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CITY COUNCIL MEETING 08/10/15 (Additional Water Slide, Ballot Issues, CPD Hire, Marceline Veterans' Home, Home-Based Permit)

City to Seek Bids for Additional Water Slide
August 11, 2015

The city of Chillicothe will seek bids for an open flume slide at Chilli Bay Water Park, the last component of the facility's original plan. Although part of the initial plan, the city temporarily decided against adding the slide when the park was built three years ago because officials were concerned over the facility's overall construction cost and staying within budget. Now that the total construction figures have been finalized, $99,200 remains in the budget. This amount includes a cost reduction as the result of a settlement with the city's contractor, 2-Point Construction, for completing the project late. The leftover money could be used for completing the original plan by adding the slide or could be used to help pay down the original debt of $4.2 million in bonds used for the park's construction. After much discussion during Monday night's regular City Council meeting over how the funds should be used, the council voted 4-0 to seek bids for the slide. It was noted that the city could possibly see lower construction costs by seeking bids and having installation completed this fall rather than during the peak construction period of next spring. Second Ward Councilman suggested that the leftover funds be used to pay down the debt for the water park. He said there are greater needs within the city's park system, including trails and relocating the main playground at Simpson Park to drier ground and to an area away from the highway. Councilman-at-Large David Moore advocated for completing the project that the council, as a whole, agreed upon when approving plans for Chilli Bay Water Park. The council voted 4-0 to seek bids, with Cunningham abstaining from the vote. The city pays around $525,000 annually on the water park bonds, with $3.6 million remaining and the final payment scheduled for 2023.

Several issues were discussed during Monday's regular council meeting which took place in the council chambers at City Hall. City officials unanimously adopted a resolution supporting the city of Marceline's initiative to establish a veterans home in that community's former hospital. Marceline is offering a facility, formerly known as the St. Francis Hospital, to the state of Missouri at zero cost for re-purposing as a veterans home and has asked for regional support. Third Ward Councilman Tom Douglas voiced support of the initiative, stating that it "is the greatest thing that could happen for us veterans."

The council on Monday also confirmed Mayor Chuck Haney's re-appointment of Jody Case to the city's Planning and Zoning Board and declared a 2002 Chevrolet Impala, most recently used as a courtesy car at the municipal airport, as surplus property.

Also Monday, the council conducted a public hearing and passed an ordinance for a conditional use permit for a home-based business to provide laundry service at 1424 Vine Street. The application was made by Michelle A. Ogle-Kirkland and the city's planning and zoning recommended approval of the application. The business would provide a pickup and delivery service so there would not be an increase in traffic in this area due to the new business, the applicant stated. The approved ordinance states that if the business model substantially changes to the point of causing the outward appearance of a public business, the applicant must come back before the planning and zoning board to have the conditional use permit reviewed.

Council Hires New Police Officer; Force Now at 16
August 12, 2015

The City of Chillicothe has added another police officer to its force which now is at 16 members. Following a unanimous vote by City Council members in executive session Monday evening, Keaton Codell Foster is the latest to join the department that is now at its maximum level. The 26-year-old Sedalia, Missouri, man is a graduate of the Law Enforcement Academy and formerly a member of the Rock Port, Missouri, police department. His hometown is Sedalia, and he will be moving soon to Chillicothe. Police Chief Rick Knouse said that Foster will be joining the department next week for his initial training. Both Knouse and City Administrator Ike Holland recommended Foster for employment as an officer.

Ballot Issues
Chillicothe voters this November will decide two issues: whether to impose a local use tax for purchases made out of state and whether to continue the collection of a vehicle sales tax. City Council members were unanimous in their decisions this week to place both matters before city voters.
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