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COUNCIL MEETING 05 30 17 (Police Pay, City Hires, Freedom Fest, Danner Park Improvements)

C-T 06/01/17 - Chillicothe City Council members met for their regular meeting Tuesday evening in the council chambers at City Hall. During the meeting, the council approved a contract with the Freedom Festival Committee to organize and provide personnel to present the Freedom Fest and fireworks show on Saturday, July 1, in Simpson Park. The committee is led by Carl McBee and Terry Rumery. Funds are still being collected.

Also Monday, the council approved increase the starting pay for new police officers to $15.45 per hour. The previous wage was $13.37 per hour for the first six months and then increasing to $15.45 per hour. The council unanimously agreed to increase the starting pay. Shortly thereafter, in executive session which followed the regular council meeting, city officials approved the hiring of three new police officers. The three new officers employed on a unanimous vote following a recommendation from the Chief of Police Rick Knouse include Whitney Murdock of Carrollton; Eric Menconi of Chillicothe, and Mathew McCurry of Brookfield. Ms. Murdock has been a sergeant with the Carrollton Police Department. Menconi is a juvenile officer in Chillicothe, and Mc-Curry is a recent graduate of the Police Academy. McCurry began duty on Thursday and the remaining two new officers will start their new jobs in two weeks. The police department is now at full force of 17 officers, according to Mayor Chuck Haney.

Two new street department employees were given tentative approval pending physicals and a part-time summer employee was also hired. Those names will be released following their physicals next week. The recommendations were made by Street Commissioner Barry Arthur, and the two full-time employees are replacing two who left the department for a new job and retirement.

The council also took action on the following agenda items Tuesday evening:

  • Approved the lowest local bid for a new airport mower. The approved bid, in the amount of $13,186, came from Kille Kubota;

  • Approved unanimously the annexation of 50 Sioux Drive;

  • Approved unanimously the 2015 International Property Maintenance Code;

  • Passed unanimously an ordinance setting the 2017 permit fee schedule;

  • Approved an amendment to the 2017-18 budget to include $120,000 for repairs to the railroad bridge that goes over U.S. Highway 36.

A public hearing took place during Tuesday night's meeting regarding a request from Amy Hughes and Aaron Ritchie, owners of 104 Polk Street, to vacate an alley that is running north and south adjoining several lots. Several people spoke against the request. No one spoke in favor of the request. The matter will be taken up by the council at a later date.

Also Tuesday, the council approved a change order for the 2017 street improvement project that would have included making improvements to the walking trails at Danner Park. Although that project was removed from this year's plan, the south sidewalk of Danner Park that extends from the parking lot to the concession stand is being replaced. The asphalt has been removed, and concrete is being poured this week. The work is being done through a partnership between Chillicothe's parks department and the city street department.

Chillicothe Street Department workers pour concrete and smooth its surface for a sidewalk extending from the southeast parking lot area to the concession stand and along the playground at Danner Park on Wednesday. The concrete sidewalk replaces an asphalt walking surface that had been deteriorating. Work on this project began last week. C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

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