Local News

City Council launches contest

Funded by its individual members, the Hebron City Council issued a challenge for chamber bucks: residents are invited to submit nominations for the best holiday light displays at the city office with a deadline of Dec. 25. 

At the council’s regular January meeting, first, second and third place winners will be announced for chamber buck prizes. 

The contest was announced toward the end of the council’s meeting Monday evening, after discussions on sidewalk occupancy and nuisance properties. 

Council member Robert Dodes lent his voice to the sidewalk occupancy discussion. He said he sees more sidewalk displays that look good than bad. 

“I’m not opposed to outside benches, but I don’t have a couch on my front porch,” he said. 

Dodes will address the couch seen in front of the Variety Store with the individual owner. 

On requiring permits for items in front of businesses, council member Kyle Timmerman spoke.

“If you’re going to make them come in every month and fill out a permit, they’re not going to waste their time,” he said. 

Discussion on permits has included the permits would be free, but Steve Anderson of Central Market had another angle. 

“Businesses own the sidewalk. You make us pay for repairs to the sidewalk, yet you’re saying you can’t put things on your property. You’re opening a floodgate. Where is the ordinance going to stop?” Anderson said. 

Mayor Doug Huber wondered the same thing. 

“Let’s try talking to the people first to see if we can control it,” Huber said. 

The council then looked to the approximate seven citizens in attendance and the consensus was the council should handle sidewalk occupancy on an individual basis. 

The discussion on nuisance properties was equally positive as members recognized Aaron Taylor’s downtown properties, which includes the Variety Store, as being cleaned up in the back of the stores. 

Huber said he would like to thank Taylor, but would also like the items that are still there, organized. 

“What you never see in the paper is the times I have told him, ‘thank you,’” Huber said. 

Meanwhile, 340 Lincoln Ave.; 210 Union Ave.; and 227 S. 4th St., were taken off the council’s agenda. Left on the agenda were 345 Willard Ave., with a Jan. 15 deadline; 718 Union Ave.; and the Stonebrook property, which was declared a nuisance. In addition, remnants of the old foundation on South Street has seen no further efforts to clean that area. 

In other business, the council approved an ordinance to change the camping at Riverside Park from 10 days to five days, with a provision campers could request more time on an individual basis. Informative signs will be provided in the park area.