New for 2020
Well, we’re almost a month into the new decade and boy is there a lot going on. As I have informed you in the last two columns we have been working on a Special Purpose Vehicle ordinance, gathering public input as well as input from our Public Safety officials and we passed the ordinance last Tuesday evening. There will be more information forthcoming from City Hall about the process but we will be seeing these vehicles on our streets in the next month or so (provided that the appropriate inspections and registrations have been completed).
Also new for 2020 is the timing for the Mayor and new City Council positions to be sworn in. We changed the date to align with our first regular city council meeting in January instead of the second Monday. This allows us to keep from adding a special meeting to the calendar and streamlining the process.
Our community plaza is making progress. As some of you may have noticed the asbestos abatement process is now complete on the vacant housing on the property and we had bid openings for demolition of these structures. We anticipate the demolition to be completed by early this spring and site preparations for Phase One of the project to begin shortly thereafter. We have had a couple of community meetings with neighbors and business owners in proximity to the project. We have received a lot of positive feedback and some good suggestions about the project. This is an exciting addition to our community and we anticipate it becoming a strong draw to Hillsboro and specifically to downtown Hillsboro. Stay tuned for more updates in future columns.
Get ready to hike/bike on our new trail in 2020! KDOT will be letting bids for the project in March / April and we expect construction to begin very soon after that. We are planning to be on the trail in the summer of 2020. This is another great addition to our community and will provide a healthy and safe space to walk, run and bike in Hillsboro. In case you are not aware of the location, the trailhead will be at Main Street and the old railroad right of way and will proceed east down the old rail bed to Industrial Road and then turn north along the west side of Industrial Road and ending at the Hillsboro Community Hospital. The trail will provide a lighted, 8ft. wide concrete trail of approximately 1.5 miles in length or approximately 3 miles round trip.
2020 Trojan Classic
The 2020 Trojan Classic is in the books. While we may not have finished where we would have liked to, both the Trojan Boys and Girls basketball teams played hard and represented us well, finishing 4th and 2nd respectively. Congratulations to both teams!
Every year during this time, Hillsboro gets to host 8 teams from around the state from as far away as Holcomb and Belleville. Congratulations to the HHS Booster Club and Tournament Sponsor Robert Rempel for being gracious hosts and keeping these folks coming back year after year.
Speaking of gracious, I believe everyone who had a chance to attend the tournament Friday and Saturday managed to at least get a glimpse of former NFL All-Pro Jordy Nelson who was here supporting his sister who is one of the Riley County Women’s basketball coaches. I was more than impressed with how Jordy handled the attention and how he was so patient and gracious to the kids (of all ages) that approached him for photos and autographs. What a class act and a true demonstration of a humble hero. Thanks, Jordy Nelson, you are a hero in my book as well!
2020 and beyond
The City Council held our strategic work sessions on the Tabor campus the 16th and 17th of this month. We brought in Tim Blodgett, CEO of Hometown Solutions based out of Golden, Co. Besides the council, we had members of our business and education community in attendance. We spent a day and a half working on our strategic vision and plan that will take us to 2025 and beyond. It was an exciting time and I personally was very pleased with the results of our work. Expect to hear more about this in coming columns.
That’s all for now. Till next time, stay safe, stay warm and let’s continue to work hard “Growing Hillsboro Together”!