Hillsboro recognizes police officers

The Hillsboro Police Department made an appearance at the Hillsboro City Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 15 where three of the officers were recognized and given additional stars.

New Police Chief Jessey Hiebert was officially recognized. The former assistant chief took over as Interim Police Chief when Former Chief Dan Kinning retired in Oct. and then was chosen for the permanent replacement in November.

Officer Randy Brazil was promoted to Assistant Chief. Officer John Huebert was promoted to sergeant. A new officer, Peyton Heidebrecht, was introduced to the council.

The officers also gave a few department reports.

Crystal Hinnen of Ranson Financial joined the meeting via Zoom to discuss a BASE grant application for the fire station. The City of Hillsboro would like to build a new fire station near where the Marion County EMS building is being constructed by the Hillsboro Police Department on the corner of Ash and 3rd.

Mayor Lou Thurston stressed the importance of having a well-equipped fire station “especially on a day like today when our county firefighters are out fighting fires in this high wind.”

Ranson Financial will handle the paperwork and submission of the grant which is due by the end of the month. The administrative fees will be covered by the grant if it is awarded.

The Council approved the company moving forward in applying for the grant.

Hillsboro City Administrator explained that in an effort to collect on delinquent bad debts, the City of Hillsboro has engaged with a third-party collection agency called CBK.

He said, “Every attempt is made to work with utility customers including establishing repayment plans or connecting the customer with utility assistance resources.”

He explained that the city will use the following criteria for sending delinquent accounts to collections:

• Accounts delinquent for 90 days where the account holder has not responded to contact attempts from the city staff, or

• Accounts delinquent for 30 days where the account holder has a history of repeated delinquency with the city, or

• Cases where the utility clerk and city administrator, after evaluating the circumstances of the account, deem that a collection service is the only viable means of collecting outstanding utility debt.

The council approved the use of third-party collections agencies.

In other business, the council:

n approved the sale of property near Hillsboro Self Storage to owner Larry Schmidt. Schmidt plans to build more storage units. The sale will go through once it has been advertised and the protest period is over.

n learned that the Planning Commissioner heard a zoning change request on Jan. 27 from the MB Foundation at 415 S. Washington. The Foundation purchased and demolished the older home at that location in order to build additional parking. The home was zoned R-2 but was completely surrounded by C-S zoning. There were no negative comments on the application and the commission voted unanimously to approve the zoning change. A protest period of 14 days had elapsed with no protest of the recommendation. The council approved the zoning change.

n met in executive session for personnel matters of non-elected personnel.

n discussed moving the council’s meeting times to a later time to accommodate the public better.

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