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COUNCIL MEETING 10/25/16 (Golf Course Proposals, Sidewalk Grant, LifeFlight)

2 Submit Golf Course Proposals
10/27/16
By Catherine Stortz Ripley

Representatives from two professional golf course management companies made presentations to Chillicothe City Council members during a workshop Tuesday evening at City Hall. The representatives highlighted their companies'  qualifications, identified potential areas for reducing expenses at Green Hills Golf Course, introduced ideas to boost course play and explained the documents each company submitted in response to the city's request for proposals to manage the city-owned course. Two companies submitted proposals: Great Life Golf and Fitness and Landscapes Unlimited. Both companies have experience of managing not only golf courses they own but also courses that are publicly owned. The city of Chillicothe is taking steps to seek a management company to manage the 18-hole golf course, pro shop, putting practice green and a full-service maintenance crew in an effort to scale back its subsidization from the city's general fund. While the course is part of the quality of life amenities offered in Chillicothe, the facility continues to go over annual budgets as revenues fall short of expenses. It is the city's hope that if the city shifts management to a professional outside firm that the course could maximize its public use without compromising the quality of service of maintenance at the facility, according to City Administrator Ike Holland. Based on the proposals discussed Tuesday evening, the cost of hiring a management firm is similar to the cost of having a full-time golf manager, Holland stated. Both proposals also include financial incentives for increased golf play as well as sales of merchandise and concession items. The council will further discuss the proposals during their regular council meeting Monday evening at City Hall. The council will likely decide whether to explore a contract and begin negotiations with one of the management firms or decide to continue with the process of a golf course manager. If the council opts against the management firm arrangement, the city will then begin advertising for a full-time golf course manager. The previous course manager recently resigned to take employment elsewhere.

Foundations Step Forward
11/02/16
By Catherine Stortz Ripley

Three local foundations have pledged a total of $50,000 to be used as a local match if a grant to fund construction of a sidewalk from Hedrick Medical Center to Simpson Park is approved. Steve Shoot and Steve Holt, directors of Community FundWorks, told city council members Monday evening that foundations stepped forward to help provide matching funds for the project. The Joe and Lenore Lambert Foundation will provide $20,000, the Mervyn Jenkins Foundation will provide $20,000, and the Livingston County Community Foundation will provide $10,000. The foundations' funding would be given over the course of 23 months. If the grant application for the sidewalk is approved, the city will provide $40,000. Overall, the project calls for constructing a walking/biking trail 3,150 feet long and six feet wide. The sidewalk will also include ADA compliant crossings. The total cost of the project is estimated at $242,500 plus other associated costs. The city is applying for a Transportation Alternatives Program grant through the Missouri Department of Transportation. The grant requires a 20 percent match and with the local foundations, that match is closer to 24 percent, Shoot said. "The foundations really need to be commended for responding quickly," Shoot said. City Administrator Ike Holland stated that the foundation's contributions are important for this project. "It demonstrates the commitment from the local community and its citizens and foundations," Holland stated. "It's important that we have a partnership with the foundations on projects like this. It encourages other funding from the state." The grant application was submitted on Tuesday and also included several letters of support for the project. Among the letters included were ones from the Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Chillicothe, and Hedrick Medical Center. "We had a good quality of support from different organizations and community leaders that will enhance the application process," Shoot said. The city expects to receive notification of the grant award early next year. Community FundWorks most recently received tax credits in the amount of $600,000 for Hedrick Medical Center's Serenity Garden project and, prior to that, $500,000 in tax credits for Cultural Corner Art Guild and Gallery.

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