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Hillsboro will forgive Ben Franklin loan
Accountant, election inspectors, street laborer hire also approved
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With the holiday season approaching, the Hillsboro City Council Dec. 21 handled a 10-item agenda in approximately seven minutes.

The major item on the Council’s agenda evening involved granting authorization to release a mortgage on the Ben Franklin building, 821 Water Ave., currently occupied by The Wear House used clothing store and now listed for sale by Madison-based First Weber Realty.

City Administrator Adam Sonntag said the mortgage release process involves waiving the balance of a $4,200 loan Hillsboro Betterment LLC took out when it purchased the building in 1996.  In effect, he said, the city will forgive the loan.

Mayor Greg Kubarski said that  releasing the mortgage would speed the process of selling the building, which First Weber has priced at $149,000.

The Council approved the motion unanimously.

In other business, the Council approved inspectors and tabulators for elections in 2016 and 2017.

They are: Doris Sweeney, Chief Inspector; Shirley Richardson and Dorothea Stahlkopf, alternate chief inspectors; John Briskey; Rose Briskey; Shirley Ennis; Betty Havlik; Evelyn Unbehaun; Janet Webb.

City Clerk Sheila Schraufnagel will serve as an extra tabulator.

The Council approved Johnson Block and Company Certified Public Accountants  as the city’s auditor and accounting services provider.

Sonntag said Madison-based Johnson Block, which has an office in Viroqua, has been Hillsboro’s auditor “for a long time,” and that a “familiar, good” relationship exists between the city and its accountant, which will review and examine Hillsboro’s financial statements during an audit in March.

Kubarski announced that Joe Haugh has been hired as the city’s new street laborer. In his new position, he will be responsible for maintaining right-of-ways and city-owned property, including streets, sidewalks, and parks. He will begin Jan. 4.

The Council also approved  granting an operator’s license.