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COUNCIL MEETING 04/24/17 (CMU Pilot Fee, Park Purchases, Construction Contract / Codes, GreatLife Golf Course Update, Gravesville Park Memorial)

Council Approves PILOT Fee Adjustment for CMU Customers
C-T 04/27/17
Chillicothe Municipal Utilities is establishing an across-the-board 8 percent PILOT rate fee for residential and small business electric, water, sewer and refuse customers beginning with June billings. This means that the collection of the current 10.41 percent of the electric fee (6.53 percent PILOT fee and 3.88 percent service component fee) will be reduced to 8 percent fees that will be charged on all utility services - electric, water, sewer and refuse instead. The end result should have little impact on CMU customers' bills, according to CMU General Manager Jim Gillilan. "This is designed to be revenue-neutral," Gillilan said. The PILOT fee of 6.53 percent is currently collected as it would be if CMU was a privately-owned utility and franchise fees would apply. The service component portion of the fees was started in 1999 to designate funds to pay for the utilities of city-owned buildings and other city-provided services. The fee for industrial customers will change from 3.88 percent on electric services to 3 percent of billed services, including electric, water, sewer and refuse. Chillicothe City Council members unanimously approved an ordinance Monday night regarding fund transfers from the utility fund to the general fund and setting an effective date. According to the approved ordinance, CMU will advise its customers that the PILOT fee replaces the property taxes and franchise fees that the city's general fund would receive if the utilities were owned and the utility service provided by an investor-owned utility, and the fund transfer assists in covering a part of the cost for the use of city streets, rights of way and other city property for utility purposes, the cost of providing fire and police protection for the utility facilities, and represents a modest return to the general fund for the city of a part of the profits of the utility department for the city's investment in the utilities department which general fund is used to pay for the cost of police, fire, parks, streets and other operations of the city. Gillilan stated that the CMU is working with managers of various city departments to help identify ways to conserve energy.

Mayor Chuck Haney presided over the first regular meeting of the 105th City Council, with the full council in attendance. In other business Monday evening, the council:

  • Approved the purchase of two new mowing units for the city parks system. Parks Director Josh Norris said the city solicited bids from four vendors (three of which were local), and two bids were received. The council approved the purchase of a Jacobson Turf Cat (4-wheel drive, front mount mower) from Kansas Golf and Turf for $18,600; and a Scag Turf Tiger 2 from Woody's Outdoor Power for $15,095 (less an $850 trade-in);

  • Approved an ordinance authorizing the purchase of concession supplies for Chilli Bay Water Park. The city parks department will use the following vendors for supplies: Saint Joe Distributing, Schwans Home Service, Graves Menu Maker Foods. Each vendor, Norris explained, provides a different type of food product.

  • Approved an ordinance authorizing a construction contract with MS Contracting, LLC, for the South Washington water main project. The project will take place on the east side and extend roughly from the 1029Washington Street north to 201 South Washington Street. The cost is $387,272.

  • Approved ordinances adopting the following construction-related codes: 2015 International Building Codes, 2015 International Residential Code, 2014 National Electric Code, 2015 International Plumbing Code, and the 2015 International Fire Code. The ordinances were presented by Codes Officer Chuck Greever and unanimously passed by the council. The new codes will go into effect with the issuance of new construction permits.

  • Approved the request from Ruth Ann Steel and Paul Steele for permission to place a sign at Gravesville Park in honor of their grandparents for donating the land (see below).

  • Approved the appointment of Councilman-at-Large Reed Dupy to serve on the hospital board

Great Life Gives Great Start Report to City
C-T 04/27/17
Great Life KC, the firm that took over management of the city-owned Green Hills Golf Course and Fast Lane Family Entertainment Center at the first of the year, gave a favorable report to Chillicothe City Council members during the city's monthly finance meeting Monday evening at City Hall. Josh Black, of Great Life, reported that the company is ahead of target financially at the golf course. This is due, in part, to increased play, staff management, increased memberships, and by tracking costs accurately. "We've been able to reduce the cost structure substantially," Black said. "We make sure that very dollar that comes in goes where it's supposed to." He said that the mild winter and warm weather in early spring led to increased play and that staffing numbers are being properly maintained for the amount of work that needs to be done. He also stated that golf course membership numbers have increased this year and noted that the increase could be a result of the new payment option of a monthly draft being offered to members rather than an annual fee. Black said the company plans to improve the golf course greens. "We want the greens structures to be faster and smoother," he said. "Ultimately, we find that brings in more players and keeps more players." Black said employees are in the process of removing and trimming a few trees and studying what course of action to take regarding some of the deteriorating bridges. It was noted that golf leagues begin next week.

On the bowling side of management operations, Black stated that employees are taking inventory of items that have been in a back room storage and that there are plans to sell what is no longer needed. He also said there are plans to remove a shed on the property that is no longer needed. To boost bowling play, the company plans to start advertising discount promotions through Groupon.

Memorial Marker to be Placed at Gravesville Park
C-T 04/27/17
A plaque will be placed at Gravesville Park in southwest Chillicothe in remembrance of Elmer Perry and his wife, Annie, who gave land to the city of Chillicothe for development of a park in 1959. The marker will be provided by the Perry grandchildren - John T. Steele, Paul W. Steele and Ruth Ann Steele. The idea was presented last fall to the Chillicothe Park Board, which voted unanimously to recommend that the City Council approve the request. Ruth Ann Steele and Paul Steele, grandchildren of the Perrys, made the request to City Council members Monday evening and the council unanimously approved the proposal. "That area is known as Gravesville Park," Ruth Ann Steele told the council. "For generations to come, it's nice to keep it there." "We're the last ones that recall how that came about and thought it would be appropriate for us to make some kind of recognition," Paul Steele added. Third Ward Councilman Tom Douglas voiced support of the signage and stated that he was one of the first children to have played ball on the park's ball field. "We played ball on that every day when we were kids," Douglas said. "This should have been done a long time ago." The sign will be a brass plaque similar to the memorial sign at Simpson Park, but about half the size.

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