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(Franchise Agreement, Fire Equipment, Cultural Corner Contract, Vehicle Parking, City Vacation Policy, Building Permit, LifeFlight Eagle Contract)

Green Hills Telephone Considers Fiber Optics Buildout in Chillicothe
By Catherine Stortz Ripley
April 29, 2016

Green Hills Telephone Companies is looking to expand its services to provide not only telephone and internet service in Chillicothe, but video as well. The company made a formal request for a franchise agreement to expand its services in the city during the council's regular meeting Monday evening. City officials gave a general consensus favoring the proposal and an ordinance will be drafted for consideration at the next meeting. The company was represented at the meeting by General Manager David Adams and Chuck Erke. Adams stated that the company is in the process of engineering a fiber optic buildout in Chillicothe to bring the latest technology and services to the city. "We have fiber optic cable on the southern portion of town and our intention is, if we are granted the ability to do so, is to build northward," Adams said. "First, serving business and then edging out into the residential community." The company's existing fiber optics infrastructure in south Chillicothe is used to deliver services to other communities. Adams explained that the company has a franchise agreement to provide telephone service in Chillicothe but does not have a franchise agreement to provide video service as of this date. The franchise fee is still to be negotiated, but it was mentioned that it could be 3 percent of gross subscriber revenue that would be collected from subscribers of video services each month and remitted to the city. The services intended to be provided, Adams said, would be similar to what one might see from Google Fiber in Kansas City, and other technology along with broadband access, telephone and TV services, and other services for businesses, such as cloud computing capabilities and business phone services. "We are in the process of engineering that today," he said. "There are a lot of new things coming down the pike that businesses and residents, alike, will be interested in." The company's intent is to begin in the south portion of Chillicothe, just north of Highway 36, and building the first phase up Highway 65 to around the viaduct, and serving businesses on both sides of Washington Street. Then, plans would include building on north and outward. He stated that fiber in the residential areas could be a combination of underground installation and the use of utility poles. The fiber connection would allow for any and all services, he said. Engineering is hoped to be completed by mid-May and then the company would work with its contractors for establishing a timeline. Adams said that the Green Hills Companies, whose headquarters are in Breckenridge, may establish a store-front in Chillicothe. "The more customers we have here, the more presence we want to establish here," he said. Erke said that the company also conducts computer repair. "We have always felt that if we come into Chillicothe with fiber, we do it right... do phone, do TV service, do high speed internet... and, we ought to provide full service which would mean computer repair." Erke stated that the company has talked with Grand River Technical School officials about the possibility of offering internships for students. He said such an opportunity could provide a good training ground for students.

City May Approve Expanded Franchise Agreement with Green Hills Telephone
April 26, 2016

Chillicothe City Council members addressed several issues during their regular semi-monthly meeting Monday evening at City Hall. Among issues addressed was a request for a franchise agreement from Green Hills Telephone Company to expand services in Chillicothe to include not only telephone service, but also television service and high speed internet. The council gave a general consensus to the proposal and an ordinance will be drafted for consideration at the next meeting.

Also Monday, the council approved a bid from Heiman Fire Equipment for firefighter turnout gear in the amount of $53,902. The purchase includes 22 sets of NFPA compliant personal protective clothing. Recommendation for the purchase came from Fire Chief Darrell Wright.

Council members also discussed a contractual agreement with Cultural Corner Art Guild and Gallery for services. The agreement, expected to be formally considered at the council's next meeting, is the result of Cultural Corner's initial request for the city to waive permit fees in the amount of $4,060. The agreement will be similar to service contracts the city has with entities such as the YMCA and Summer Playground Association.

In other business Monday evening, the council addressed concerns about vehicles being parked too close to street corners and, therefore, hindering site lines of motorists. Discussion was brought to the council by 1st Ward Councilman Reed Dupy who said that cars parked near a residence at the corner at Country Club and Fairway creates impairs site lines. City Administrator Ike Holland stated that the city has an ordinance in place that requires vehicles to park a certain distance from intersections, as well as restricts the planting of bushes and shrubs that can hinder site lines. He said that the city has two options: making that particular intersection a four-way stop, or ensuring that vehicles are not parked close to the intersection. The city's existing ordinance, according to the city attorney, restricts vehicles from being parked within 30 feet of the corner. Councilman-at-Large David Moore stated that if the ordinance is enforced at this particular location it should be enforced unilaterally throughout Chillicothe.

The council also passed an ordinance amending the employee handbook regarding the city's vacation policy. The amendment states that employees with 10 consecutive years of employment can accrue up to 240 hours of vacation and that hours above 240 will be lost. Employees with less than 10 consecutive years of employment can accrue up to 160 hours of vacation and that any hours above 160 will be lost. Passage of this amendment does not create a new vacation policy but, rather, corrects a section of the employee handbook.

Also Monday, the council heard discussion from Jason Montgomery regarding a building permit that had been granted to someone else for building storage sheds near Montgomery's property near Jackson and Broadway streets. He stated that the permit should not have been issued because construction would be too close to an alley. The council agreed that the builder should be notified immediately to stop construction until further investigation could be completed.

The council met in executive session following the regular meeting at which time they voted unanimously regarding a contract with LifeFlight Eagle, which plans to relocate its base from Trenton to the Chillicothe municipal airport. Contract details were not released as of press time. Mayor Chuck Haney presided over Monday night's meeting with the full council present.

City, LifeFlight Eagle Reach Hangar Lease Agreement
May. 5, 2016

Chillicothe City Council members unanimously approved a lease agreement with LifeFlight Eagle for a hangar to be constructed at the municipal airport. The council's action was taken during executive session April 25 and the agreement was finalized Monday and released to the public on Wednesday. The agreement calls for a 15-year lease with base rent at $2,500 per month for the first 60 months, then $2,750 per month for the second 60 months, and $3,025 for the final 60 months of the initial term of the lease. The building will be a one-story and include an office, living space, and a hangar. The building will be similar to the hangar building now leased by LifeFlight Eagle in Odessa, Missouri.

City Council to Discuss Turnout Gear for Firefighters, Permit Fees for Cultural Corner
April 25, 2016

Chillicothe City Council members will meet for their regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. tonight (Monday) in the council chambers at City Hall. The council is slated to approve a bid for firefighter turnout gear and amend the city's personnel policy. Discussion will take place regarding building permit fees for the Cultural Corner Art Guild and Gallery. Parks Director Josh Norris will lead discussion about proposed tree carving designs. Councilman Reed Dupy will discuss the intersection of Country Club and Fairway. City Administrator Ike Holland will discuss MoDOT STP funds and a franchise agreement with Green Hills Telephone Company. An executive session, closed to the public will follow the regular council meeting, if needed. A workshop meeting of the council, open to the public, will be at 5:30 p.m. in the conference room at City Hall to discuss city finances.

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