Competition good for business climate, officials say

News editor

Hillsboro economic development director Clint Seibel said he has heard reactions ranging all through the spectrum from optimistic to pessimistic since the news that a national company — the identity of which is still a mystery to everyone except the mayor — planned to build a store in Hillsboro.

He has heard from some businesses that are excited about the prospect of more people shopping in town helping their businesses, but he has also heard from businesses that are worried about additional competition in town.

“Things are very subjective, depending on where you stand,” Seibel said.

Seibel said when the site locator contacted him, they already had studied Hillsboro’s demographics and knew they wanted to put a store in town. Seibel was ready to make his sales pitch, but they wanted to know the asking price and quickly agreed to it.

The city asked for $15,000 an acre, or $55,500 for the 3.7 acres contracted. The holding company has 90 days to complete a feasibility study, then 30 days to make a final decision on if it wants to buy the land.

“It’s a strong vote of confidence for our town and our area,” Seibel said.

If the sale and construction goes through, the new business will generate property and sales tax, as well as increasing business traffic in general, he said.

“A strong business climate really helps everybody,” Seibel said.

Mayor Delores Dalke said the city has been in a similar situation before, with an out-of-town company building in Hillsboro, and those situations have worked out well.

“I think competition is good for all of us,” she said.

She said a couple of people have told her they knew what it is, but their guess was wrong.

“It’s been kind of fun listening to the people who really ‘know’ what it is,” she said Friday.

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