Hilliard City Council has set a date for a public hearing on the 2011 municipal operating budget last. The public hearing will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 6 in City Hall.

Hilliard City Council has set a date for a public hearing on the 2011 municipal operating budget last. The public hearing will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 6 in City Hall.

Council members have heard departments and agencies give budget presentations for the past couple of weeks. Earlier in committee, they agreed to shorten the budget hearing timeline and avoid a special meeting Dec. 20 to approve the budget by year's end. The resolution was passed, 5-0.

Prior to the public hearing, council will again meet Nov. 29 to discuss the budget, and council president Brett Sciotto told members: "We're really to the point where if you have specific questions, comments, concerns, changes, you'll have to start getting those together."

Council also discussed rules for First Responders Park. Director of recreation and parks Steven Mazer said he used council members' suggestions on the wording to "make them a little more palatable to the community."

A proposed sign that would be placed in the park next year would read, in part: "First Responders Park is a memorial to the thousands of innocent victims who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. This park is a living memorial to the First Responders everywhere who risk their own safety to protect us from harm's way.

"Out of respect, we ask that you please observe the following: 1. No smoking or alcoholic beverages within the park; 2. Do not litter in the park; 3. No glass containers within the park; 4. Pets must be leashed; 5. Please clean up after your pet; 6. Please do not use bicycles, skates, skateboards, or scooters inside the park area; 7. Please be respectful of the park features."

Mazer said he was comfortable with the way the rules were written: "I think it expresses to the community that it's a different kind of park - it really is more of a memorial, and I think this will serve more as a guideline that those visiting the park can still enjoy the park, but at the same time they understand there's some boundaries we would like the public to honor."

"I think these rules are much more appropriate," said Councilman Bill Uttley.