Board of Commissioners Meeting Summary

Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019
Board of Commissioners Meeting Summary
Water Plant Superintendent Howard Hobson (far right) was recognized Monday for 30 years of service to the Town of Hillsborough. Presenting the award are Human Resources Director and Town Clerk Katherine Cathey (from left), Town Manager Eric Peterson and Mayor Tom Stevens.

The following is a brief summary of noteworthy actions taken at the Hillsborough Board of Commissioners meeting on Monday, Jan. 14. It does not include all actions taken at the meeting and should not be viewed as official minutes. The meeting was held in the Board Meeting Room at the Town Hall Annex, 105 E. Corbin St.


Town Manager Eric Peterson presented employee milestone awards. Employees are recognized every five years with a service coin and $75.

  • 5 years of service — Human Resources Director/Town Clerk Katherine Cathey, Commissioner Kathleen Ferguson, Utility Mechanic III Ethan Oles, Police Officer 1st Class Michael Toellen, and Commissioner Jenn Weaver
  • 10 years of service — Police Cpl. Ed House
  • 15 years of service — Public Works Director Ken Hines, Utility System Supervisor Joel Lashley, Police Sgt. Charles White, and Fleet Maintenance Supervisor David Wisely
  • 20 years of service — Water Plant Operator III Malcolm Hester and Chief Wastewater Plant Operator Shawn Maines
  • 30 years of service — Water Plant Superintendent Howard Hobson

Economic development

Economic Development Planner Shannan Campbell presented a brief overview of economic development and tourism happenings in the last quarter of 2018, including:

  • Developers acquired the Daniel Boone Village property.
  • Developers of the Colonial Inn continued to move forward.
  • Fork in the Roof food truck had a ribbon-cutting and grand opening.
  • Nugget Comfort HQ moved into West Hillsborough.
  • House at Gatewood restaurant opened.
  • River Park Concert had its largest crowd to date.
  • The prepared food and beverage tax collected in Fiscal Year 2017-18 was 7.54 percent, or $25,894, more than the previous fiscal year.
  • The occupancy tax was up 2.59 percent or $134.


The Board of Commissioners voted to reappoint:

  • Virginia Smith to serve on the Historic District Commission for a second term ending Feb. 28, 2022.
  • Dan Barker to serve on the Planning Board Planning Board for a second term ending Jan. 31, 2022.

Utility payments

The board discussed having customers help cover the associated fees the town incurs when they pay their water bills by credit card and other types of electronic payment. 

Last fiscal year, the town spent almost $74,000 to cover payment card fees related to water and sewer bills. Staff noted that charging fees to customers utilizing card and electronic payment options is more equitable than having the town cover the fees through revenue from water and sewer payments.

The town is returning to in-house billing at the end of February and had previously charged $3 per credit card transaction before contracting for billing service from FATHOM. Service with FATHOM will end Feb. 25.

The board decided to continue the discussion on charging a fee for some electronic transactions at the regular meeting on Feb. 11 to give the public more time to comment on this topic.

Habitat for Humanity

The Board of Commissioners voted to convey a piece of property, 525 Latimer St., to Habitat for Humanity. Habitat intends to build one dwelling on the lot and fix a boundary issue with a neighbor.

Train station

Planning Director Margaret Hauth told the mayor and town commissioners that it is time to start working on the train station design. The board will discuss some options for a town building and the town’s 20 acres at the Jan. 28 work session. The train station, which will be located on an extension of Orange Grove Road, is estimated to be an $8 million project, of which about $34,000 are town funds.

Water and Sewer Advisory Committee

The mayor and commissioners decided who would attend which meetings of the Water and Sewer Advisory Committee, which has decided to meet monthly in 2019.

Joint meeting

The board decided some topics to discuss at the joint meeting with the Orange County Board of Commissioners on Feb. 14 would be downtown redevelopment, county sidewalk construction, and housing inspection collaboration.

Related documents

      Document Agenda packet