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Hillsboro on board with economic corporation

News editor

Satisfied that Marion County Economic Development Corporation had met its demands for adequate representation on the board, city council approved the proposed 2018 budget Tuesday, which includes $44,500 for corporation membership.

A sticking point for some on the council had been that Marion city administrator Roger Holter was a MCEDC board member.

“Their bylaws stated that no elected or appointed city officials could be part of the board of directors for MCEDC,” Mayor Delores Dalke said.

That Holter had been grandfathered in as an original member of the county-appointed group that formed the corporation wasn’t sufficient, Dalke said. Hillsboro also should be able to appoint a city official to the board.

City council reached preliminary agreement on joining the group at its Aug. 15 meeting, but made it contingent on MCEDC revising its bylaws.

The corporation board did just that on Thursday, smoothing the way for the budget to be approved Tuesday.

Dalke said possible MCEDC board appointees hadn’t been discussed yet.

“After three pretty contentious meetings about whether we were going to put any money into that board, we wanted to take things one at a time.”

Dalke will relinquish the mayor’s seat at the end of the year, but she asked to have a statement recorded in the minutes recommending that the city not pay $44,500 to MCEDC all at once, but rather make monthly installment payments.

“We don’t get all of our tax money up front, so we don’t think we can pay all this money up front,” she said.

Dalke said it was important for Hillsboro to have the same rights of representation on the economic board as Marion in part because of Hillsboro’s greater overall contributions to the county’s tax coffers.

“I have a strong feeling we’re paying more than our fair share for this county because we’ve been successful,” she said.

Last modified Aug. 30, 2017

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