Council sets price for residential lots


Service before celebration for city workers on Christmas Day. Morgan Marler (standing at right) and Tom Richards of the Hillsboro Water Department spent at least part of their Christmas Day fixing a water leak near the intersection of First and Lincoln streets. Eventually they accomplished their mission and could return to their respective holiday celebrations at home. Courtesy photo by Adam Miller.

The Hillsboro City Council decided in a special meeting Dec. 23 that it?s time for the city to make an effort to sell the residential lots it acquired two years ago in the Willow Glen housing addition.

The first step was to establish a selling price for each of the nine lots, which the council set at $5,000 with the possibility left open to negotiate with potential buyers.

Mayor Delores Dalke said establishing a price will enable the city to market the lots on the Internet and through other means.

The city has been absorbing a total of $13,500 in special assessment fees each year for the lots.

The city acquired the lots from the developer, Eldred Kunkel of San Jose, Calif., in lieu of unpaid taxes.

The council authorized Dalke, who owns the Real Estate Center in Hillsboro, to try to sell the lots on the city?s behalf. Dalke stipulated that she would not accept a commission for any sale that might occur.

?I have never been paid for selling anything that was owned by the city,? she said.

The council agreed that other real estate agents would be allowed to sell the lots as well, and would be free to establish a commission for closing a sale.

The council also dealt with two agenda items that required a public hearing for each.

The first item was an ordinance that would create a redevelopment district out of two adjoining city-owned properties.

The two properties are the recently platted Hillsboro Business Park on the north edge of town, and the property immediately to the south that contains the former AMPI building.

Creating a redevelopment district, also known as ?tax increment financing,? enables a city to identify blighted property for redevelopment. TIF is a tool where cities use future gains in taxes to finance the current improvements that will create those gains.

?I think this is a perfect spot for it,? Dalke said, citing the deteriorating AMPI building. ?We do need to improve that area.?

During the public hearing, no comments were offered. Likewise, no one from the public commented during a hearing that followed regarding amendments for the 2008 budget.

The amendments are required to accurately reflect the expenditure of public funds in five budget line items, according to City Administrator Larry Paine.

He added that budget amendments are routine matters because a council can?t foresee every situation that arises during a year when it approves a budget months in advance.

Paine emphasized that budget amendments can?t change the total amount of property tax required to fund city operations. Rather, the amendments reflect the proper allocation of existing funding.

With that explanation, the council approved the amendments.

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