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Hillsboro Council approves radar speed limit sign for police
thomas richardson
Hillsboro Police Chief Thomas Richardson explained to the Hillsboro City Council the benefits of a radar stop sign. - photo by Hillsboro Sentry Enterprise archives

Get used to seeing one of those radar speed limit signs around town. The Hillsboro City Council decided to purchase one at its regular monthly meeting Monday night.

Police Chief Tom Richardson outlined the benefits of the display and explained that many drivers are somewhat surprised when shown their current speed while coming through town.

One possibility was purchasing a more expensive sign that features a lighted smiley face when the driver’s speed is at or below the required limit. When the opposite is true, a grumpy, nasty face appears.

People who have trouble with a “heavy foot” will be glad to know that the Council members took a pass on the more costly feature.

The unit is portable so Richardson and Sgt. Pat Clark will be able to move it around to different locations.

The Council also unanimously approved a CDBG-PLNG Grant for a Downtown Revitalization/Comprehensive Plan.

City Administrator Adam Sonntag discussed some of the details and explained that the grant will help address problems that could develop as the revitalization plan moves forward.

Following a lengthy discussion, plans were made for a meeting of Tinker’s Bluff property owners on Aug. 26 for the purpose of amending covenants to develop single family properties in an area where four lots are currently designated for multi-housing.

Previously, on Aug. 11, the Council met as a Committee of the Whole to discuss, among other things, the continuing problem of the Hillsboro dam not meeting the specifications of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Improvement deadlines are being threatened by the DNR that will force the City of Hillsboro into making some major decisions involving the future structure of the dam, and the lake itself.

Engineer Eric Thompson of Mid-States Associates was present at the meeting with a report on the dam and lake, along with some thoughts for decisions that must be made in the near future.

A major test in June left the Hillsboro dam with a High Hazard label and a DNR demand that it be strengthened with new high lift gates that could be raised above the water in the case of a flood. That improvement would be extremely costly.

Another possible option would be the construction of a large spillway next to the dam that would cause the loss of Hammer-Klopfleisch Park.

There is grant money available through the DNR but it, of course, includes a number of hoops to jump through and deadlines to meet.

The DNR deadline is thought to be Jan. 15, 2016 for the project, but the Council members seemed to agree with Sonntag’s suggestion of seeking an extension until 2018.

The problem is a major turning point in Hillsboro history, and most people value the lake above just about anything else the town has to offer.

Before adjourning the meeting, Richardson read a Special Letter of Commendation for Clark to the Council members and visitors.