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Council discusses strategic its goals

Staff writer

Hillsboro city council members spent most of Tuesday’s meeting discussing their priorities for the city’s future.

One goal is to grow the population .05% per year by 2025. That equals 15 people a year, city administrator Larry Paine said.

“Having 15 more people in Hillsboro in a year is probably attainable,” Paine said. “We hired one guy and he brought half of them.”

Bringing in 15 new residents will mean adding five new housing units for them, Paine said.

The next goal council members discussed builds on that one — develop homes for new home buyers and seniors looking to downsize.

Paine said the city will need to enlist housing developers to help reach this goal.

Council members envision a tiny house subdivision in Hillsboro, but no plans are being made at this time.

To have funding available for housing development, the city will need to build reserves in the general fund.

“It’s going to mean some increased tax levy,” Paine said.

Another strategic priority is already in its early stages: bringing a fiber network to the community by 2022. Council members signed a memorandum of understanding with TC Wireless a month ago.

Development of a community plaza and a solar project will be accomplished together. A structure to provide shade for the plaza will have a solar panel roof.

A public safety facility for police, fire, and ambulance service is another strategic goal. Marion County commissioners, when they considered buying a former gun shop and building a two-bay garage in Hillsboro for a county ambulance station, agreed to build the station at a site Hillsboro would share.

Another strategic priority is to clean up old building sites.

Mayor Lou Thurston said the council needs to figure out how to create “a superfund cleanup budget.”

“In the main, Hillsboro is considered an attractive community, but we all know there are those property owners,” Thurston said.

A system for emergency notification of residents will soon be available in Hillsboro. Paine announced to council members he’d signed a contract for Code Red emergency notification service. In the event of a tornado or other emergency, the system will call residents who have enrolled and notify them of the emergency.

“The event a couple of months ago with the man walking around with a gun, that’s another case where we needed that,” Paine said.

Last modified March 5, 2020

 

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