Developer shows interest in low-income housing

Staff writer

With a heads-up kind of announcement, Hillsboro City Administrator Larry Paine told council members Tuesday that a developer had asked him to gather information in regard to city participation in bringing more low-income housing to the city.

“We’re getting a high degree of interest in doing this,” Paine said. “He would like to put in 6 to 12 units but needs points from working with us to qualify for the tax credit program.”

Paine passed out pictures of units built by the same developer in Parsons, which met council approval.

Paine also passed out copies of a check recently issued to the city as part of the Atrazine class action settlement fund.

“We were reluctant to join the program, so I haven’t cashed this yet,” Paine said. “There were members of this council who were against this lawsuit and I just wanted to know how they felt about using this money, now that it is here.”

Syngenta Settlement Administration issued the check, written Jan. 15, for $48,679. Mayor Delores Dalke said after the meeting, that in a class action lawsuit, every user of water from a source with field runoff was eligible to receive money, whether they joined the official lawsuit action.

“I imagine there were more than 12,000 cities that got money nationwide,” Dalke said. “We would have got a lot more if we had joined the lawsuit, but still it was nice to get this much.”

At the meeting, council member Bob Watson said he saw no reason not to use this “found money.”

“I still think there was no legal proof on the question,” he said. “But I am glad to get the money and think we should use it to improve our city water situation somehow.”

With council approval, Paine said he would deposit the check the next day and likely put the money toward expenses with the Birch-Cedar-Date project.

“I think we need to make sure we recognize our water department director, Morgan Marler, for her involvement in gathering information when this all started,” Dalke said.

On a quest to continue gathering information about subdivision policy, Paine shared six points with the council that came out of discussion on the issue at the previous meeting.

The points he asked council for feedback on were: considering a maximum financial amount of $150 per month for 15 years in assessment security, establishing a 50 percent level of surety in the form of bonds, letter of credit, or cash for the project, asking the city attorney to prepare a petition for special assessment districts, defining the point of credit release as occurring when property sold or was occupied, asking developers to provide 100 percent of extras or specials inside established project boundaries, and updating tap fees to more accurately cover city costs for tapping into water, sewer, and electric lines.

Paine said he would continue to gather information for further discussion at the next meeting.

In other business:

  • The council approved Dalke’s board appointment recommendations of Randy Brazil and Tom Stoppel to the recreation commission; and Lola Unruh, Kay Klassen, Peggy Goertzen, and Willard Glasglow to the convention and visitors bureau.
  • Paine noted three city council seats up for election had been filed for by the three incumbent candidates. There were no other candidates who filed for the election.
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