City Council learns of large donation

The Hillsboro City Council opened with exciting news during their meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 6 regarding a generous donation to the Community Plaza Project from the new clinic in town (see the article in this edition for more information).

The project has hit a few roadblocks but is now back on track. More details will be coming over the next several months.

Hillsboro City Administrator Matt Stiles explained the proposed ground lease that TCW now has with the city for their Central office which is located on the community plaza project area. The office is the fiber network area where all of the cables and traffic are routed. The prefabricated building and ground loop have already been placed on the property with the city’s permission. The lease simply formalizes the arrangement.

“The lease is for an initial term of 10 years, renewable in five-year chunks up to a total of 30 years. The lease has a minimal financial consideration of $10 per month to be applied to the city’s service bill, a minimum of 5 percent off of potential service costs. And TCW will also be responsible for any utility expenses and potential taxes,” said Stiles.

The board approved it.

Stiles also explained Ordinance 1319 which levies a franchise fee of 5 percent on TCW service for the use of right-of-ways. The same fee is levied on all utilities and providers that use the right-of-ways including the utility poles.

“Currently the city has similar active franchise agreements with Century Link, Eagle Communications and Atmos Energy. The fees are in place to help offset the maintenance costs, clarify the responsibility of utilities to maintain right-of-ways and to provide some mechanism to protect residents who use the services,” said Stiles. “It is unclear how much revenue the TC Wireless franchise will generate, but in 2019 the city collected $124,789 in franchise fees so it could be helpful.”

The council approved the ordinance.

There will be a groundbreaking ceremony for the new broadband services that TCW is bringing in. It will be at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15.

In other business, the council:

n held a land bank meeting to discuss accepting the old post office building

n heard from Stiles regarding a request to serve as an adjunct instructor at Wichita State University

n approved payment to EBH Engineering for Water Service Improvements

n approved other city bills

n approved the Civil Rights/Fair Housing policy