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CITY COUNCIL NEWS 12/12/16
(CPD Hire, LifeFlight Financing, Subdivision Approval, Tower/Antenna Zoning, 2017 Street Projects Proposed, 2017 Water Park Rates, City Salaries)

City OKs Interfund Loan to Build LifeFlight Hangar
By CATHERINE STORTZ RIPLEY, C-T

Chillicothe City Council members on Monday approved a resolution authorizing capital improvement funds and interfund loans for the financing of the airport hangar project. The city will use $800,000 of reserve funds from different departments that are currently earning less than 1 percent interest and use those funds to construct the hangar for LifeFlight Eagle. The reserve funds will come from city's permanent street fund ($200,000), the hospital project fund ($300,000), and the fire department sales tax fund ($300,000). The current approximate balances of these funds are: $785,000 in the permanent street fund; $800,000 in the hospital fund, and $800,000 in the fire department tax fund. The city will pay back these funds at 2 percent interest over the term of five years, beginning April 1, 2018. The balance of the $1.1 million overall hangar construction cost will be paid for out of the city's capital improvement fund, which has a current balance of about $388,000. Approval of the interfund loans and financing was part of the council's regular meeting Monday evening at City Hall.

Also Monday, the council approved the preliminary and final subdivision plat of the Hutchinson-Metry Subdivision. The plat divides property into three parcels and dedicates a portion to an east-west road across the property. One parcel is a small tract on the north side, while another is where the new elementary school will be located, and the third is a large tract for future growth.

The council also approved zoning regulations to add definitions relating to communication towers and antennas. The new regulations clarify and define guidelines that address changes in the industry as well as identifies where towers and antennas can be placed and what type of setbacks are required.

Street Superintendent Barry Arthur made a presentation of proposed street projects for 2017. The projects will be designed and put out for bid around April 1 with the hope that work can begin in May or June. Portions of the following streets are included on the list: Tomahawk, Broken Arrow, 11th, Brunswick, Fairchild, 10th, Green, Fairchild, Forest, Windall, Litton. Some of the projects include curb and cutter, rebuilding with curb and gutter, and asphalt overlays. The city plans to spend approximately $1 million on street improvements next year. The city anticipates trimming the list once bids are received as the scope of the project will likely be larger than what the city can afford, according to City Administrator Ike Holland.

Also Monday, the council approved 2017 rates for Chilli Bay Water Park. Adult rates will increase from $8.50 to $9.50; senior rates will increase from $4.50 to $5. No rate changes will be made to the student rates (k-12), currently at $5.50. Admission for pre-k children will remain free. Season passes for groups will increase from $205 to $215; individual season passes will increase from $100 to $105; and punch passes for 11 days will increase from $55 to $60.

Council members discussed establishing a local preference policy which would give preference to local bidders. After much discussion, the council decided to not pursue such a policy.

On the eve of the opening day of candidate filing for city offices, the council passed an ordinance setting salaries for elected officials. The salaries were discussed at the council's previous meeting. The salaries reflect at 5 percent increase for the city clerk, auditor and mayor; and increasing the pay for city council members from the current $75 per meeting attended to $85. Extra pay for the finance chairman has been eliminated. The salaries of the clerk and auditor are $52,773 each, plus $75 per meeting of the council. The salary of the mayor is $16,635, plus $75 per council meeting attended, plus $200 per month car allowance and $100 per month phone allowance. The salary for elected city treasurer, attorney and constable were approved at $1 per year.

In other business Monday evening, the council:

  • passed an ordinance setting personnel policy regarding employee compensation time. A maximum amount of compensation hours was identified and the policy in the personnel manual will be more detailed to clarify specifics about how comp time can be accumulated and used.

  • approved the date for the next council meeting, which will be Thursday, December 22, rather than the regularly-scheduled last Monday of the month which would be Dec. 26.

  • heard a complaint from Angela Vance, a Chillicothe resident, regarding her neighbor's property. The city's codes department will visit the property, according to Holland.

New Police Officer Hired
The City of Chillicothe has a new police officer following a unanimous vote by the city council in an executive session following the regular council meeting Monday evening. Brandon Johnson, formerly of Breckenridge, Missouri, has officially joined the department and was getting preliminary matters taken care of Tuesday with assistance from Detective Jon Maples. Assistant Chief of Police Rick Sampsel said that Johnson began training Tuesday. Johnson is a graduate of the Missouri's Sheriff's Training Academy in Clinton, Missouri, that includes 700 hours of Basic Law Enforcement Training. He graduated from the Academy on November 22, 2016 as Valedictorian of his class and had a perfect attendance record and Class A Certification. Johnson now resides in Chillicothe. Johnson's hiring was recommended to the council by Sampsel and City Administrator Ike Holland Monday evening, and it was approved by a 5-0 vote. Johnson is 2009 graduate of Southwest Livingston County.

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