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COUNCIL MEETING 02/10/2020 (Zoning Change, City Health Insurance, Funding Requests)

By Angie Talken, CT 02 15 2020

City Council members voted unanimously to change the zoning at 321 Elm Street - the old Central School - which was sold to Nathan Zabka and Zabka Construction by the Chillicothe R-II Board of Education. Zabka plans to turn the old elementary school into 20-21 mid-rate apartments. Zabka told the council there will be approximately 10 two-bedroom units on the second floor of the school and 10 one bed-one bath units on the first floor when completed. Zabka noted the playground will remain as will the old school bell as part of his agreement with the school board. He must have 10 units done in three years and confirmed this before they approved the zoning change from Public Zone District to R-3 New High-Density Multi-Family Residential Zone. Planning and Zoning previously approved the zoning change.

After several weeks of discussion, the council also voted 5-0 to pass an ordinance that would allow city employees - who can prove they have other health insurance coverage - to opt-out of using the city's insurance plan. City Administrator Darin Chappell noted the policy does not allow an employee to switch to Medicare or Tri-Care, both federally funded health coverage plans. The issue came about after several employees asked questions about opting out of the provided health insurance plan; however, currently, no one is expressing interest in doing so, Chappell stated.

The council has also begun hearing from the leadership of area organizations that seek funding assistance from the city. The council hears the requests then Chappell and City Auditor Hannah Fletcher take those requests into account when developing the city's budget and the duo will then present the proposed budget to the council in advance of the March 31 deadline.

The next Chillicothe City Council meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m., Feb. 24, in the council chambers at Chillicothe's City Hall.

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