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Members of Boy Scout Troop 120
and 121 placed American flags at the graves
of veterans over Memorial Day weekend.

By Mayor Chuck Haney

JUNE 2017


This past week, many of the city employees, department heads, and elected personnel took time out to make a trip to the Street Department headquarters to say good-bye to Dick Shannon who officially retired June 1, 2017. Shannon spent 24 years and seven months working for the city street department and the Green Hills Golf Course. Street Commissioner Barry Arthur and Shannon's fellow employees spent time together in an event that included ice cream and cake, some gifts and cards, and comments from Arthur and Mayor Chuck Haney. Shannon's main duty in recent years was being in charge of the work release women from the Chillicothe Correctional Center for their daily duties with the street department. As stated by Arthur in his remarks, Shannon did an excellent job and was an asset to the department and certainly will be missed. Prior to moving to the street department a few years ago, Shannon worked for the city at the Green Hills Golf Course. Shannon's wife Shirley retired a year ago after many years with the city parks and recreation department. In my comments, I mentioned how much we miss Shirley in the parks department and that it would be the same in the street department with the retirement of her husband. I want to thank Dick Shannon for all he did for both departments and wish him the very best in his retirement years.

Saturday morning in Simpson Park, it was a wave of red shirts and working adults and youth as the Park Board, parks department, and Ministerial Alliance of Chillicothe held the first of what they hope will be many One Project events. The community-wide work day was an idea brought up in a park department meeting earlier this year. The publicity campaign began and included personal letters to each of the churches of the Ministerial Alliance. Around 60 persons pre-registered to help in the four-hour project, but when it came time to begin the work, there were 70 plus on hand to help.

"Things went really, really well according to Josh Norris, director of the parks system." He said a lot of work was accomplished as he outlined projects like spreading new mulch on the Simpson Park playground, painting bridges, shelter hoses, work at the tennis courts and other things that might not have been done this summer with the other work schedule as well as the water park responsibilities of the department. Norris said he wanted to thank the churches, Ministerial Alliance, and all five park board members for showing up to help in the ONE PROJECT. Park members present were President Eric Turner, Secretary Lou Cowherd, Maurice Zion, Karen Nichols and Jim Hinrichs. There were also four members of the parks department present. At noon Saturday, the workers were treated to a hot dog lunch with chips and drink through the courtesy of the Ministerial Alliance and Boy Scout Troop 120.

Our headline at the top of our column featured the ONE PROJECT, street projects, and busy times. True statement! 

C-T Photo / Butch Shaffer (Chillicothe Mudcats)

To handle all of the mowing and work in the five parks plus the Chilli Bay Water Park, Tina Mapel Dog Park, and the two downtown parks at Silver Moon Plaza and Clay and Washington Streets as well as preparing for the Chillicothe Mudcat baseball opener last Friday night at Shaffer Park, the Summer Playground programs at the three fields at Danner, along with church league slo-pitch softball at Simpson Park, you can see what we are talking about.

Some big news out of the Chillicothe Fire Department and Chief Darrell Wright was the word that Chillicothe had been informed the city would be receiving a $160,000 Assistance to Firefighters grant. Wright said the grant is officially for Safety and Operations. The Department will replace 28 of the current Air Packs they use. Wright said that under the terms of the grant, the packs that are still usable will be used around the area. The total cost for the new Air Packs is $168,000, which means the city will have to provide $8,000 in matching funds and that has already been budgeted. Wright said the city will pay for the air packs and will be reimbursed by FEMA.

The start of Chillicothe Street Department Street improvements for 2017 will get underway this week (Tuesday or Wednesday) if the weather cooperates. According to Street Superintendent Barry Arthur, M&M Utilities (the successful bidder for the projects) will begin with Tomahawk Drive between Mohawk and Broken Arrow. The contractor will be placing storm drainage, curb and guttering and an asphalt overlay will be added to the street. This work will take a few weeks before the asphalt company comes in to do the overlay to finish the street. The contractor will work along city right of way which could impact each resident along the street. Arthur said that residents along the street will have access in and out of their drives at all times during the construction period. Arthur asked that motorists and residents please be patience at all times during construction as our city streets are being improved. Follow all street signs and the contractor will work with each resident to make sure there are no problems during construction.

Another project moving right along is the new LifeFlight hanger that will serve as the headquarters for the emergency crew and helicopter. The building is going up, the roof is on, and inside work was getting underway last Friday after a tour was made by Fire Chief Wright and the mayor.

C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley / 05 22 17

Meanwhile, a much needed project of a new walkway from the Danner Park parking lot to the Blue Field was being done in a cooperative effort of street and parks department employees. The walking trails will be placed in the budget for next year for Danner Park.

C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

Another of projects at Shaffer Park was completed prior to last Friday night's home opener that included new dugouts, new "Bull pens", and some replacement of boards in the wooden stadium seats and the fence.

Three police officers were hired last week to bring the department to full capacity of 17 officers; and two new street employees will begin work after completing their physical as well as a part-time seasonal employee.

The search for a new city administrator continues. A second employment ad was placed in several state publications to fill the position which has been vacant since April 27 following the resignation of Ike Holland.

Enjoy your city!

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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