyone interested in volunteering for the city’s upcoming Christmas Parade and Christmas tree lighting should contact the city’s administration office. “We strongly encourage everyone to attend,” she said.

Abbott also provided an update about the recent Hillsboro Planning Commission meeting. She said the Imagine Hillsboro Master plan was discussed, a site plan for Goodwill was approved, and there was discussion of a proposed vet clinic on South High Street.

“And last, but certainly not least, I’d like to take a moment to honor and pay tribute to two influential women that the city unfortunately lost over the last few weeks,” said Abbott. “Karen Cundiff and Debbie Harsha were nothing short of amazing citizens who served their community well and will be greatly missed. They were two very successful businesswomen in their respective companies who also gave back to their community in a major way.”

Street and Safety Committee Chair Adam Wilkin reported about a joint meeting with the community enhancement committee concerning a proposed Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA). Wilkin said the city council has received some letters from residents concerned about the possible impacts of a DORA on residential neighborhoods.

“Nothing has been decided, and we are very much interested in hearing the public opinion about the proposed district,” said Wilkin. “In fact, we’ve had an online survey, but we have a lot more to do before this takes effect.”

During the legislative portion of the meeting, council passed a resolution to transfer two parcels of land owned by the city at 540 Johnson St. and 146 W. Beech St. to the Community Improvement Corporation for economic development purposes.

An ordinance to annex about 35.8 acres off of Fenner Avenue into the city of Hillsboro was also approved.

A resolution to advertise and solicit bids for a janitorial contract with the city and to declare it an emergency was introduced at the meeting, but it was moved to a second reading when council member Patty day voted against suspending the three-reading rule to declare the measure an emergency.

Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.

Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Brianne Abbott (left) and Hillsboro Public Works Superintendent Shawn Adkins are pictured at last week’s city council meeting.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2022/10/web1_Brianne.jpgHillsboro Safety and Service Director Brianne Abbott (left) and Hillsboro Public Works Superintendent Shawn Adkins are pictured at last week’s city council meeting. John Hackley | The Times-Gazette
Several projects in construction phase making good progress

By John Hackley

[email protected]