City of Hillsboro Presents Scholarships for HHS Graduates; amusement license fee order, proposed excess water rate increase

Accompanied by city council members, Hillsboro Mayor Justin Harsha awarded scholarships to three Hillsboro High School graduates and issued a proclamation for “High School Student Appreciation Week” at the Hillsboro City Council meeting on Thursday May 12.

In the third consecutive year of their senior recognition program in the city, Harsha announced that $2,000 scholarships were being awarded this year to HHS seniors Eden Edenfield, KaleyJo Myers and Sara Newsome. Myers and Newsome were in attendance Thursday to accept their scholarships and be recognized by the city.

“They did very well in their essays,” Harsha said of the scholarship winners.

Harsha thanked the following companies and individuals for donating to the scholarship program: Chad Abbott Signs LLC, David Collins/Collins CPA, David Mayer, Edgington Funeral Homes, Gibbs Insurance Agency, The Harsha Monument Company, Highland District Hospital, Horne Law Office, Peters Heating and Cooling, Shabby Moose, Shafer Heating and Cooling, Shawn & Cassie Adkins and Tom Eichinger.

“I want to thank them for their contributions,” Harsha said. “It means a lot.

“The city got $3,000 this year, and we matched it dollar for dollar, so each of the three students gets a $2,000 scholarship.”

This year marks the largest annual scholarships to date. As previously reported, in 2020 – during the pandemic – the city established a scholarship program as part of a partnership effort with schools in the city of Hillsboro. Trustees made an announcement in April seeking participation from companies or individuals, including providing benefits for seniors or accepting donations for the scholarship fund. Three $1,000 scholarships were presented to Hillsboro High School graduates. The program continued in 2021, where two $1,000 scholarships and one $500 scholarship were awarded.

Harsha also read a proclamation designating the week of May 9-13 as High School Appreciation Week in the city of Hillsboro.

“Throughout the city of Hillsboro, we urge and encourage all citizens to take the time to get to know a senior graduate, recognize their aspirations and contributions, and honor them and their educational journey,” Harsha read in the proclamation.

As part of Senior Appreciation Week, Harsha said several businesses in the area are offering discounts or free gifts to seniors. These included: The Daily Grind, Holtfield Station, LaRosa’s Pizzeria, Merchants National Bank, Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio and Salon, Mimi’s Kitchen, 24 Deli & Pizza and White’s Bakery. He also thanked them for their participation.

Harsha, Director of Safety and Services Brianne Abbott and the five city council members present at Thursday’s meeting posed for a photo with Newsome and Myers, while Harsha presented each student with a check and congratulated them.

• • •

In his report to council, Abbott discussed two recent state funding awards to the city, with the potential for community development block grant funds as well.

As announced May 5 by the Ohio Governor’s Office and the Ohio Department of Transportation, the city has been selected to receive $336,000 for pedestrian improvements in the downtown historic district, including ” creating “new high-visibility crosswalks with the installation of sidewalk markings, islands of refuge and pedestrian beacons,” Abbott said.

At the May 11 Highland County Commission meeting, commissioners agreed to submit three CDBG funding proposals — including a request from the City of Hillsboro totaling $86,000 — to the state. As noted by commission clerk Mary Remsing, the state has final approval, so it’s not final yet.

“As you will recall, a few months ago I reported that we had received a grant from NatureWorks for a handicap-accessible playground in Harmony Lake,” Abbott said. “We have considered additional grants for this project, and it appears that the commissioners have approved our request for additional funding for this project to be submitted to the state. This is for CDBG funding. If everything goes as planned, this project can become a reality, which would be a great exhibition.

The final and largest award, announced May 9 by State Representative Shane Wilkin’s office, is a $2.3 million roadworks grant for the city’s proposed Roberts Lane/Fenner extension. Ave. The map, additional context and details of the initial hearing on this proposal can be found here.

“There’s been a lot of exciting news over the past few weeks,” Abbott said. “I would like to thank all the people who made this possible, from the people who wrote the grants and put together the projects, and then to the people who thought our projects were important enough to be funded.”

• • •

Since, as board chairman Tom Eichinger said, the board “barely achieved quorum” on Thursday, four resolutions originally on the agenda were tabled until a special meeting could be held. stand with more board members present. Four other ordinances were approved, while council heard the first reading of another ordinance.

Council’s review of the legislation on Thursday began with the passage of Order 2021-12 – an order changing licensing fees associated with amusement devices in the town of Hillsboro – after nearly a year of discussions .

As originally introduced, the order would have doubled licensing fees for all entertainment devices. Following feedback from a business owner and other board members in March, the finance committee voted to change the ordinance by maintaining a $25 license fee for “Type B” machines and increasing the duty for “Type C” machines to $50. (For more information, see the story here.)

There was no further discussion of the ordinance on Thursday as the legislation passed by a 4-0 vote. City Auditor Alex Butler said last month that the revised ordinance is “the rate structure that will be assessed when we send out letters in June” to sellers.

Presented at the meeting for its first reading was an ordinance to amend Section 51.076 of the City’s Consolidated Ordinances to increase the rates charged for water service in the City of Hillsboro.

As Utilities Committee Chairman Greg Maurer noted in April, the ordinance proposes a 3% increase in the rate for excess water. The order proposes to keep water usage billing at $15.08 for the first 133 cubic feet per month, then to increase the rate from $6.79 to $6.99 per 100 cubic feet above minimum usage.

Rates were last increased in April 2019, increasing minimum usage from $12.08 to $15.08. At that time, it was the second increase in less than a year, after voting to raise rates by $9.08 in May 2018.

Councilman Jason Brown, a member of the utilities committee, spoke about the basis of the bill Thursday, as Maurer was absent.

“The Public Services Committee met [in March and April] to discuss the possibility of a water rate increase for use, not a base rate increase,” Brown said. “It is necessary because according to the law the water fund must be balanced, and it seems that in the near future this will not be the case.

“We are all very aware that the city’s water rates are already high, and no one wants to see an increase. After much discussion, the committee decided on a three percent increase, and with that, we also asked that an external independent consultant be brought in to review the department and see if anything can be done to limit the fee. .

Council also voted 4-0 to pass three ordinances providing additional appropriations for funds not included in the original 2022 budget. Those included:

• Allocation of $6,500 for “professional services” in the Water Revenue Fund to pay for the aforementioned water rate study as requested by the Utilities Committee.

• Provide appropriations to make a debt payment for the Springlake Avenue infrastructure project for a total appropriation increase of $18,100, including authorizing the auditor to transfer $9,050 from the Water Revenue Fund to Water Debt Retirement fund.

• Allocation of $9,705 to the Donations of SM-Police tools item of the General Fund in order to make donations and additional income from the sale of assets available. According to Abbott, this was to represent an $8,500 donation to the Cassner Foundation police department and a $1,205 sale of a Dodge Charger.

• • •

There was only one committee meeting report, as a joint meeting of the finance and public service/employee relations committees was held on May 3 to begin discussing the ordinance current salary. Public Service-Employee Relations Committee Chair Dan Baucher read the report prepared by Finance Committee Chair Mary Stanforth, who was absent.

According to the report, members of both committees have been provided with copies of the current wages ordinance – passed in December, after more than six hours of debate at committee meetings – and “benchmark data”, which will be reviewed. in more detail in the near future. future. They also discussed pay rates for city officials.

“I understand there will be another meeting scheduled very soon to begin the actual work,” Eichinger said. “As soon as we find out, we’ll let everyone know.”

• • •

At the start of the meeting, the board voted 4-0 to excuse the absences of board members Patty Day (recovering from surgery), Maurer (work commitment) and Stanforth (previous commitment).

Eichinger also welcomed new council clerk Whitney Seitz. “We appreciate you accepting this,” he said.

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