Annexing on council agenda

The Hebron City Council discussed annexing property next to Highway 81 at its regular Monday evening meeting. 

No formal action was taken, and the agenda item stated the annexation was solely for discussion. 

Homes along the east side of 13th Street are already inside the city as its limits stretch 300 feet from 13th Street toward the highway. It is the land behind those homes the council is discussing. 

Mayor Doug Huber has already spoken with several of the homeowners and said annexation would have a minimal effect on their property taxes. 

One of the neighbors, Kathy Retzlaff, was at the meeting, and said the land behind her home may be used for grazing, however, the Retzlaffs don’t rent the ground out, and dispute its valuation of approximately $6,400. In addition, there is a steep drop-off.   

“We were told by the state we couldn’t develop on that land because of the highway,” she said. 

City attorney, Joe Murray, said the land could be annexed and re-zoned as agriculture.

In other business, the council authorized a philanthropic planning study for $12,000 to determine the likelihood of private donations for the new pool. The study will be conducted by Paul Strawhecker, Inc.

“He can find people in the community who are capable of giving money,” Council member Kyle Timmerman said. 

The City of Hebron is starting from a zero point of entry when it comes to raising private funds. 

“I was impressed after listening to him the other night. We met with the Hebron Community Fund, that acts like a pass-through fund to the city. We did approve that to establish a pool fund,” Huber said.

Council member Tim Pickering said the city understands it needs to find alternative funding sources for the pool. 

“He will take six months and talk to different people,” Pickering said. “Maybe sources you never thought would give, will.”  

Another option for donors will be to round up their utility bills from the city each month.

The council also opened a bid from Ray Wright for the 117 N. 4th St., empty lot. Wright proposed $300 for the lot and promised not to store “junk” on the lot. 

He is working with The Bottle Shop owners, Doug and Michelle Modlin because they own the adjoining property, on a privacy fence. Wright hopes to eventually rent his current space at 105 N. 4th St., out. 

In his bid, Wright stated a building will be on 117 in three to five years.

City water superintendent, Rob Williams reported on abandoning Well No. 2, which is the well to the south of the two north wells. The well, which the city hasn’t used in about 18 months, is creeping up in nitrates. 

Williams said the state advised taking the well offline. 

“I’m asking we dissolve that point of entry and pursue another well at another date,” Williams said. “We are back to square one and have to find new test holes.” 

Huber said water-wise, Hebron is in a good position, and he requested Williams to come to the council meeting and give an update. 

A motion to take the well offline was approved.

Hebron Volunteer Fire Department Chief Wayne Kugel reported 172 calls for 2019. Kugel broke the calls down to 131 medical, 33 fire and 11 rescue. 

Kugel also approached the council about the department’s ambulance, which is currently on the rotation for replacement. He was authorized by the council to research for a new ambulance.