Hillsboro council to explore no parking on front lawns

The Hillsboro City Coun?cil will be considering action to eliminate long-term parking of vehicles on residential front lawns.
Mayor Delores Dalke made the request at the council?s April 8 meeting after seeing a story in the Salina Journal about a similar move in that city.
?We used to have a town that when people came in here, they would always talk about how neat and clean Hillsboro was,? Dalke said. ?I don?t hear that anymore like I used to.
?It?s because there?s all that junk,? she said. ?We are changing, and if we don?t do something about it, it will continue to change.?
City Administrator Larry Paine said he had asked Salina?s city manager to send him a copy of the city?s ordinance.
?They are going through a period where they will be issuing warnings to residents before actually writing citations,? he said. ?If we were to make a change to pursue enforcement of this kind, we could follow Salina?s lead and make adjustments to the Stan?dard Traffic Ordi?nance.?
While the problem itself generated interest from council members, the discussion centered on the strategy for addressing it.
Council Marlene Fast asked, ?Don?t we already have ordinances that deal with this problem??
Paine said the city does have ordinances regarding nuisance vehicles.
?I think the key part here is restricting any parking on a front yard,Paine said. ?I?m not sure we have that in any of our ordinances.?
Councilor Byron McCarty said if the city needs a new ordinance, it should be written to allow for temporary situations, such as snow removal and washing a vehicle.
?After I got the information, I went around and looked and there are quite a few cars parked on front lawns,? McCarty said. ?I think we need to write this so people would be covered for things they have to do in an emergency.?
Fast voiced concern about the unintended consequences of a restrictive ordinance that might cause people to move out of town.
Dalke replied, ?I have been getting phone calls at my house in the evening from the people who are upset about looking at these things in their neighborhoods. They?re pretty upset about it, and they?re the ones who are threatening to leave town, not the guy with the junk car.
She added, ?If we?ve already got (an ordinance that covers the situation), we need to make sure that our enforcement officer and our police officers are giving the tickets?and that it?s going to the judge so that something is happening as a result of it.?
Letter of support

The council agreed to provide a letter of support for Tabor College regarding the $9 million fine arts center the college is seeking to build.
Ron Braun, vice president of advancement, made the request as part of the college?s application for community service tax credits from the Kansas Department of Commerce.
With $7 million already raised, Braun said, ?We?re in the final stages of raising the money needed to make that 50-year-old dream become a reality. We are at that point of looking for the strategy that will help us raise that final $2 million.?
He said the application process is competitive, but he feels Tabor?s application will be received favorably.
?But in order to be so, we need the support of a lot of local people in the community to help us convince the state review panel that this project is worthy of investment on their part.?
Braun presented a list of ways the project will enhance the community as a whole.
?We feel this is why this project is more than just a Tabor College campus project,? he said. ?Many of the features in this facility are going to benefit the people who often come on to campus, and many times come from out of town to the Hillsboro community.?
Other business

In other business, the council,

? named Counselor Bob Watson as a voting delegate to the annual meeting of the Kansas Municipal Utilities in May, and named Paine as the alternate.
? approved the addition of Brad Dies to the city?s Fire Advisory Board. He will represent the city of Lehigh.
? at its March 25 meeting, approved the mayor?s appointment of Anita Boese and Dan Dalke for another term on the Museum Advisory Board. Deanne Nelson was appointed as a new member.

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