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CITY COUNCIL MEETING 11/10/14 (Sidewalk Grant, Exotic Animals, Demolition Grant, Zoning Change, Park Equipment, Green Hills Golf Course)

City to Apply for Sidewalk Grant
CT Tuesday, November 11, 2014
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The city of Chillicothe is applying for a grant to largely fund a project that would extend a sidewalk from Hedrick Medical Center in north Chillicothe to the area of Simpson Park and the Grand River Area Family YMCA. City council members gave Administrator Ike Holland authority to apply for the grant during the regular meeting Monday, November 10, 2014. The grant would provide 80% of the project costs up to $240,000. The sidewalk would be placed on Missouri Department of Transportation easement. Based on estimates, construction costs would be around $300,000. If approved, the city's portion would be approximately $60,000 and would come from the city's capital improvements fund. Letters of support for the project had been received by the Livingston County Health Center, Main Street Chillicothe, and other community entities. The application deadline is the week of November 10-14, and the project grant would be awarded in January 2015. The grant recipient would need to complete the project during 2015-2016. The proposed project could also include a crosswalk between the YMCA and Simpson Park as well as black fencing between Simpson Park's playground area and Washington Street for safety reasons. On Monday, August 25, 2014, an ordinance was passed creating an agreement between MoDOT and the city, allowing for the city to take over sidewalk improvements.

Exotic Animals, Zoning Part of City Meeting
CT Catherine Stortz Ripley, 11/11/2014

Leslie Patek, Chillicothe's animal control officer, presented Chillicothe City Council members with inspection reports regarding an individual who houses monkeys within the city limits, and she expressed safety concerns for the public and neglect issues regarding the animals. The reports cited issues of neglect and unsanitary living conditions in a facility owned and operated by Billy Johnston. She also commented on a time earlier this year when a monkey escaped and roamed around several hours before being shot. "We don't need monkeys in town," she advised council members. Council members asked Patek to make a list of complaints and give the city time to look over the material before they would address the issue. Johnston, who was in attendance, said that he has 14 monkeys in town. He said he is USDA certified and that the monkey cages are larger than required. Council members said they had not received any complaints about exotic animals in town.

In other business, the council passed an ordinance accepting asbestos abatement bids for the demolition grant. Two bids were submitted for the asbestos abatement of 12 houses, and the council accepted the bid from Enviro Solutions in the amount of $22,276.

Also Monday, council members approved a zoning change of a tract of land from R-1 to R-2. The property is owned by the United Methodist Church and is part of the former Chillicothe Business College property. The church has expressed a desire to donate some land to Habitat for Humanity for construction of a Habitat home.

Council members approved a proclamation declaring November 13 as Arbor Day in Chillicothe. The parks' department will plant 10 oak trees in Simpson Park replacing other trees that have died.

The city gave a green light for Craig Sager, general manager of Green Hills Golf Course, to pursue an additional revenue source by allowing the facility to be rented to the public for various occasions.

Also Monday, the council voted 3-2 to table discussion regarding a truck replacement request for the parks' department. Administrator Holland stated that the department's 1996 pickup truck has a cracked engine head and could cost around $3,000 to repair. He asked the council to seek bids for a replacement vehicle, as well as replaceme4nts for two other old parks' department vehicles. Councilmen Reed Dupy, Wayne Cunningham, and Tom Douglas voted to table discussions; David Moore and Paul Howard voted against tabling discussions. Cunningham said he was hesitant to spend the money noting that the city's uncertainty of health insurance costs could be increased between 27 and 46% this next year. The topic will be further discussed at the council's next meeting.

The council approved the bid from Darren Fravel in the amount of $1,550 on a 2010 Crown Victoria that was involved in a crash and was listed as surplus property.

Monday night's meeting included a PowerPoint presentation by Sager regarding the Green Hills Golf Course and Airport Manager Bill Kieffer on the municipal airport. Mayor Chuck Haney presided over Monday night's meeting with the full council present. The council met in executive sessions following the meeting. Action was taken and an announcement is expected at a later date.

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