Hillsboro Hires New Campground Hosts

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A 20 item Hillsboro City Council agenda was handled quickly when the group met Tuesday evening, March 12. Mayor Brian Sullivan called the meeting to order at 7 p.m. and declared it adjourned at 7:40 p.m.

Bennett and Kristy Samovich were approved as co-hosts at Sherwood Forest Campground for the summer they will work with Alan and Linda Cooper. Mrs. Samovich is knowledgeable about computer software, an asset important to the city for registering clients in advance online, according to Public Properties Commissioner Daniel Robbins. Her husband works for NASA and will work from the couple's campsite. He is a software engineer. The approval was 3-0; Public Safety Commissioner Michael Murphy was absent.

Finance Commissioner Katie Duncan presented bills totalling $457,753.99 for approval which was granted unanimously. Three purchases were also approved: a new heating/air conditioning unit for the offices at the firehouse will cost $7,932.70 as it's purchased from Hiller's (the York Infinity unit will replace an often-repaired 30 year old unit); a 15" (diameter), 80 foot poly-coated inside and out culvert to replace a partially collapsed culvert on Ash Street near the Hough Funeral Home and Fuller Brothers Ready-Mix that will cost $1,136.56; and 70 feet of straight curbing concrete forms plus 20 feet of flex concrete forms for a total of $3,677.04 - to be used as the city works on curbs and gutters around town.

A lease-to-purchase agreement for a skid steer/planer with Sievers Equipment for Street Department use was okayed; the equipment was tested earlier in the winter, according to Street Commissioner Don Downs. The lease for one year will cost $1,068 per month; that money will count against the purchase price ($76,076) if the device proves useful during the first year.

Police Chief Randy Leetham recommended spending $3,337.50 to end the police department's lease of in-car computers; the money will come from the new equipment line in the department's budget. The city will own the computers once the agreement is approved. The vote was unanimous, as were all votes during the meeting.

The council also voted to renew their line of credit with the Bank of Hillsboro (once known as National Bank). The line of credit, not used in the past four years, is for $300,000 and serves as a safety net in case of emergency.

The fire department's old dive van was declared surplus property so it can be sold by a direct sale. Also, the zoning code was amended to include changes recommended by the Illinois Codification Services of Freeburg; the changes bring the city's code into alignment with recent state statutes.

Two citizens appeared to ask permission to hold running events in the future; Mrs. Pam Hopper said the Hillsboro Public Library Fundraising Committee wants to revive the Turkey Trot once sponsored by a local runners' club. She asked the city to provide traffic control for a run beginning on Fairgrounds near the high school on Saturday, Nov. 30. Runners as young as six will be accommodated with male and female divisions. Permission to use the streets was granted.

Holly Leetham brought a request for the second Aqua Run from Glenn Shoals Lake Club; the first was held last year, with the intention to make it an annual affair. This time the after-glow party will be held on ground above the Marina Restaurant, partly to alleviate the crowding of the dock. According to the Leethams, the party site will be near the John Booher Memorial Bench with overflow onto the front row of the South Marina parking lot. Ms. Leetham also told the council that 30 of the 40 needed investors for new boat slips have come forward.

During the Commissioners' and Mayor's report segment of the agenda, Robbins said Dave Davidson has rejoined his crew for the season. Several picnic tables had been disassembled so the frames could be repainted and then rebuilt after the work was done. Work has begun on the restrooms at the North Marina. A new metal roof is on, with trim work to follow. Preparations for the new camping season are well underway.

Finance Commissioner Duncan thanked Bev McCoy for the 37 years she served the city as treasurer. Both she and Mayor Sullivan praised the institutional knowledge Ms. McCoy shared over the years.

As the commissioner in charge of storm water dispersal, Downs had compliments for the way his crew handled the recent storms and complaints about the way both the Yellow Books and the phone books were recently distributed. "Evidently there were locations where they were thrown onto driveways or into the gutters near residences and then they were swept away by the storm water. We found one, still in its package, in the storm sewer." Downs implied those books are a plug waiting to happen.

Garbage cans are also a hazard in the blustery March winds. "We have an ordinance stating how long garbage cans can sit at curbside before pickup, and how long they can be there empty after pickup. We'd rather common sense prevail when it comes to enforcement. Help us out by taking care of your property."

He thanked Brian Deming of DC Waste for dispatching a unit to a pile of discarded furniture in front of a rental unit on School Street before again reminding citizens that garbage of any kind is unsightly when it blows all over town.

The council next meets in regular session Tuesday, March 26, at 7 p.m. in city hall.

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