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CITY COUNCIL MEETING 04/10/17 (Purple Heart City, Freedom Festival, Purchases, New Firefighters, Bradley Honored, Election Results) 

104th Council Has Last Regular Session - The 104th Chillicothe City Council had its final regular meeting Monday evening in the council chambers at City Hall. During the meeting, the council approved the purchase of a used road grader from The Victor L. Phillips Company of Kansas City, for $27,000. The council also approved the purchase of new police department weapons in the amount of $27,527 from Thunderbird Firearms Academy. The purchase includes 17 rifles and related accessories.

City officials were introduced to Josh Kelly, a new full-time firefighter and paramedic. Kelly is from Chillicothe and completed his firefighter and paramedic education at Grand River Technical School. He has been a paid-by-call firefighter since September 2015 and began working full-time last week. Another firefighter/ paramedic, Aaron Roberts, joined the department on a full-time basis April 1. Roberts, formerly of Chillicothe, was a paid-by-call firefighter May 2015, and most recently is from Gladstone.

Also Monday night, the council applauded Tracy Bradley for being named The American Legion's Firefighter of the Year for a multi-state region and was runner-up for the national title of Firefighter of the Year. Fire Chief Darrell Wright remarked, "What's important about this award is the Firefighter of the Year plaque is laying in my office. She thinks it's the department's. She gives the department and her crew as much credit as she took herself." She also gives credit to her family members who support her career, Wright said. Bradley does a lot of work with the schools and gives of her time for a fundraiser that has generated around $7,000 annually for several years, according to the fire chief. "She has done a lot of things that we are very proud of," he said. "She is so involved in the community and is such a great leader in our organization."

Local members of The American Legion were present for Monday night's City Council meeting when Chillicothe Firefighter Tracy Bradley was recognized by city officials as The American Legion's multi-state Regional Firefighter of the Year and runner-up of the Legion's National Firefighter of the Year. Front, from left: Jeff Sanchez, Don Ware, Tracy Bradley. Back, from left: Leo Halverson, Melvin Littrell, Jim Summerville, Ed Allender, Larry Warren, Howard Marshall. C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

In other business Monday evening, the council heard a proposal from Carl McBee regarding a fireworks display July 1 (see related story), and adopted an ordinance accepting the April 4 election results. The meeting closed with brief remarks by City Administrator Ike Holland and a few council members. "It's been a pleasure working here in Chillicothe," Holland stated. "I've worked in a lot of city and county governments over the last 16 years. Chillicothe has been one of the most satisfying work experiences I have had. "Chillicothe is truly unique and has some special people that have helped me do my job and helped out the city organization," Holland continued. "On a personal note, there are many people in this community who have assisted my family. When your children are nurtured and taken care of, it makes your job a lot easier and you're not worrying about your children; when people have been very kind and generous to my wife, what else can you say, but 'thank you?'" Councilman-at-Large David Moore, who chose not to seek re-election, also made a few comments regarding his time on his council. "I've always appreciated the challenge of our city government. It has been a pleasure to work with our employees. It has been an honor to serve the city."

Chillicothe City Council members adopted a resolution Monday evening, April 10, 2017, declaring Chillicothe as a Purple Heart City and proclaimed April 10, 2017, as Purple Heart City Recognition Day in Chillicothe. John D. Dismer, adjutant of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and Gunnery Sgt. Bryce F. Lockwood, attended Monday night's meeting of the city council and presented Mayor Chuck Haney with a plaque recognizing the city as a Purple Heart City, honoring those who have received the Purple Heart Medal as a result of being wounded while engaged in combat with an enemy force, construed as a singularly meritorious act of essential service.

Several local and area veterans attended the council meeting in support of local Purple Heart Medal recipients. Two veterans who had received the Purple Heart - Leo Halverson and Jeff Sanchez - were also present at the meeting. Both are military veterans of the Vietnam War. Halverson received multiple Purple Heart Medals and also is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, and Bronze Star. Sanchez is a three-time recipient of the Purple Heart Medal.

C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripely

Freedom Fest Fireworks Show July 1
By Catherine Stortz Ripley, C-T 04/12/17

Chillicothe's Freedom Fest, which will include an evening fireworks display, will take place Saturday, July 1, in Simpson Park. Chillicothe residents Carl McBee and Terry Rumery are heading up the effort and have secured a fireworks provider. Whether Chillicothe would provide fireworks this year was unknown after former coordinator, Scott Rule, announced that he was stepping down from his position for at least this year. Rumery has been involved with the effort in previous years. He and McBee stated that J&M Displays, the company that has provided Chillicothe's fireworks for the last two years, would be returning this year. "We think it is important for the city to have fireworks on the Fourth of July or the Fourth of July weekend," Rumery said. The two said they are working to secure other entertainment, similar to previous years, for the early evening hours. The city of Chillicothe has set aside $4,000 for the fireworks and additional fundraising efforts will be made by contacting local businesses, as in years past.

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