COUNCIL MEETING 04/11/16
(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.
Water Slide Coming to Chilli Bay
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.
Course to Get Two New Bridges
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.
FOR COUNCIL MEETING 04/11/16...
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.