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CITY COUNCIL MEETING 12/29/14 (Fireworks 2015, Board Appointments, Police Vehicle)

Plans Uncertain for Fireworks Display in 2015
December 31, 2014
By CATHERINE STORTZ RIPLEY

Chillicothe's Freedom Fest, the traditional July Fourth fireworks and celebration in the park, will be under new organization in 2015. Dan Leatherman had informed Chillicothe City Council members earlier this year that KCHI, which had been heading up the event for several years, would be stepping aside. Thus, efforts are under way to find a new entity that would continue the event. With the dawn of a new year at hand and the need to order fireworks and secure a company to discharge the fireworks in early January, City Council members discussed the event's future during their regular meeting Monday evening at City Hall. Council members voiced support on behalf of the city in the way of financial assistance and manpower as it has in the past, stating that the event is popular among the city's residents and attracts visitors from surrounding communities. "I do not want to see an event such as this go away," said Mayor Chuck Haney. The city traditionally pays a portion of the fireworks expense ($2,000 this year) and provides support through its police and fire departments; the balance of the fireworks are paid for through donations solicited from businesses and organizations. The overall cost is between $9,000 and $10,000 for the fireworks alone. Additionally, there are several entertainment activities, including face painting, music, and food booths that take place during the event. The mayor said State Bank, which organized the event years ago, had voiced a financial contribution for the coming year and other entities have as well. He stated that the Rotary Club has expressed an interest in organizing the event in 2015 and he hoped that a decision could be reached in January. It was mentioned that the Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Chillicothe, the county and local merchants should be involved.

Also Monday, the board accepted the appointments of two people to the Board of Public Works and two to the Housing Board. Dr. Rolfe McCoy and Ed Martens, both prior members of the Board of Public Works, were appointed. McCoy will fill the unexpired term of Ed Douglas, who resigned following his election to the county commission; and Martens will fill the vacancy created by Joe Tate, who had reached term limits. Lisa Mathews was appointed to the Housing Board and fulfills the residential requirement for a board member residing within Chillicothe Housing. She will be filling an unexpired term. Kevin Jeschke was also appointed to the board, filling a vacancy following the resignation of Shelley Tate, who completed one four-year term.

In other business on Monday, the council passed an ordinance to approve the lowest conforming bid for a 2014 or 2015 full size police package vehicle for use by the police department. Six proposals were submitted from three dealers. Barnes Baker of Trenton submitted the lowest bid; however, the city needed confirmation that the bid met specifications. The mayor and police chief will evaluate the two bids and determine and accept the lowest conforming bid.

In other business Monday evening, the council agreed to move the Monday, January 26, regular council meeting to Tuesday, January 27. The recommendation was made by Mayor Haney, who stated that Grand River Technical School would be having accreditation that evening and that several city officials, including the mayor, city administrator and clerk had been asked to attend.

Also see separate article on Jail Contract renewal...

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