City leaders clash over proposed drone demonstration

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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 6:00 am

A Hillsboro city commissioner clashed with the city’s mayor Monday night over plans to fly a drone over Hillsboro for a demonstration led by SkySkopes in Grand Forks and researchers at the University of North Dakota.

City Commissioner Levi Reese told City Commission President Terry Sando that he had overstepped his authority by approving a number of UAS test flights planned in Hillsboro prior to their postponement.

Reese estimated 15 people had called or emailed him to raise concerns over the timing of the flights, which were intended to start April 17 and study how unmanned aircraft could be used to fight the coronavirus.

Details on the flights were spelled out in a front-page story in the April 17 edition of the Hillsboro Banner.

“(No one) stated they had a problem with the project,” Reese said Monday during an online meeting. “But they felt the project was moving forward with a lot of questions.”

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