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Hefley urges council to support local businesses

News editor

Jon Hefley, owner of The Lumberyard, reaffirmed Tuesday for Hillsboro city council his concerns about Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, while making a pitch for more city support of local businesses.

“What is the city going to do to help promote downtown businesses?” Hefley asked. “We’ve got to do something to promote, and the city needs to do some of it.”

City Adminstrator Larry Paine responded by emphasizing the impact citizens can have.

“We’ve already been talking about things we can do on a proactive basis,” Paine said. “The bottom line is that people in town have to know that they control the destiny of the way that this community works.”

“In a way, I agree with you, but in a way then they should have a say in what’s going on, too,” Hefley said.

“You’re asking me what we’re going to do, and that’s part of that process,” Paine said. “I can’t make the citizens of this town shop here only.”

Hefley expressed concerns about stories he said he has heard about Wal-Mart executives targeting local businesses to compete against.

“Here’s the thing they can’t control — they can’t control the way you and I act as customers,” Paine said. “That’s up to us.”

Paine said he had a brief conversation prior to the meeting with economic development director Clint Seibel about the city’s involvement with Marion’s “shop local” campaign. Paine said conversations with Marion economic development director Terry Jones had occurred, but had no details to report.

In other business, the council:

  • Approved the purchase of a 2015 Ford Taurus from Hillsboro Ford for the police department. The bid of $24,028 was the lowest among four different vehicles considered.
  • Heard from Paine about long-term plans for using electronic metering systems for water and electric meters. Paine said he was also working on a utility rate adjustment to present to the council.
  • Approved ordinances adopting current uniform traffic and public offenses codes.

Last modified Oct. 22, 2014

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