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(Water Slide, Golf Course Bridges, Seat Belt Ordinance)

City Talks About Seat Belt Ordinance
By Catherine Stortz Ripley
April 12, 2016

Chillicothe officials are talking about amending a city ordinance to allow police to enforce the seat belt law without having another reason to stop a motorist. The proposal came as a recommendation by Chillicothe Police Chief Rick Knouse and was met with mixed reviews by Chillicothe City Council members when City Administrator Ike Holland introduced the idea at the council's regular meeting Monday evening at City Hall. Despite the mixed reaction, the council unanimously agreed that the topic merits further discussion and input from constituents. Holland emphasized that Monday night's topic was for discussion purposes. "Only if you want to pursue this after discussion, then an ordinance and a change will be brought to you," Holland stated. Chief Knouse explained his department's interest in having seat belts subject to primary enforcement. "Currently, we can't enforce the seat belt law unless there is another violation involving the vehicle," Knouse stated. "We watch a lot of cars go by with people without their seat belts on and we really can't do anything about it." He cited statistics showing that occupants who weren't wearing seat belts comprise most deaths involving vehicle crashes. He noted that the biggest problem he sees is among teenagers. "They don't buckle up," Knouse said. "There have been a lot of fatalities." He said that several cities have already amended their ordinances making the failure to use a seat belt a primary offense. "Making it a primary offense would be a good idea," he said. Second Ward Councilman Wayne Cunningham stated that making seat belts subject to primary enforcement is a good idea for young people, but called it an infringement of people's rights if applied to adults. "I do think that children should be buckled up and I think teenagers should be buckled up; but, I think a person who is able to make decisions should have that right," Cunningham said. "As a 71- 72-year-old man, I think I have the mental capacity to make a decision of whether I do or do not want to buckle a seat belt." He added that he drives with a seat belt on the highway. Councilman-at-Large David Moore said making seat belts subject to primary enforcement is a good idea, especially for children. "If kids feel like there is some kind of penalty attached with not putting it on, then you're going to get their attention and have a better chance of them putting it on," he said. "I think it is a good idea for the city to pursue it. I think it would be a smart move." Steve Shoot, who has as graduate degree in safety and is a former military policeman, attended Monday's meeting and stated the importance of wearing a seat belt. Chief Knouse stated that he understands people's freedoms and rights, but that his focus is on safety. Discussions about the seat belt ordinance was among several topics discussed during Monday night's meeting. Chillicothe Mayor Chuck Haney presided over Monday night's meeting, with the full council present.

New Water Slide Coming to Chilli Bay
April 13, 2016

Chilli Bay Water Park will have a new open flume slide this summer. Thanks to generous donations by local foundations and cooperation among the contractors, the costs to the city will stay within the $99,000 that had been set aside for the slide. Chillicothe City Council members unanimously approved the bid for the slide from Aqua Blue in the amount of $122,000, with local foundations covering $23,000 of the cost. Aqua Blue will sell the slide and do the installation, as well as provide the electrical hookup, pump, design and specs. WatersEdge's engineer will provide inspections and a punch list at no cost to the city. Councilman-at-Large David Moore took a few moments during the Monday's city council meeting to extend appreciation on behalf of the city to City Attorney Robert Cowherd, who worked to get the foundations involved, and all those who helped make this new addition at Chilli Bay possible. The timeframe for construction will be from mid-May to mid-June. Talks of adding the slide were the result of the initial $4 million aquatic center renovation project four years ago. Although the slide was part of the plan, city officials decided to remove it because they were concerned construction costs would exceed the budgeted amount. The infrastructure for the slide, however, was completed with the thought that the slide could be added at a later date.

Golf Course to Get Two New Bridges
April 13, 2016

Two new cart paths are slated for construction at Green Hills Golf Course because existing ones have deteriorated. The bridges to be replaced are used for continuing play from the No. 5 green, through Hole 6, and on to Hole 7. These bridges were built in 2004 with treated lumber and with funds generated through proceeds from golf course improvement tournaments. The bridges have met their life expectancy, according to General Manager Craig Sager. He told Chillicothe City Council members on Monday that one bridge is in need of immediate replacement and another one is deteriorating. Discussion took place at the council meeting as to what kind of bridge should be built. Sager said that lumber bridges would cost between $2,000 and $2,500 each, but would not last as long as concrete bridges. The concrete bridges are estimated to cost $3,500 apiece. The bridges would measure 10 feet wide and 35 feet long. Council members gave a consensus that funds from the course's money market account, designated for capital improvements and equipment, will be used for construction of the new bridges. Work is expected to start within the next 30 days.


Chillicothe City Council members will meet tonight (Monday) at City Hall and are slated to approve bids for a new slide at Chilli Bay Water Park and structural repairs at the police station, as well as pass ordinances relating to the rezoning of the high school stadium and architect services for an airport hangar. The agenda also includes discussion regarding an amendment to the city's existing seat belt ordinance. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. and is open to the public.

After several months of discussions, the city plans to approve the bid for a new water slide. Aqua Blue's bid for the slide and installation is $122,000. The city will provide $99,000, and local foundations will provide $23,000. Two bids were received for work on the police station building that is in need of structural repairs. The bids were opened on Friday with the apparent low bid coming in at $158,500 from M&M Utilities. City Administrator Ike Holland will lead discussion tonight regarding rezoning of the high school stadium. This relates to last week's passage of a school bond issue and an agreement by the city that the city would provide some funding for construction of a road to access the new preschool, kindergarten and first-grade building that will be constructed. The administrator will also present an ordinance relating to architect services for an airport hangar for LifeFlight Eagle. The city plans to select Williams, Spurgeon Kuhl and Freshnock Architects. The scope of the work includes space programming, site design, building design, bidding and negotiation and construction administration. Holland will also discuss amending the city's existing seat belt ordinance. It is proposed that the following line be deleted: "No person shall be stopped, inspected or detained solely to determine compliance" with this subsection relating to seat belts. The council will also discuss plans for a bridge replacement at the golf course. An executive session, closed to the public, is scheduled to follow the regular council meeting.

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