Hilliard Northwest News

City Council committees

Hilliard groups make pitches for 2013 budget

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Members of Hilliard City Council's Finance and Administration Committee on Oct. 29 heard requests from several clubs and commissions the city of Hilliard supports financially.

Destination Hilliard, the Environmental Sustainability Commission, the Hilliard Arts Council, the Hilliard Garden Club and Solebrate! each presented pitches for 2013 funding to committee members.

Representatives of each organization showcased accomplishments for the current year, outlined goals of the ensuing year and made financial requests as the city begins to consider its budget for 2013.

Don Byerly, a member of the Solebrate! board of directors, updated committee members on planning for the inaugural event next year.

Destination Hilliard and Peebles Creative Group teamed up to develop the concept and name of "Solebrate!" The festival is intended to be new signature event for the city.

The first Solebrate! is scheduled for June 21-23, 2013. A location is yet to be named, but Roger A. Reynolds Municipal Park or the Franklin County Fairgrounds are the most likely venues.

Byerly said organizers hope to draw 10,000 visitors on the two full days of the Saturday-Sunday event.

The event will be held each year on the weekend nearest to the summer solstice, June 21.

Byerly said the festival has a budget of about $130,000 and organizers have secured about $38,000 to date.

He asked Hilliard to set aside $15,000 from its budget to support the event, but also asked the city to provide traffic control, refuse removal and police protection.

Councilman Nathan Painter said the city must determine how much it will cost to provide services to the festival before making any cash contributions.

John Hsu, chairman of the Environmental Commission, told committee members about its "Go Green" project, a recycling awareness effort, and a website the commission will build with a grant from the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio.

Hsu asked the city for a budget of $17,500, but told committee members that $11,500 would be reimbursed via the grant from SWACO. The balance of the commission's budget is for additional programs such as advertising and an Earth Day program.

Donna Timmons, representing the Hilliard Garden Club, requested a $2,000 budget and told committee members about the club's ongoing three-year project to landscape the Veterans Memorial at Roger A. Reynolds Municipal Park.

Ken Brenneman, representing the Hilliard Arts Council, outlined the council's continuing effort towards the construction of a community theater, and Christy Clark, executive director of Destination Hilliard, provided a third-quarter report of the organization's activities.

Committee members also considered five ordinances, referring all to City Council with a positive recommendation.

Two of the ordinances authorize the city to purchase stop-loss insurance, two authorize contracts for Internet technology for the Municipal Building and the Safety Services Building and the fifth approves the selection of a third-party administrator.

In other committee meetings, members of the Economic and Entrepreneurial Development Committee referred two ordinances to City Council, both with a positive recommendation.

Each ordinance amends the terms of existing economic development incentive agreements, one with the Credit Union of Ohio and the other with e-Cycle.

Mayor Don Schonhardt told committee members Credit Union of Ohio had virtually met its payroll target, but had not met the target number of new employees.

However, Schonhardt said, it not the city's intent to penalize the corporation and that it was "in the best interest" of the city and company to amend the agreement.

Likewise, the mayor recommended City Council amend the agreement with e-Cycle by extending it for three years.

The electronics recycling company is relocating its corporate office to New Albany, but will leave its operations and a majority of its employees at its Leap Road location.

 

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