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Johnson looks backward, forward in report to Hillsboro City Council
Hillsboro treasurer reports budget has dropped $20,000+ in three years
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Hillsboro Treasurer Lisa Johnson presented the City Council with both an educated look backward and forward in her six-month report for 2013 at its regular monthly meeting on Monday night. All members were in attendance.

The city is 50% through the budget year, and total general expenses are averaging 54.83%. TIF 2 Fund expenses are inflated due to land/lot improvements. Total to date expenses for land/lot improvements are $520,631.31, including the Council approved loan with Royal Bank for $100,000. The Water Fund has already been reimbursed $185,062.50 for the Well #3 Project. The TIF 4 Sewer, Hotel, and K-9 funds are on track at this point.

Johnson reported that in the last three years the city budget has decreased $20,750.

The totals are:

• 2011 budget, $1,269,604;

• 2012 budget, $1,260,741;

• 2013 budget,  $1,248,854.

Due to state restrictions/limitations, the city needs to review the five-year Capital Improvement Plan and decide what monies to set aside for future purchases and improvements.

Johnson’s report listed notable highlights in the year 2013 to date:

•  January: Purchased 2011 Ford Ranger ($12,170) for Street Department. Community Antenna (Mayor Greg Kubarski) donated $450 for future street decorations.

• March: TIF 4 Board of Commissioners Nine Year Loan paid in full (annual payments, $40,437.97).

• May: Council approved Hillsboro Badger Blending TIF 2 six -year loan (Annual Payments $20,716.32).

• June: Well #3 Safe Drinking Water 20-year Loan with State of Wisconsin $492.574 approved by Council. (Principal payments begin in 2015. Annual payments $28,900).

• July: Cashing seven ambulance CDs for ambulance purchase for approximately $43,000. Also State Share Revenue first installment due, remaining due in November.

• Total revenue: $488,936.

The city continues to remain stable in savings and investments, but needs to focus on replenishing CDs with what has been cashed in the last three years.

Johnson closed her report with a preview of major expenses facing the city in 2014: Benefits including changes in health insurance. Depending on renewal date, wages, street improvements, police squad, urban forestry needs, and other expenses.

Other business

In other business, the Council unanimously approved a resolution setting fees for Retail Sidewalk Use Permits with a cost of $5 for retail businesses and $20 for restaurants. Overnight outdoor storage is not permitted.

Retail permits issued were for Jomino, Inc. (Ben Franklin store) Whitakers Market and Nu 2 U Resale.

The Council also approved a Sidewalk Use Permit and Outdoor Consumption Permit for Hillsboro Brewing Company at the corner of Mill Street and Water Avenue.

The owner of the establishment, Snapper Verbsky, was in attendance at the meeting to answer questions.

He explained that an outdoor area on the Mill Street sidewalk alongside the restaurant will be cordoned off with the use of cables and will only be available for customers. The same no-smoking rule from inside the restaurant will be in effect.

The outdoor area will be closed at 9 p.m., and the tables and chairs secured for the night. It will not be open from Nov. 1 to April 1.

The request was approved by the Council although several members stressed concerns, with R. Dale Jones stating that he didn’t like the idea on that corner. Police Chief Tom Richardson also remarked that the intersection worried him but suggested that it be given a chance, a thought that was echoed by Kubarski.

Randy Seeley added, “Give it a try, but the other ones will also be coming in.”

The Council also discussed a plan to build a sand volleyball court on the lake at Hammer-Klopfleisch Park with an estimated price tag of approximately $2,500.

Kubarski spoke in favor of the project, but Alderman Darrow Novy commented that “We need to put more money into needed things.”

A roll call vote had Mark Lankey and Seeley in favor of the proposal, with Mike Clark, Tom Hotek, Jones, Pat Moen, Novy, and Liz Parish against it.