During the Oct. 7 City Council meeting, councilmembers expressed gratitude to Hillsdale College for its financial contribution toward the road construction projects around campus.
The city is currently doing restoration work on College Street and a complete mill and overlay project on both Galloway Drive and West Street.
Richard Péwé, the chief administrative officer for Hillsdale College and overseer of the funding given to the city, said the aid is an expression of appreciation to city travelers and close neighbors.
“For being so understanding about the college’s on-going capital improvement projects, which do indeed improve the surrounding area but also sometimes bring temporary street closures, heavy construction traffic, and inconvenience,” Péwé said.
This is not the first time the college has helped the city finance repairs; the partnership has existed for the good of all Hillsdalians for over a decade.
“For many years the college has been financing road improvements,” said Péwé. “Hillsdale, West, Union, Galloway, Barber, and College streets are examples in the last 15 years.”
Péwé added that the working relationship between the city and college is essential to the mission of the school.
“It is important that the college be a good neighbor,” Péwé said. “Street improvements also help advance the college’s educational mission, which is the justification for providing the financing.”
Mayor Adam Stockford, who has served Hillsdale since November 2017, said he is appreciative that the college is paying for the repairs around campus as it helps alleviate costs for residents.
“Construction of streets is a costly venture,” Stockford said. “It’s appreciated that the college has found a way to take ownership of their neighborhood in a way that removes the burden from the average working-class taxpaying resident of Hillsdale.”
Hillsdale College supports the city in more ways than just road construction.
City Manager David Mackie oversees infrastructure projects for Hillsdale.
“The city has a good working relationship with Hillsdale College,” Mackie said. “The college puts a lot of effort into promoting the city and we are thankful for its efforts.”
The contributions and support of the city make the area better for residents and students.
“It’s these types of partnerships with our local employers that help drive our local economy,” said Mackie. “They make Hillsdale a great place to live, work and study.”
During the meeting, the council also discussed potential upgrades and renovations at the Hillsdale Police Station.
Hillsdale Chief Police Scott Hephner said the station needs improvements to increase safety.
“We deal with a number of people who plan to commit suicide by cop,” Hephner said. “We have safety concerns and need to protect our staff.”
The recent spike in attacks directed at police across the country prompted the department to expedite improvements.
“We need more space and we need an interview room for when we have a victim in the building,” Hephner said. “I’m asking for the funding to be moved forward so we don’t have to wait for three years.”
The department adjusted its budget to get the funding and the council passed it in an 8 – 0 vote.