Hillsdale Municipal Airport was awarded a $1 million for the phase two par­allel taxiway project, as dis­cussed at the City Coun­cil’s most recent meeting. Julia Mullins | Col­legian

The Hillsdale City Council has received more than six appli­ca­tions for the newly formed Home­lessness Task Force, which will soon begin addressing home­lessness in the city. 

Seven people have sub­mitted appli­ca­tions to serve on the board, and Mayor Adam Stockford said two dozen more res­i­dents expressed interest in applying. 

“I don’t think it’d be wise to set a total member number at this point until we see what we’re really looking at here,” he said to encourage the delay of cre­ating the board until more people submit appli­ca­tions. “We’ve got some really good people.”

Stockford said Hillsdale Police Chief Scott Hephner will serve on the task force, along with whichever cit­izens are selected.

Stockford said the committee’s first task should be to define a mission statement and determine the scope of the homeless problem in Hillsdale. 

“The first thing is getting some actual accurate infor­mation to know what we’re looking at here,” Stockford said. 

The board will also seek to determine if the homeless pop­u­lation is native to Hillsdale or from other areas. Coun­cilmembers and law enforcement officers will help lead the group toward solu­tions for the city. 

“The fact that law enforcement is going to be involved in the con­ver­sation is very encour­aging,” Stockford said. 

The council will receive an update from Stockford at the March 16 meeting about addi­tional appli­ca­tions sub­mitted.

Later in the meeting, the council dis­cussed a $1 million grant awarded to the Hillsdale Municipal Airport. 

The Michigan Asso­ci­ation of Airport Exec­u­tives Con­ference met in Feb­ruary with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Federal Avi­ation Admin­is­tration and Michigan Department of Trans­portation. The groups awarded Hillsdale for “out­standing pro­motion of the airport.”

“Hillsdale received a sup­ple­mental grant of over $1 million to com­plete the phase two par­allel taxiway project,” City Manager David Mackie said. 

The city will be respon­sible for about $60,000 to fully fund the project. This is just 5% of the total cost for the taxiway. 

The airport already has a taxiway, which con­nects to the west end of the runway. The new taxiway will connect to the east end so that planes don’t have to travel across the runway to get to the opposite side. 

Hillsdale Municipal Airport Manager Ginger Moore helped make the grant pos­sible. 

“We wouldn’t be talking about this grant if it wasn’t for Ginger’s hard work,” Mackie said. “In net­working with the Federal Avi­ation Admin­is­tration rep­resent for Michigan, she really had Hillsdale at heart.”

Moore met with several rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the dif­ferent agencies, showed them the airport, and fol­lowed up with proof of the work being done by the airport. 

“We were singled out by many, many air­ports that wanted this money,” she said. “We were very lucky.”