The Hillsboro City Council had safety in mind when hearing concerns of business owner Kathy Goering regarding the lack of a parking spot for deliveries for her flower business located in downtown Hillsboro. Unlike every other business in Downtown Hillsboro, Kathy’s Floral Designs, located on Grand Street close to Main, does not have a back entrance for loading and unloading. Due to the amount of traffic and lack of parking spots immediately downtown in the business district, this creates a safety issue for Goering.
“The parking situation on Grand Street has gotten worse and I have only been able to park in front of my shop a few times in the last month or so, but as soon as I take a delivery, my spot is taken by the time I return. This has become a desperate and miserable situation for me, and I see that this just isn’t going to work for me long term unless something is done. I have put an enormous amount of effort and painstaking hours—many all-nighters— to make this flower shop run in our town. I have loved fulfilling a necessity in Hillsboro, but it saddens me that something like not having a parking spot could potentially close my business,” said Goering.
Goering explained that there are occasions when the weather is inclement and she has to place plastic around a floral arrangement while transporting which catches in the wing and obstructs her view. This is especially dangerous if she is crossing the street or there is ice on the sidewalk.
The council members discussed having a loading and unloading zone but then anyone could use it and it may not be available when Goering would need it. The concern was brought up that if Goering got a spot then everyone would want one, but it was pointed out that this was a special circumstance.
The council discussed the issue for a few minutes, but they quickly decided the risks of not doing anything outweighed the possibility of upsetting other business owners. They unanimously voted to issue a parking spot in front of the 107 E. Grand Ave shop specifically for Goering and not for the shop’s customers.
“She basically had me at safety,” said Hillsboro Mayor Lou Thurston.
The group did discuss the positive aspect of the problem.
“When I first read it [the letter to the council from Goering], I was happy we had a problem,” said Brent Driggers.
“Yeah, it means we have businesses,” said Thurston.
In other business, the council:
- appointed David Ediger to the Recreation Commission.
- approved the adoption of ordinance 1362 which means an approximate 7.7% increase in electric utility bills that will begin appearing on March bills.
- approved an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Hillsboro Gold Years Club Inc (HGYC aka Senior Center) to provide $10,000 from the General Fund for community improvement items in two installations of $5,000. In exchange for the funding, the HGYC agrees to continue providing Friendship Meals and other programming in the community. HGYC will provide a quarterly report on activities. Since the organization isn’t necessarily subject to audits, the city will have access to financial information when requested to ensure funds are spent appropriately. The MOU is also subject to city appropriating funds and remaining in compliance with state laws.
- approved an MOU allowing the city to be a corporate member of Infinity Fitness, collecting membership fees through payroll deduction on behalf of employees. As a corporate member, city employees would receive a $10 per month discount on their membership. The MOU outlines the terms for payment and also explicitly places liability for employees actions on the employee.