Hillsboro City Council tabled a proposal to place a question on a ballot Tuesday to increase the mill levy for industrial development in partnership with Hillsboro Development Corp. and Hillsboro Ventures Inc.
The city already provides the funding, but from the electrical fund. Council member Shelby Dirks, who pushed for an election on the issue, said the spending is important, but he wants it to be funded correctly. The rest of the council agreed with Dirks that the partnership is important to the city.
Tabling the proposal makes it virtually guaranteed that the question will not be on the April 5 ballot, Mayor Delores Dalke said.
Council member Byron McCarty said he wasn’t opposed to putting the issue up for a referendum, but he didn’t want to put it on the upcoming election.
Council member Bob Watson said he understands having an election on the issue is important to Dirks, but Watson doesn’t favor putting it on a ballot. He said it is the city council’s job to know the issues and make decisions.
“We don’t have a public election to buy a new fire truck,” Watson said.
The city’s contribution to the industrial development partnership is $65,000 per year, City Administrator Larry Paine said. He calculated that would be a little over four mills with current property values.
Dirks moved to begin work to place the question on a public election. McCarty initially seconded the motion, but then withdrew his second, and the motion failed without a second.
McCarty requested the issue be addressed again in the March 1 council meeting.
Several representatives of HDC/HVI said they were pleased to hear the council supports the partnership.
The council approved an ordinance correcting the legal description of the city’s tax increment financing district to include Hillsboro Business Park. The business park was accidentally omitted from the description approved in 2008.
The council also approved an interlocal cooperation agreement with Marion County and USD 410 relating to the district. The agreement gives the county and school district veto authority on any future TIF projects in the district.
A TIF project plan was approved for already-completed construction of a segment of East Orchard Drive and related improvements. The council will have a public hearing on the project April 5.
In other business:
- Resident Teresa Wright shared concerns with the council. She said she recently saw an opossum across the street from her home in broad daylight, leading her to believe the opossum was rabid and a threat to children and pets in the neighborhood. She also said the city has too many dogs at-large, which can also be dangerous. Finally, she said there are often teenagers out past curfew causing trouble in her neighborhood. A police officer in attendance said he shared her concerns about animals loose, but the department doesn’t have animal control equipment, and borrowing a tranquilizer gun from another agency can take four hours.
- Watson and Mike Duerksen were appointed to represent Hillsboro at the Kansas Municipal Energy Agency.
- A waiver of generally accepted accounting principles was approved for the city, because of conflicts with the city’s cash basis requirements from the state. The waiver doesn’t lessen the stringency of accounting for the city, Paine said.
- An agreement with Arts and Crafts Fair related to downtown sidewalks was approved. The agreement allows Arts and Crafts Fair to rent out downtown sidewalks to vendors the day of the fair. The city can provide that authority, because the city’s rights of way include the sidewalks.
- Dalke said she received several compliments on the city’s clearing of streets following a Feb. 8 snowstorm.
The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be 4 p.m. March 1.