On January 9, the Hillsboro City Council accepted the retirement date for the city's water superintendent during their first meeting of 2018.
Public Improvements Commissioner Don Downs read a letter of intent to retire from Water Superintendent Roger Fath. In the letter, Fath said it was an "honor and a privilege to serve as the city's water superintendent for 39 years."
Downs said that Fath has been a major part of the new water plant that was built years ago, and that he's ready to take a break. He mentioned calling Fath as recently as New Years Eve to help with a water problem within the city, and despite feeling under the weather and the late time of night, Fath left his home to address the issue. The date of retirement has been set for March 2.
Mayor Brian Sullivan's appointment of Don Karban to the Zoning Board of Appeals was approved by the council, 4-0. Mayor Sullivan said the Hillsboro Planning Commission has repeatedly said that they would like to have more involvement with the board, and they recommended having Karban -- who sits on the planning commission -- fill a vacancy on the Zoning Board of appeals. The seat was left vacant by Dave Hamlin, who recently resigned.
A Tax Increment Financing (TIF) redevelopment proposal was approved for a property on South Main Street. The work will be done by Brian Lee on a property located across the street from the new National Bank building. The property has sustained termite damage, and both buildings next to it would be in danger of becoming damaged if the building itself were to collapse.
Mayor Sullivan said the building contains two storefronts and two apartments. The funding, which will be $100,000 total, will be distributed in three payments. The first payment of $30,000 will be made after the first storefront is ready to have a 'for rent' sign placed inside. The second payment, also for $30,000, will be made after the second storefront is completed. The third payment will be made for the remaining $40,000 once the apartments are completed.
Mayor Sullivan said Mr. Lee told him he believed the work would take between two and three years to complete. Lee also said he believed he could have both storefronts completed in a year and a half. City Attorney Kit Hantla said this type of project is what TIF money must be used for. The proposal was approved, 4-0. Mayor Sullivan added that there will be a formal resolution to finalize the funding at the next meeting.
The council also approved liability and workers compensation insurance for 2018. The city will spend $74,174 on workers compensation insurance in the next fiscal year, and $83,497 for liability insurance. According to city Clerk Cory Davidson, the total amount of $157,671 is $45,000 cheaper than last year's coverage. The motion passed, 4-0.
A payment of $29,000 to Stutz Excavating was also approved for repairing East Street as soon as weather allows. Commissioner Downs said that the payment will cover the cost of the materials, and Stutz Excavating agreed to accept less than full price since it wasn't the completed project.
Downs also explained that East Street is still closed because if it is kept open during the freezing and thawing of winter and spring, the improvements that were made last fall would be lost. He apologized for the inconvenience, but stressed the importance of doing the job right rather than making it worse.
The council also approved hiring Extreme Pyrotechnics, LLC to put on the fireworks display on July 4. Finance Commissioner Katie Duncan said this is the same company who put on the fireworks in 2017, after the previous company backed out at the last minute. The council voted to approve a payment of $10,400 since the company does not do agreements.
The next Hillsboro City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 23, at 7 p.m.