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CITY COUNCIL MEETING 02/27/17 (Administrator Search, Golf Course Liquor Sales, Main Street & YMCA Funding, Utilities' Ordinance)

by Jaime Saucedo (C-T) - The City Council met Monday to address several issues. As it pertains to the budget, several organizations, including the Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Chillicothe and the Grand River Area YMCA all gave funding request presentations. The council also discussed the possibility of Green Hills Golf Course selling liquor, as inquired by the management company, GreatLife Golf and Fitness.

The big issue of the meeting was determining a process for finding a new city administrator. Current administrator, Ike Holland, submitted his resignation just last week, to take a position in Willmar, Minnesota. Holland's term will not end until April 21, but the search for a new administrator will take some research. After some deliberation, the council determined that it would be best to build a search committee that will target and screen potential candidates to narrow them down to the best fit for Chillicothe. In speaking about the search, 2nd Ward Councilman, Wayne Cunningham, looked toward Administrator Holland and said, "You set the bar pretty high, sir." To follow up that statement, 3rd Ward Councilman, Tom Douglas added, "And, we appreciate you staying through the budget." As it begins, the search will include advertising posts of the available position, through state government websites that connect these types of municipal jobs opportunities to applicants in these areas of expertise. The council determined to build the committee with one person from each of the four wards, the mayor and the councilman- at-large. The council only determined the process they would use to search for a new administrator. The four people from each ward to be on the committee will be determined at a later date.

New management company, GreatLife Golf and Fitness, has inquired about selling liquor at Green Hills Golf Course. When City Administrator Ike Holland brought it up to City Council members on Monday, it was decided to get input from the community before making a decision. Green Hills Golf Course currently sells beer but has never sold liquor. Residents who have an opinion about the sale of liquor at the golf course are asked to contact their councilman.

by Jaime Saucedo (C-T) - Main Street Chillicothe is a program designed to revitalize and enrich downtown Chillicothe, and on Monday, Executive Director Micah Landes presented a funding request to the Chillicothe City Council, requesting $35,000 to support the program budget, just up from the $30,000 that was awarded to the program in 2016. Main Street's annual budget is compiled from funds through the Chillicothe Development Corporation, contracts for services with the City of Chillicothe, downtown investors and sponsors, and revenues generated from events. Led by Landes, "Main Street" was able to produce a synopsis of the last 10 years of the program. In compiling that data, it was determined that during the last 10 years, there has been more than $7 million in public and private investment in to downtown; the organization have renovated 40 facades through the matching grant program, 22 murals have been painted and there are an estimated 985 employees in the downtown Chillicothe area. Over this past year, seven new businesses have opened downtown, and Main Street has awarded five grants through the facade program. The organization has held 15 events downtown and recently purchased a downtown building. Two new murals are planned for 2017. Also this year, Main Street Chillicothe is one of nine communities that up for 'The Great American Main Street Award.' These communities will be highlighted at an awards event in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, later this year. The City Council will consider Main Street's 2017-18 funding request and is expected to make a decision before the new fiscal year begins April 1.

Chillicothe City Council members on Monday approved an ordinance authorizing waivers related to the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978. Jim Gillilan, Chillicothe Municipal Utilities general manager, explained that the ordinance allows the Missouri Joint Electric Utility Commission to file a waiver on Chillicothe's behalf with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for an exemption from the Public Utilities Regulatory Act of 1978. The PURPA requires electric utilities to purchase the output of qualifying generating facilities that may locate in their service territory. Gillilan stated that the likelihood of a qualifying generating unit locating in Chillicothe is low; however, the waiver designates the Missouri Joint Electric Utility Commission as the purchaser of the output from any qualifying generating unit that would locate in CMU's service territory. Gillilan said that approval of this ordinance decreases the chance of an undue hardship on CMU's customers in having to work out a price with a qualifying provider. "This shifts the liability from us to the larger provider that deals more on the wholesale side of the market rather than the retail side," Gillilan stated.

The Grand River Area Family YMCA Director, Matt Jones, presented to a funding request to the City Council, this Monday. The YMCA's request was for the summer season, when their are not as many programs and as much participation at the facility. All though they have seen an over all drop in summer participation, they have seen a slight rise in participation in their t-ball and coach pitch programs. Even with the fall in participation, most of the summer budget is needed for staffing. Jones noted that Program Director Lacy Pate will have two Site Supervisors available when she herself is out in other areas with different programs. Another issue affecting the summer budget is the corporate memberships. Even if all of the current corporate memberships are renewed, there will be a 10 percent drop from the same time last year. Jones expressed his appreciation for past funding and explained how the partnership with the city has spawned other YMCA's in the region to acquire similar partnerships with their local municipalities, citing Jefferson City YMCA soon to break ground on a new facility through their city partnership and Carroll County YMCA currently exploring a similar partnership. The Grand River Area YMCA's funding request is up $250 from last year, a $14,750. The council will award any funding requests at a later date, once they have determined a finalized budget.

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Chillicothe City Council members will meet for their regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. tonight at City Hall. Among items to be discussed will be the process for launching a search for the next city administrator, following Administrator Ike Holland's resignation as was announced last week. Mayor Chuck Haney plans to make a recommendation to the council of a city administrator search committee. Holland's resignation is effective April 21. Also on the agenda is a continuation of annual service reports to be made by various entities which contract with the city to provide services to city residents. Reports will be made by representatives of the Summer Playground Association, Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Chillicothe, and the Grand River Area Family YMCA. In other business, Mayor Haney will make a special presentation to golf members Charles Bigler, Scott Ellis, Rollie Staldman and Brooks Macoubrie. Jim Gillilan, general manager of Chillicothe Municipal Utilities, will present an ordinance for council consideration regarding the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission. The council will also consider an ordinance regarding a golf cart lease agreement. Tonight's meeting begins with a workshop at 5:30 in the conference room at City Hall.

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