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Chillicothe High School students presented arguments for
funding requests for the Chillicothe Street Department
and the Police Department in a mock exercise posing questions
about real issues as part of Student Government Day.
C-T Photo / Jaime Saucedo

"AROUND OUR TOWN"
By Mayor Chuck Haney

MARCH 2017

IT IS BUDGET TIME FOR THE CITY AND CMU

Really busy times in city hall! Our department heads, city administrator Ike Holland, City Auditor Theresa Kelly, and her assistant auditor Shannon Jones are all putting the numbers together from reports they have been receiving for the city's budget. Over the next three weeks, the members of the city council will have a budget workshop with the first one March 6, 2017, followed by a regular city council meeting on Monday, March 13, and a final council meeting on Monday, March 27, where the city council will hopefully adopt a budget for the fiscal year 2017-2018.

A proposed budget book was made available for all council members, department heads, the administrator, and mayor. The proposed budget was put together by the administrator, auditor, and assistant auditor and distributed last week and prior to tonight's city council meeting. If approved as it now is being proposed, the budget will be $13.6 million and balanced (in the black) with estimated revenue presented at 13.8 and some change.

In addition to the two regular city council meetings and the special workshop budget meeting this month, city officials, administrator, clerk, and auditor will hold a joint meeting with the Board of Public Works on March 22 at 11:30 a.m. General Manager Jim Gillilan will present the CMU budget to the council and will take any questions from members of the council and other city officials present.

The city budget must be approved by the city council at its Monday, March 27, meeting in order to be in effect as of 12:01 a.m. March 28, 2017, for the new fiscal year.

In his report to the members of the city council and the leadership team, City Administrator Ike Holland reported that he had worked on the budget draft and was preparing a Powerpoint for the council workshop on March 6. Mr. Holland also pointed out that when the city council meets with CMU on their budget, there will be discussion on the PILOT.

The sale of liquor at the golf course will be considered at a later council meeting after a survey is completed to see if there is support for the service that has been requested by the new management company that took over the golf course and Fast Lanes Entertainment Center as of the first of the year.

The search for a new administrative assistant for the city clerk, mayor, and the administrator has reached its deadline with the number of applicants topping 40 for the job. The list will be trimmed and interviews for finalist will be done later this month. Tammy Midgyett, former assistant, resigned recently and accepted a position with the PATCH program at the Chillicothe Correctional Center as a Visit Coordinator for the non-profit program that is directed by Barb Burton.

As most know by now, the city has lost its current administrator Ike Holland, who has accepted the same position in a Minnesota community. Advertising is being placed by the city clerk on national sites as well as with the Missouri Municipal League. Mr. Holland will be in his Chillicothe position through April 21 and then depart for his Minnesota community of around 20,000 persons. The city council at its last meeting gave a unanimous nod for the mayor to put together a search committee requesting that a representative from each of the city's four wards be represented who would then give recommendations to the mayor for final approval. When Administrator Holland was employed nearly six years ago, there were more than 50 applications for the position.

The administrator recently met with the city attorney, fire chief, and auditor to discuss vacation and sick time leave for the firefighters, and he believes that a solution has been reached.

He visited the hanger project where dirt work and preliminary work for the new hanger and headquarters for LifeFlight are underway just north of U.S. 36 at the airport. LifeFlight is expected to occupy the new $1 million headquarters by June 1, 2017. A pad is also presently being constructed.

Holland reported that the old prison grounds on west Third Street in Chillicothe looks great thanks to a combination of work done by city department employees in the streets, parks, and codes departments . Holland said the departments and their employees are due a big thank you for all the work they have done at the site.

The mayor met with the hospital administrator and board at its quarterly meeting where St. Luke's and HMC board member and current CEO Don Sipes attended and was recognized by both the board and the city. Sipes, a native of Trenton, is going into semi-retirement. He played a big role in working with the city officials, HMC board, and Administrator Holland in building the new $42 million city hospital three years ago.


Caption: Steve Schieber (left), Hedrick Medical Center CEO, presents a plaque to Don Sipes (right), FACHE, vice president of regional services for Saint Luke's Health System, in appreciation for his service to the Hedrick Medical Center Board of Trustees.

Holland also visited the parks with Director Josh Norris and checked on Shaffer Park where the Mudcats and the city are both working on implementing better security for the park and its concession stand and other buildings after three recent acts of vandalism and theft were discovered. Security cameras and additional lighting are being looked at as well as requests to neighbors to report any sightings and have police make regular checks on the facility that serves as the home of the Mudcats collegiate baseball team, American Legion teams, and high school team.

Those many rail cars seen parked on tracks of the city's shortline railroad are adding to the city's revenues, and it appears that storage on lines within and just outside the city limits will remain for the coming year. The railroad budget looks good and will supply some dollars for trail projects in 2017, Holland reported.

The administrator also recently met with the codes department and discussed code changes and new construction projects within the city.

On behalf of the city and its council members, I recognized two of the four members of the former Green Hills Golf Course for their work. Those present who received their certificates and recognition were Charles Bigler and Scott Ellis. Rollie Staldman was out of town, and Brooks Macoubrie was not present so their thank you certificates will be mailed to them. The golf advisory board was dissolved when the city turned the facility over to a management team January 1, 2017.

City street, park, airport, and golf course personnel are gearing up for Spring!

Enjoy your city and remember our doors are always open to you at City Hall.

I have already told you more than I know.

Mayor Haney's "Around Our Town" column is available in the Chillicothe Constitution Tribune newspaper the first week of each month. His additional columns, "On the Street", are also available in the newspaper weekly.

Mayor Haney on Ingram's list of 50 Missourians You Should Know (March 27, 2013)

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