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CITY COUNCIL MEETING 10/26/15 (Hospital Property, Shaffer Park Purchase, City Finances, Old Prison Fencing)

Hospital Land Contract Signed
By Catherine Stortz Ripley 
October 27, 2015

Chillicothe City Council members moved forward on two real estate issues during their regular meeting Monday evening in the council chambers at City Hall. The largest of the two was giving approval for the mayor to sign a contract for the sale of the former Hedrick Medical Center site near Danner Memorial Park. This tract of land, encompassing about 9.1 acres, is being sold to Lifepoint Church with the approved purchase price of $172,000. The council last month voted to accept the dollar offer from Lifepoint Church and to negotiate a contract to be approved at a later date. On Monday, the council unanimously approved the contract. The contract had already been signed by Brent Reeter, pastor of Lifepoint Church and identified on the contract as Lifepoint Church president. A member from the public attended the meeting stating that she lived in the neighborhood and would be opposed to the closing of 11th Street, a request the church had made in their initial bid. Although the church sought having the street closed, that is not part the contract. It was noted that the street closing request, if the church still wanted to pursue such action, would need to be addressed at a later date. Official closing of the sale is to come after the demolition project is complete. Most of the buildings already have been razed; however, the contractor is in the process of filling in the area where the basement once was located. The parking lots are to remain in place.

The other real estate issue addressed Monday evening was the purchase of a small tract of land near June Shaffer Memorial Park in the east part of Chillicothe. The property is located at 401 Linn Street, north of the ballpark, and currently houses a 1973 residential trailer. City Administrator Ike Holland had talked with the occupant, Anna Mae Stinson, who reportedly had planned to move and was interested in selling the property to the city. The park is a busy venue during baseball season and is home to the Chillicothe Mudcats. The agreed purchase price is $4,000. Once the city takes possession, the residential trailer will be moved and the property turned into parking space.

Also Monday, the city approved an ordinance accepting a bid for a generator breaker proposal for Chillicothe Municipal Utilities. The bid from Blakely and Associates Consulting Engineers, Inc., in the amount of $209,501, was recommended and approved. No one from CMU was present to discuss the request.

The council had a workshop meeting prior to the regular meeting, to discuss city finances. City Auditor Theresa Kelly presented a six-month review of the city's budget and stated that the general fund looks good. Craig Sager, of Green Hills Golf Course, was on the agenda to talk about golf course finances; however, that topic was moved to a later date.

There was brief discussion regarding the pending sale of fencing at the former correctional center on Third Street. The fence has become a landmark of the property for more than 100 years, dating back to at least the early 1900s, when the campus was the industrial home for girls. Administrator Holland stated that around 100 yards of the fencing is planned to be available for purchase, with sections being sold at a live auction. That sale, he said Monday night via telephone, is planned to take place in November, although a date has not yet been set. A couple of the council members stated that they had received inquiries about the fencing. One section of the fence has been given to the Grand River Historical Society Museum and some of the fence was used at Silver Moon Plaza.

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