Community Plaza project makes a splash

The Hillsboro Community Plaza made a “big splash” and took a large step forward last week with the receipt of a check for $100,000 from the Herington Hospital, Hillsboro Health Care Clinic. Bryan Coffey, CFO presented the check to Staci Silhan, Chair of the Hillsboro Community Plaza Committee and Matt Stiles, City Administrator last Tuesday morning. This is a large shot in the arm for the project and a very generous act on the part of Herington Hospital to our community.

In other Community Plaza news we have also selected an architectural firm, LK Architects from a group of four companies that responded to our RFP for the project. They will be getting started soon and this will help us complete the design and estimate the project cost. It will also be a significant aid in further fundraising that will be necessary to complete the project.

At this time, we hope to have a design in place, bids secured and construction on Phase 1 of the project (which will include the Splash Pad) will begin in the spring of 2021. This is an exciting and important project for our community and I am excited to see us moving forward!

Economic Decisions

As many of you may be aware, the City Council approved an Ordinance at our last City Council meeting to allow Sunday liquor sales. I wanted to take this opportunity to state that while some may feel this is a moral decision, it is not. It is a decision based on economic grounds. With surrounding communities allowing Sunday sales, Hillsboro merchants that sell beer, wine and spirits (along with other things in most cases) are put at a disadvantage, especially considering our local reservoir camping traffic that comes through Hillsboro.

If we don’t allow Sunday sales, then these merchants are not able to sell on the following holidays; Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. This does have an economic impact and quite frankly, does not stop anyone from buying alcohol, it just sends them somewhere else to buy it with the loss of sales tax revenue on these and any other purchases the consumer may make.

I understand and appreciate that not everyone is in favor of alcohol sales of any kind, but we need to keep in mind that it is a choice and we can all exercise our freedom to make that choice.

The same, or different?

I have had some questions lately about some organizations in Hillsboro and whether they are the same, or different. In particular, the Hillsboro Community Hospital and Clinic and the Herington Hospital, Hillsboro Health Care Clinic and the Chamber of Commerce and the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

I will start with the health care sector. Our Hillsboro Community Hospital and Clinic is located at the intersection of Highway 56 and Industrial Road. The Herington Hospital, Hillsboro Health Care Clinic is located in the 100 block of South Main Street. These are two separate companies, both providing a variety of health care services.

The Hillsboro Community Hospital, while owned by a private company, is supported by a city bond issue that we made about 5 years ago to provide the land, parking, electric, water, and sewer utilities for the hospital.

The Herington Hospital, Hillsboro Health Care Clinic is entirely owned and funded by the Herington, KS Hospital.

As I said, they both provide health care services that are valuable to our community and bring people to Hillsboro.

Now on the Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). Both of these fine organizations support Hillsboro but they are funded differently and don’t always overlap in their mission.

The Chamber of Commerce is a private entity that is funded by the dues paid by its members. The membership is primarily Hillsboro businesses. They have an elected board that oversees their operations.

The CVB (Convention and Visitors Bureau) is a City of Hillsboro Board that is funded by our transient guest tax that is collected by our motel and B&B’s. It’s mission is to bring people to visit Hillsboro, in particular to our museums and other attractions so as to aid in our overall tourism.

Both are great organizations that support Hillsboro in various ways and many times collaborate on events such as our recent Movie Night.

I hope this helps clear up some of the confusion!

In the meantime, let’s keep “Growing Hillsboro Together”!

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