Hillsboro says yes to fences, no to animals
Hillsboro property owners who want privacy fences along their side yards can now have them, but people who own agricultural land annexed into the city can no longer claim an agricultural exemption to city regulations.
Those changes to city ordinance were made Tuesday during Hillsboro’s city commission meeting.
Council members also heard from a concerned father who thought the cover on an underground valve vault at the splash pad was too slippery.
Ronald Wilkins, a candidate for Hillsboro’s Ward 2 commission seat, said he’d taken his children to the splash pad and thought something could be done to make the surface less slippery and hazardous.
Commissioners voted to accept an $8,950 bid from Dalke Construction to demolish a dilapidated house at 311 N. Lincoln St.
The state of the property came to council members’ attention a year ago when city code enforcement officer Doug Dick reported that the house had at least one window broken out, visible cracks in its foundation, exterior wall defects that permitted weather and wildlife to enter, and a front porch not sound enough to walk on, making the house unfit for human occupancy.
Dick also reported that a sidewalk in front of the house was unsafe, the roof was deteriorated and neglected, the front porch ceiling was collapsing, the house and garage were unsecured, and the structure was abandoned, which could attract children to the unsafe house.
Dalke’s bid included removal of the house, garage, and basement, hauling away debris, and backfilling the basement with dirt to restore the property to usable condition.
Cost of demolition could be assessed as a tax lien on the property, which is behind on taxes but not far enough behind to be put on a sheriff’s sale, city administrator Matt Stiles said.
Permanent employees, whether full- or part-time, received 2% one-time merit raises. Together the raises for 27 of Hillsboro’s 30 employees will cost the city $27,011.
To qualify, employees had to get positive performance reviews. Those who worked for the city less than a year got prorated bonuses according to how many months they had worked.
In January, employees got a cost of living increase of $1 an hour, with a budget provision that employees might get a one-time 2% bonus in June.