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COUNCIL MEETING 04/29/19 (Medical Marijuana, City Revenues, Bids)

During the Chillicothe City Council's first meeting with the new council and mayor, there was a full agenda as they welcomed Michael Smith as a new member representing the third ward and Mayor Theresa Kelly who had just been elected in April.

During the meeting, the council continued discussion about medical marijuana dispensaries, and City Attorney Robert Cowherd presented the council with a draft ordinance. Cowherd noted the ordinance closely follows the Constitutional Amendment which was passed by Missouri voters in November 2018. There are certain areas of the law that the city has control over; including, hours of operation and distance from parks and schools. The city has an ordinance that doesn't allow liquor to be sold within 100 feet of parks and school. The council discussed if they should treat the setbacks the same or consider other distances for a medical marijuana dispensary. Cowherd reminded the council that applications are available for dispensaries on June 4, and he would like to have the council's approved ordinance by then. City Clerk Roze Frampton said she gets calls regularly from those interested in operating a dispensary, asking if Chillicothe has approved ordinances. The council plans to set the ordinances at their May 13 meeting.

The budget year ending on March 31 noted revenues for the city were down 0.1 percent, which amounts to $120,000. City Administrator Darin Chappell told the council the city is still doing well financially. He also noted the city was able to add an additional $160,000 to the city's reserve fund without increasing taxes or eliminating services.

City employees have also received a 3 percent raise for the last two years, while the council was still able to add to the city's reserve funds.

Other business before the council included approving various bids for the city. For the last several years, and again this year, the council approved bids from three vendors for the parks department concessions. Saint Joe Distributing, Schwann's Home Service, and Graves Menu Maker Foods bids were all approved. The bid for soft drinks at Chilli Bay Waterpark and the golf course were awarded to Pepsi Cola Bottling of Chillicothe. Josh Norris, director of parks and recreation, told the council the goods provided by the three vendors do not overlap and allow the department to get the best selection and prices on a variety of items.

The council also approved the three-year bid from Chillicothe's Gabrielson Truck for towing.

Acceptance of a bid for the Voice Logger Recording System for the police department was tabled until the next meeting, as they had not been able to review all of the bids.

Ben White, director of Main-Street Chillicothe, spoke to the board seeking approval of a parklet seating area that is placed in parking spaces near Washington and Calhoun streets near the Sip. While the council did give initial approval, the city was asked to check with their insurance carrier about the placement.

Butch Shaffer with Grand River Entrainment asked the council about their request from August 2018 about an engineering approval for a shade structure for the grandstands at Shaffer Park. In the August 2018 meeting, the council approved the addition of a shade structure to the grandstands, but noted before the project could begin an engineer would need to approve the plans. Shaffer said the cost and availability of an engineer had slowed the organizations forward movement on the project. With the council's approval, Chappell noted he would work with Allgeier, Martin and Associates, the city's engineering firm, to get approval for the structure, which will be made of colored mesh similar to that on tennis courts. Shaffer said the goal is to have the shade structure installed by the opening of this year's Mudcats season at the end of May.

The next council meeting is May 13.

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