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COUNCIL MEETING 08/19/2019 (MoDOT Agreement, Marijuana Ordinance Change)

During Monday night's Chillicothe City Council meeting, members passed an ordinance to enter into an agreement with MoDOT for the realignment of one local road in advance of a bridge project and also the medical marijuana ordinance.

Rick Orr, transportation project manager with MoDOT, spoke to the council about the need for their approval of a Cost Apportionment Agreement due to the need to realign an entrance road for the wastewater treatment plant because the current road will be blocked by extended guard rails which will be placed along the Highway 65 bridge when work is done to it starting next spring. MoDOT designers came up with a plan which was approved by the Highway Commission to move the road 150 feet to the north of its current location. The existing roadway will stay in place since it is part of a levee. Construction work or realignment for the new road will be completed before the spring of 2020 when work begins on the Highway 65 bridge itself. Orr noted this project is being fully funded by MoDOT, and the realignment of the road will cost them $340,000.

The U.S. Highway 65 Grand River Bridge was built in 1995, and it is believed as many as 1,780 vehicles cross the bridge daily. The bridge deck replacement project will help provide a smoother riding surface and bring bridge barriers and guardrail up to current standards. In February, Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe joined MoDOT crews at the bridge site as part of an announcement of Gov. Mike Parson's Focus on Bridges project to repair or replace 250 of the bridges in the state of Missouri that have been determined to be in poor condition. During his visit to the Grand River Bridge, Kehoe told the crowd the bridge is on the list of 250 to be accelerated for repair. The purpose of the Focus on Bridges initiative is to allow MoDOT to catch-up on the bridge projects. It was also announced in February that the Thompson River Bridge on Highway 190, which was built in 1964, will be repaired.

The council also voted to make a change to the recently passed medical marijuana ordinance. On June 10, the council unanimously passed a medical marijuana ordinance after months of discussion. At Monday night's meeting, the council voted 5-0 to make a change to the zoning of medical marijuana testing facilities, which City Administrator Darin Chappell told them does not produce any noxious fumes like other parts of medical marijuana operations may do. The original ordinance stated testing facilities could only be in industrially zoned areas of Chillicothe; however, with Monday's passage, the testing facilities can be in any area of the town zoned I-1 or I-1 and commercial areas zoned C-1, C-2 or C-3.

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