May is a month of endings and beginnings. Students are graduating, ending years of study and at the same time, beginning new chapters in their lives, starting careers or going on to further educational opportunities. I want to congratulate all the graduates of Hillsboro High School and Tabor College. We hope you have made many positive memories during your time in Hillsboro and hope that those memories may—for those leaving Hillsboro—someday draw you back.
On the beginning side of the ledger, we are very excited to welcome those who are in Hillsboro participating in the Diamond Vista Wind Project. I understand the rental market in town has become tight, and that the Country Haven Motel is near full capacity. We want you to know that we are glad you are here, and if there is anything we can do to make your stay in Hillsboro more productive, don’t hesitate to contact us at City Hall.
Other beginnings are happening in our Memorial Park. Many of you have commented about all the dirt being moved just north of the Scout House. As many of you may remember, this was the location of our old swimming pool. What is now going in at that location are two full-size basketball courts.
The Basketball Court Project Team raised money through donations to privately fund the project and I would like to publicly thank them for their hard work, vision and passion for the project. We will soon be able to add to our outdoor recreation options in Hillsboro.
This is important to Hillsboro for many reasons: (1) helping keep us all active and healthy, (2) giving our youth safe and positive activities to fill their time and (3) providing the amenities that make Hillsboro a family-friendly place to call home.
Again, my sincere thanks to the team and to our city crews for bring this project to fruition.
Another exciting beginning to report is that the first house is being completed in the Russell Groves Addition on Third Street. Affordable housing is one of the first things on peoples’ list when looking at locating to a new community.
Our businesses and schools have said that they need affordable housing to attract and retain employees. I sincerely appreciate Russell and Jeanne Groves making a significant investment in our community and helping us in our goal to make Hillsboro an affordable place to call home.
Be sure to check out their new house on Third Street when you get a chance.
On the endings side of things, I am sorry to have to report to you that our planned sale of the old Hillsboro Community Hospital building on South Main Street has not gone through. The company we had negotiated and signed a contract with for the property has decided not to pursue its plans to operate a health-care facility serving veterans.
With the end of these plans, we will search to find someone else who can utilize this facility and help us improve the quality of life in Hillsboro.
We are starting the 2019 City Budget process this month. We will be working hard to maintain the budget and tax levels so we can continue to provide you with the services you require and desire. It will be my first budget process and I am looking forward to continuing my education in city government.
As always, your input is both desired and critical as we start this budget process. I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.
by Lou Thurston
Mayor of Hillsboro