COUNCIL MEETING 12/14/15 (City Health Insurance, Big BAM, Alcohol
in Parks, Fire Grant)
City Approves Health Insurance, Big BAM event
By CATHERINE STORTZ RIPLEY
December 15, 2015
The city of Chillicothe will continue offering health insurance coverage to its employees and their dependents
only and not to the spouses of city employees. The reason behind not offering coverage for spouses was to keep insurance premium costs down for the spouses. During a recent meeting to discuss the issue, the majority of city employees expressed a desire for the city to not offer spousal coverage because the
city's insurance premiums would be higher for them than if the spouses sought coverage elsewhere. If the city would offer spousal coverage, rates for the spouses would be higher if the spouses sought coverage elsewhere because of how premiums are calculated under the federal Affordable Care Act. Chillicothe City Council members unanimously voted during their meeting Monday evening at City Hall to not offer coverage for spouses. This will be the second year in a row for providing coverage through Style Health Plan, and the second year in a row that the city will not be offering coverage for spouses.
In other business Monday evening, the council voted 3-2 to allow for the sale and consumption of alcohol in a city park or recreational
facility and approved alcohol in Simpson Park for the Big BAM (Bike Across Missouri) event June
13. Both measures passed with Councilman-at-Large David Moore, 1st Ward Councilman Reed Dupy, and 2nd Ward Councilman Wayne Cunningham voting
"Yes" and 3rd Ward Councilman Tom Douglas and 4th Ward Councilman Paul Howard voting
"No." The first measure was an amendment to an existing city ordinance to allow for the sale and consumption of alcohol in a city park or recreational facility. Under the new amendment, anyone wishing to have alcohol at an event in a park or recreational facility would first have to request permission from the council. The council would then decide whether to grant the request. The second measure voted on was specifically whether to allow alcohol during the Big BAM event. Douglas and Howard stated that the people they talked with were not in favor of alcohol in the parks. Moore stated he received input from interested parties with varying opinions; however, he noted that the Big BAM could have a significant economic impact on the city with an estimated 1,500 cyclists and 700 support people participating and he was in favor of allowing the event to take place. Bike Across Missouri is a six-day, 300-mile journey across north Missouri, from St. Joseph to Hannibal, via U.S. Highway 36. The cyclists are scheduled to arrive in Chillicothe on June 13 and stay overnight. The Highway 36 organization, of which the local tourism group is a member, asked the Big BAM to bring their tour to U.S. Highway 36 this year. While some details have yet to be worked out, local tourism director Amy Supple stated that the Missouri State Highway Patrol as well as local law enforcement will be present during the event. This is the second year for the Big BAM and she said that her organization had talked with last
year's host cities and that none experienced alcohol-related problems. Supple invited the council members to attend a planning meeting that is scheduled for tomorrow (Wednesday).
In other business Monday evening, the council approved a request from Fire Chief Darrell Wright to apply for a fire grant in the amount of $182,000. The grant, if approved, would be used to purchase 28 air packs. Air packs cost $6,500 apiece and typically last for 15 years.
Prosecuting Attorney Adam
Warren's presentation of the annual report, which was scheduled for the meeting, did not take place.
Chillicothe Mayor Chuck Haney presided over Monday
night's meeting with the full council present.