Mayor launches biweekly report

by Lou Thurston

Mayor of Hillsboro

This is the first in what I plan to be a biweekly report to you the citizens of Hills­boro about things going on at the City of Hillsboro. As your mayor, I want to communicate both clearly and frequently with you about what city government is doing on your behalf.

I must say that the first four months as mayor have been a learning experience. Having Larry Paine sidelined for a couple of those months gave me an opportunity to be involved in city operations in ways I didn’t foresee when taking the oath of office.

The good news is we have a great, experienced team at the City of Hillsboro and every one of them stepped up to keep the important work of the city flowing smoothly.

We have also been blessed to have Don Osenbaugh, an experienced city administrator, who stepped in on an interim basis to keep our projects and finances moving forward.

I appreciate each and every one of them!

Improvements

Moving forward into spring and summer 2018, we have several projects that will deliver a positive impact:

(1) Water line replacement. We have several areas where we will be replacing and repairing water lines throughout the city. We are able to finance these projects using affordable KDHE funding.

(2) Street improvements. We will be doing several street projects this year, including seal and overlay of D Street and Grand Avenue improvements.

(3) Trash service. The city council voted at our last meeting to continue to provide this service internally and not outsource it. This means a new trash truck and likely adding curbside recycling to our services. This should improve our overall recycling participation and decrease what we are sending to a landfill.

Dogs and Demo

Two issues garnering citizen input at our last council meeting were:

(1) A proposed new ordnance regarding dogs in the city. Several citizens came to the meeting to express their views on this topic, most concerns were related to “breed specific” language in the new ordnance. While not “banning” any breed, the new ordnance is based specifically on the behavior of the dog.

For a dog that is determined to be dangerous, the requirements to keep that dog in the City of Hillsboro will be significantly increased. A significant point was brought up during discussion that all dogs kept in city limits are required to be vaccinated and have a license and tag issued by the city of Hillsboro.

At the time of the meeting, only 99 tags had been issued by the city this year. I think we could agree that there are more than 99 dogs in town. I strongly encourage all dog owners to comply with this important city ordnance.

(2) Demo. Members of the Marion County Fair Board came before the council again this year to request approval for a beer garden at the demolition derby. The council tabled a decision on this matter until our May 1 meeting. I realize this is an issue about which people may have strong opinions. I would encourage you to attend our meeting or speak with me or your council member if you would like to be heard on this issue.

The Marion County Fair is an important part of Hillsboro’s history and does provide a positive economic impact to Hillsboro. We want to see it be strong and continue its positive impact to Hillsboro and Marion County.

I will be back with a new City Watch in a couple weeks. Stay tuned!