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COUNCIL MEETING 06 10 19 (CMU Building, Local Bid Ordinance, Street Dept. Truck, Medical Marijuana)

At Monday night's Chillicothe City Council meeting, the council voted to move forward with plans to demolish the old Chillicothe Municipal Utilities' old steam plant and also passed an ordinance establishing a local bid preference policy. With a vote of 5-0, the council voted to move ahead with the demolition of the building and awarded a bid of $320,000 to Red Rock after reviewing more than 10 bids; the highest being $937,000. The city previously spent $1.79 million to have asbestos removed from the structure which was shut down around 2005. The building was built in 1938. Steam plant usage began to slow after the diesel plant was installed to produce power. The steam plant continued on for several more years only being used during summer and winter peak times. Once coal became outdated, it was difficult and costly to upkeep and maintain emission standards. Crews are expected to start work around August 1 and will have five months to complete the demolition. Second Ward City Councilman Wayne Cunningham verified that every effort was going to be taken to save the stone archway around the main doors and the sign reading "Chillicothe Power Plant" for use at a later time in an appropriate place in the city.

By Angie Talken, CT 06 12 19

PHOTO: Plans are to try to save the limestone archway around the front doors and the stone sign saying "Chillicothe Power Plant" for use at a later time and appropriate place.

The council also discussed and ultimately voted 5-0 to approve a local bid preference ordinance. The ordinance established local bidder preference if the local bidder is within 3 percent of a non-local bidder on a construction or formally bid project for all construction or other projects from $5,000 up to $5,000,000. The local bidding preference does not apply for federally funded projects, when projects are not required to be formally bid, or fall below $5,000 or above $5000,000. The ordinance defines a local business as one operating within the city limits of Chillicothe with a physical office location in the city limits. This is the first local bid preference ordinance the city has had. At their next meeting, the council will discuss an ordinance establishing bid protest procedures.

In other business the council approved the bid from Chillicothe Ford for $28,699.80 for the purchase of a 2019-2020 one-ton pickup truck for the Chillicothe Street Department. To ensure the bid amount, the order had to be placed by June 4, so Mayor Theresa Kelly signed off on the order, pending council approval. The council approved the bid, which was $14,000 lower than budgeted, with a vote of 5-0.

The council also voted on the local medical marijuana ordinance voting unanimously on an ordinance which will "regulate the time, place, manner of cultivation, manufacture and dispensing of medical marijuana." Over the last several months, the council has engaged in lengthy discussions about local ordinances and what a city is allowed to do in regard to the growing and dispensing of medical marijuana within the Chillicothe city limits. City Administrator Darin Chappell says it is important that residents keep in mind medical marijuana was passed by voters across the state, including in Livingston County. "There are some people who are upset and think "we" are not doing enough to stop this," he said. "This is not just a legal endeavor - it is it a constitutionally protected endeavor. The city council cannot make this not happen." Medical marijuana appeared on the November 2018 ballot as State Constitutional Amendment 2 and was passed by Livingston County voters with 54.18 percent of voters approving the amendment for medical marijuana to be legal in the state of Missouri.

The council passed Chapter 650: Medical Marijuana on Monday night. In the ordinance, Chappell said hours of operation and acceptable location are laid out. The dispensary cannot be in a residential area or within 100 feet of schools, daycares, or churches, and the business can only be open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Existing city ordinance also prohibits the sale of alcohol within 100 feet of schools, daycares and churches.

Chappell said that for several weeks, if not months, the city has been fielding calls from a variety of businesses and groups asking about the city's ordinances in regard to the growing, manufacturing and sale of medical marijuana. He noted that he suspects the city will have at least one dispensary and growing operation. "In Chillicothe, I believe we will have at least one, if not two dispensaries," he said. "And I would venture to say there may be a growing or manufacturing operation in town, in the appropriately zoned area, as well." However, Chappell said due to the state's regulations and application process it will still be months before residents will see any of these types of operation actually starting in the city. On June 4, the state made facility application forms available; those can be submitted on Aug. 3. The state will then work to first approve applications for those wishing to grow and manufacture, as those operations take the longest. Chappell said he suspects at the beginning of 2020 dispensaries will begin to open across the state and in Chillicothe. "The ordinances the city council has passed and the timeline we are facing is very much like what cities of all sizes are facing," he said.

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