City of Hillsboro Economic Development Director Anthony Roy has already accomplished much in his short time on the job.
“We served nearly 400 people at the First Annual Prairie Smokin’ Festival in May. It didn’t go nearly as smooth as what we would have liked it too, but we still considered it a success. We did it similar to what they do in Clearwater, Kansas, and we had about double the people that they had in their first year,” said Roy. “We will be doing this again next May.”
Roy’s team partnered in this event with Countryside Feed which donated funds to Feed the Kids program.
“We plan to partner with them again next year and any extra funds we make will go to that program. The goal is to have a community event as well as raise funds for a charity,” said Roy.
Cooperative Grain and Supply is building a new grain storage facility on the east side of town.
“We sold that property to the coop. I think it is getting close to being done,” said Roy.
Roy is most proud of the recent food option added through the E-Community Loan.
Mama C’s Take and Bake opened in July by Hillsboro resident Carla Hamm. The new business is located on Grand Street across from Dale’s in between Panda Kitchen and First Mennonite Church.
Mama C’s is not a restaurant.
“I am not licensed as an eatery. I can’t have people eating here and I can’t cater. But I can offer food. I can make food for you to get here and take back to your home or office. It’s more of a take and bake. Take it back home or to the office and pop it in the microwave. I can even make food for you to pick up and take to your wedding or shower or anything else, but I can’t deliver it or serve it,” said Hamm. “I am not licensed for that.”
What Hamm is licensed for is a fresh salad bar that customers can fill to go containers with and pay for by the pound.
“It is $6.99 per pound,” Hamm said. “You get however much you want. I weigh it and then you pay.”
In addition to the salad bar, Hamm offers a potato bar as well as daily specials that are made fresh each day. For example, she recently had McBoro sliders that mimicked a certain food chain’s famous burger. The prices vary but are all close to what you would get anywhere else in Marion County.
Along with the daily special there is a refrigerator with other options such as potato salad, baked beans, casseroles, meatballs and whatever other specials are available. There are also water bottles for sale there.
Along with lunch options, Hamm also has frozen meals available for those who want to grab an evening meal. She rotates out options. She has lasagna, enchiladas, chicken and rice casserole, meatballs and more.
“She was very passionate about it from the very beginning so I knew it was going to be a success,” said Roy.
There are new storage units out in Hillsboro Heights next to the old Dollar General building and across from the liquor store.
The Marion County 2019 Youth Entrepreneurial Conference was hosted in Marion this year with five Hillsboro teams participating and 1 Marion team participating for a total of six countywide. Jessi Dalke Photography won the competition and participated in the state competition at K-State.
“We have been alternating towns hosting so it will be Hillsboro hosting this next year at the Sharing Flaming Center,” said Roy.
Roy oversees the Hillsboro Development Corporation which partnered with the Hillsboro Community Foundation in the fall of 2018 to assess the need for Daycare in Hillsboro (USD 410 area). Since then the partnership has grown to include USD 410, Tabor College, and other local organizations. They are continuing to work on this issue as the need for childcare continues to be a huge issue for the area.
The bowling alley also falls under Roy and HDC’s scope of influence.
“We continue to do upgrades to the bowling alley. This summer a new scoring system was put in. Clint Siebel has done a great job these past few years managing the bowling alley,” said Roy.
The Hillsboro Development Corporation saw some changes this year.
Lyman Adams retired as president while Jessie Wiebe was elected the new president of HDC.
Darrell Driggers serves as vice president. Brad Bartel is treasurer.
The rest of the board is as follows: Carolyn Brazil, Brent Barkman, Jules Glanzer, Clyde Jost, Mike Kleiber, Mike Padgett, Ken Koslowsky, Jerry Kensky