Utilities committee chair Brandon Leeth (front, center) explains a recent committee meeting as council members Wendy Culbreath (left) and Adam Wilkin (right) listen. Also pictured is council clerk Heather Collins. (HCP photo/Caitlin Forsha)
Utilities committee chair Brandon Leeth (front, center) explains a recent committee meeting as council members Wendy Culbreath (left) and Adam Wilkin (right) listen. Also pictured is council clerk Heather Collins. (HCP photo/Caitlin Forsha)
After five months of discussion, Hillsboro City Council voted, 5-1, on Monday, March 12, 2018 against joining the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District.

Three months later, at council’s Monday, June 11 meeting, the agenda will include Resolution No. 18-30, “A resolution to join the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District.”

At the March 12 council meeting, it was alleged (by the mayor by way of his safety and service) that council had not given enough thought to the legislation – despite having five months of discussion.

The mayor first presented his proposal to join the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District on Oct. 10, 2017.

On March 12, 2018, council members Mary Stanforth, Justin Harsha, Adam Wilkin, Brandon Leeth and Wendy Culbreath each voted no, with Ann Morris providing the lone yes vote. (Council member Claudia Klein was absent.)

In the mayor’s March 12 report – which was read by the SSD – the mayor said that he had concerns that the finance committee had not “done their homework” on the matter.

Harsha said that council’s newest members “were given an opportunity to discuss and ask questions” on joining the district during the finance committee’s meeting March 6. According to Harsha, the council members asked questions about equipment maintenance, tax codes and the pros and cons of joining the district.

A public hearing on the proposal was held on Friday, Oct. 20, followed by another meeting Monday, Nov. 6. During both meetings, council members and citizens were able to give feedback on the proposed resolution and ask questions. Highland County auditor Bill Fawley attended the Nov. 6 meeting to provide more information on the impact on citizens’ property taxes.

After council voted against joining Paint Creek on March 12, council president Lee Koogler told SSD Mel McKenzie, “I’m assuming you’ll relay that information back to the mayor.”

City council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, June 11 at 130 Homestead Avenue in the Municipal Court Room at the Justice Center.

For more information, go to https://highlandcountypress.com/Content/In-The-News/In-The-News/Article/Council-rejects-Paint-Creek-resolution-considers-water-rate-increase-other-legislation/2/20/43256.