Agreement reached on Dari-Ette

City Attorney Dan Baldwin announced at the May 15 Hillsboro City Council meeting that a settlement agreement has been reached between the city and Jay L. and Cathy McClure regarding the Dari-Ette Drive-In.

Baldwin said the two sides agreed the city would pay the McClures $12,500 for the building.

The issue arose when the council decided earlier this year not to offer a new lease to the McClures for the property.

The original agreement with the McClures, signed Jan. 21, 1986, was for five years with the option of renewing two times for five additional years each time.

In lieu of the council’s decision not to issue a new lease, the McClures had asked the city to buy the building. The McClures originally asked for “slightly more than $20,000,” but lowered their request to $20,000 after the city countered with an offer of $10,000.

Baldwin said at the May 15 meeting that the McClures agreed to accept $12,500 and “the matter is now settled.”

The council took a break from its usual deliberations to watch JoAnn Knak, director of Marion County Emergency Medical Services, and her crew of volunteer emergency technicians demonstrate the new Stryker ambulance cot the city had helped purchase for the local ambulance crew.

“The council feels that the only time I come around is to ask for money,” Knak joked. “I wanted to show them what they’re getting for their money.”

As Councilman Wendell Dirks lay on the cot, the crew demonstrated various equipment features. The cot cost about $3,800.

Acting on the advice of Jerry Rayl, the city’s financial consultant, the council agreed to publish legal notices in the Hillsboro Free Press Digest and the Hillsboro Star-Journal while a legal opinion is been sought from Attorney General Carla Stovall as to whether the Digest, with 15 paid subscribers, qualifies to carry such notices.

A letter sent from Hoch Publishing, publishers of the Star-Journal, indicated the Star-Journal would carry the legal notices at no charge until a non-binding opinion from the attorney general is handed down.

If an opinion from the attorney general would influence the council to rescind its decision to make the Digest the city’s official newspaper, the Digest would reimburse the money it will have received for the service.

Rayl said the city’s bond attorney had recommended the council take the action to ensure upcoming funding initiatives would not be jeopardized by a later legal challenge.

“The bond counsel still has concerns, though he has not had time to investigate,” Rayl said. “My advice is to give the bond counsel what he wants.”

The council voted 4-0 to run the legal notices in both newspapers as recommended.

It was not made clear at the council meeting, nor afterward, who was or would be asking the attorney general to issue the opinion.

City Administrator Steve Garrett said the letter from Hoch Publishing asked the city to make the request, but the city has no plans to do so.

In his report to the council, Garrett recommended June 11 be the date for considering budget requests from city boards for 2002.

Garrett suggested that instead of having a representative of each city group meet individually with the entire council to ask for funds, as has been the practice in the past, he would meet privately with each group and then pass on their requests to the council.

Groups seeking funding could still address the entire council later if they felt it was important to do so, Garrett said.

The council accepted Garrett’s suggestion.

In other business, the council approved certification of the total final costs and assessment rolls for improvements at Willow Glen and Prairie Pointe housing additions.

Special assessments at Willow Glen totaled $249,640 for streets, $69,905 for storm sewer, and $139,466 for sewer.

At Prairie Pointe, the totals were $200,081 for streets and $145,427 for sewer.

The council also accepted a bid from the Hillsboro Lions Club for a three-year contract on the summer and fall concessions at the Hillsboro Sports Complex. The club will pay the city 10 percent of gross sales, excluding sales tax, for regular events at the Sports Complex, and 2 percent of gross sales, excluding sales tax, for tournament games.

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