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CITY COUNCIL MEETING 04/27/15 (Amphitheater, Hospital Lights, Bowling Monitors, Danner Park Lighting)

City Pursues Amphitheater Idea
By CATHERINE STORTZ RIPLEY
April 28, 2015

The city of Chillicothe is pursuing the idea of adding an amphitheater to one of its parks, largely funded through private donations. The amphitheater would, mostly likely, include a covered stage area that could be used for a variety of performances and room for seating. The Chillicothe Rotary Club approached the city with a desire to raise money to build the amphitheater. The group provided funds for a preliminary study that included a variety of architect renderings. Six ideas were presented to the Chillicothe City Council Monday evening, and the council gave a general consensus to further investigate design options along with cost estimates. The scope of the project could involve lighting and a sound system and could be phased in over time.

City Administrator Ike Holland stated that both Simpson Park and Danner Park were being considered for the amphitheater and that both parks had advantages as well as drawbacks. Danner Park, he said, is a "blank slate" with an already developed gradual slope that would lend itself well to an amphitheater design and has plenty of available parking. The park, however, is more of a sports complex, and sporting events could interfere with stage performances. Simpson Park is more of an established park that already hosts community events, such as the Chautauqua and car show. It also has established natural shade. The park, however, is in more of a residential area and has limited parking. The amphitheater could be located behind the maintenance shed in the park. The city administrator noted that most of the people he had talked with favored Simpson Park over Danner Park.

Council members agreed that they were in favor of further exploring the development of an amphitheater, stating that it could be an asset to the community. The administrator will report back to the council about projected prices and more detailed design options. The amphitheater would be built through private funds with the Rotary Club leading the fundraising campaign. The city would participate by providing labor, land, and continued maintenance. An amphitheater was not part of the park's master plan for the next 10 years.

Council Discusses Hospital Lights, Bowling Monitors
CT Catherine Stortz Ripley
04/28/15

Sidewalk lighting at the new hospital will likely be reconfigured with about 2/3 of the existing light poles being removed. City Administrator Ike Holland relayed a request from the hospital to remove some of the lights along the sidewalk in front of the hospital. There are currently 29 lights, and the lighting can be deemed excessive for that area. It was proposed that two out of every three lights be removed so that the light poles are 120' apart rather than the current 40 feet apart. There was discussion about relocating some of the poles to along the sidewalk on Missouri Route 190 and along Grand Drive.

In other business, the council approved the lowest and best bid for a 15-foot rotary cutter for the airport. The accepted bid came from Tiger Co. Distributing Company in the amount of $12,290 for a heavy-duty rotary Bush-Whacker cutter.

Council members attended a workshop prior to the regular meeting at which time Tom Douglas took the oath of office as 3rd Ward councilman. He was unable to attend the swearing-in ceremony held earlier this month.

Also in the workshop, council members discussed a loan request from Grand River Entertainment to provide around $94,000 for new scoring monitors at the Fast Lane Family Entertainment Center. The existing monitors are original to the center. The council will consider a contract and loan agreement to purchase the monitors at the council's next meeting. The loan would be for 10 years with a payback interest rate of 2%. The funds would come from the city's MoDAG/UDAG revolving loan fund which is established to assist businesses. That fund has a balance of $206,000. Grand River Entertainment manages the entertainment center and currently has a $105,000 balance on a previous loan that was taken out 10 years ago.

During the workshop, the council agreed to go out for bid on electrical work for lighting on the Green Field at Danner Park. The lights currently do not work due to multiple underground faults. The city will advertise for bids for directional boring labor. CMU has the roll pipe necessary for the project, and the city will purchase that at cost. The city, however, will seek bids for electrical labor because CMU is not certified to work with that high of voltage. The lighting repair was not part of the park budget for this year; therefore, the $20,000 set aside for trail improvements will be shifted to cover the costs to repair the lighting. Currently, night games cannot be played on that field because of the lack of lighting. The estimated cost is between $15,000 and $17,000.

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