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Council carries on in wake of Jones death
Its members observe a moment of silence in his memory
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In the wake of the loss of Alderman R. Dale Jones over the weekend, the Hillsboro City Council carried on with its regular monthly meeting Monday night after opening with a minute of silent memories, requested by Mayor Greg Kubarski.

Jones, who had been the President of the Council, passed away on Saturday after representing his ward for many years. He was running for reelection in April.

The ballots have already been authorized and printed. Jones’ name will remain the only one on the ballot for Ward Three since there were no other nomination papers filed. However, write-in votes will be recorded and if a write-in candidate receives the most votes, he or she will be declared the winner. Otherwise, the Council is authorized to appoint someone to serve the full Jones term.

An important item discussed at the meeting was the big question asked by Alderman Mike Clark on behalf of local residents about whether it’s time to turn off the water faucets.

“The water keeps running,” replied City Administrator Adam Sonntag. “I want to be sure before we make that decision.”

He explained that the frost line could still be a problem and, like most surrounding communities, it is better to be safe than sorry. “We want to be sure before we make any announcements,” he said.

Before moving into discussion on business topics, Mayor Kubarski proclaimed April 25 as Arbor Day in Hillsboro.

The Council then approved a Safe Drinking Water Loan savings account as requested by the bank and needed for the city’s new well project.

The Council also gave City Clerk Sheila Schraufnagel the authority to determine the number of election officials needed for the April election. The Mayor added that “Sheila does an excellent job,” as he agreed with the authorization.

Another resolution related to Stewardship Grant Funding for Outdoor Recreation Aids. Sonntag explained that the funding was for the city’s Bike Trail Extension Project. Pointing out that he had a month to a month and a half of preparation work ahead for the project, he stated, “We must follow all the rules that apply to this grant, bullet by bullet, on the application. It is a huge grant with a 50 per cent match at $100,000 to $150,000.  There is much competition for it.”