On 1-16-2024, the Hillsboro (OR) City Council will convene again and pick up where they left off as they pursue more real estate acquisitions in a private work session that the public will not be welcome to attend nor know what is discussed. At 6 PM the Council will hold and Executive Session. The posting for this session states:
|Executive Session – 6 pm – Zoom Teleconference
(No action may be taken in executive session. If action needs to be taken, the Council will do so in regular session): The executive session will be held within a separate Zoom teleconference meeting. Email email@example.com for the Zoom details.
What are they going to decide? Probably more land purchases within the Jackson East and North Hillsboro areas, which the Hillsboro Herald has exclusively covered. You can read up on these actions and the march to convert as much farmland as possible to Industrial Development. None of these new sites have been vetted with any Environmental Impact statements. Having said that, the Council is honoring their promise to land and homeowners in the area to buy them out after these lands were identified and rezoned despite vehement protests to Industrial, effectively making it hard to live there anymore.
The day after the meeting is held, we may be able to find out what the result of the Executive Session was, and we will report back to you, our readers.
At 7 PM, the regular session of the City Council Meeting will be held, and there are many things on the agenda. You can also be granted your 3 minutes to speak to the Council. They will not answer your questions, but you can get a few words in. This is something caring citizens need to do if they can.
The Agenda and information on how you can speak are here- have a look at how many items your Council has to handle in a short period. Millions of dollars will be committed and spent in this one single City Council Meeting:
CLICK HERE FOR THE AGENDA https://hillsboro-oregon.civicweb.net/Portal/MeetingInformation.aspx?Id=18953
One Item I want to point out is Item 4.6:
Consider approving the Mayor to sign the Semiconductor Industrial Lands Loan Program application, a forgivable loan sponsored by Business Oregon.
Subject: Authorization for Mayor to sign the Semiconductor Industrial Lands Loan
Program application, a forgivable loan program
Requested City Council Action:
Consider approving the Mayor to sign the Semiconductor Industrial Lands Loan Program
application, a forgivable loan sponsored by Business Oregon.
At the direction of Senate Bill 4, Business Oregon recently created the Semiconductor Industrial
Lands Loan (SILL) Program to accelerate and support investment in the semiconductor industry
and increase the state’s inventory of project-ready industrial sites for semiconductor investment.
The maximum award amount is $2.5 million per application. Business Oregon will ultimately
determine the amount of the forgivable loan which may be less than the amount requested and
subject to availability of funds.
Eligible projects include land acquisition and assembly costs, utility infrastructure, transportation
improvements, environmental mitigation, costs associated with preparing local, state and federal
permits, and direct project expenses.
Staff is working on completing this application. The last date to apply is February 1, 2024 and the
application needs to be signed by the highest elected official using the governing body’s lawful
Additional program information can be found here on the Business Oregon website.
There are no direct costs associated with applying for the SILL program other than staff time. The
forgivable loan does not include a matching requirement.
End Of Staff Report
The Mayor will be asked to sign the application Tuesday night, yet the Hillsboro staff has not completed a report to the Council about the effects of this move. The Herald has requested copies of the application but has received no answer. How can any City Council Members approve giving the Mayor the power to apply for Millions of Loans without knowing what that money is being used for? Honestly, they should not be able to. This Staff Reports says amounts up to $2.5 Million can be awarded per application and Hillsboro could make multiple applications I suppose.
Again, we are begging for any level of transparency, fairness, and equity in how things are handled on these sorts of matters. Seeing little to none, this isn’t very encouraging. We hope to see the Staff Report so that we can review it and make a statement on any matters of concern.
It is your city too, so I will ask and encourage you to get involved. It is well past time for more of us to do that!