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DEMOLITION NEWS

February 2, 2017 - Chillicothe Street Department workers trim low-hanging tree branches at the old prison site on Third Street. The project began earlier this week and is expected to be completed this week. The trimming helps keep the city-owned property looking nice while its future remains undecided and helps clear the area in preparation for the mowing season. The property will be mowed by the city's parks department, and the airport's mower will also be used to mow larger areas of the property, according to Chillicothe Street Superintendent Barry Arthur.


C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

Tunnels Exposed
Crews Return for Asbestos Abatement

10/14/16 CT
By Catherine Stortz Ripley
C-T Photos / Catherine Stortz Ripley


Brick-lined, underground tunnels are revealed during demolition of the old boiler house at the former Chillicothe Correctional Center site on Third Street. During the process, asbestos-wrapped pipes were discovered. Shown above, one tunnel leading from the boiler house splits and goes different directions.


The boiler house at the former Chillicothe Correctional Center site is among the last structures to be demolished.

Demolition of old buildings at the former Chillicothe Correctional Center site on Third Street has recently revealed a network of tunnels leading from what was once the complex's boiler house. The idea of tunnels - some of which are up to an estimated 10 feet below the ground's surface and large enough to easily accommodate a person - might conjure up visions of clandestine meetings, covert operations and secret passages to the outside world. However, the actual explanation is quite simple: the tunnels were once used to send steam heat from the boiler house to other buildings on the grounds when it was the State Training School for Girls. Some of the tunnels were made of bricks and had arched ceilings and brick floors. These are estimated to have been built during the 1930s, according to Tammi Venneman, assistant code enforcement officer for the city of Chillicothe. It appears that the brick tunnel system may be been abandoned in later decades and a newer system of tunnels - about two feet wide and three feet tall - were installed, she added. Unearthing the tunnels revealed pipes and asbestos in which the pipes were wrapped. A crew from 24-7 Enviro Solution, Inc., of Independence, Mo., which had the contract for removing asbestos throughout the old prison complex, returned to the site this week to remove the asbestos from these newly-discovered pipes. The tunnels are old and have been deemed unsafe; therefore, the demolition crew that has been contracted for the overall demolition project, was on site to open up the tunnels from the top so that the ceiling would not collapse during the asbestos abatement process. The city had contracted with 24-7 Enviro Solution to remove asbestos on the property prior to the demolition of buildings. On Monday, City Administrator Ike Holland informed the council about the latest discovery of the underground pipes and asked the council to approve a change order for the contractor to remove the remaining asbestos around the pipes in the tunnels. The council approved the request and a change order in the amount of $22,000 was approved. This property on Third Street was most recently home to Chillicothe Correctional Center; however, the Industrial Home for Girls was established at this site in the late 1800s and later became the State Training School for Girls.

September 27, 2016 - Demolition of the former Chillicothe Correctional Center buildings on Third Street continued this week. The last of the brick buildings to be demolished by Red Rock was reduced to a pile of rubble on Monday. Crews worked Sunday to take down the farthest west building and sorted remnants and hauled materials away on Tuesday.

C-T Photos / Catherine Stortz Ripley

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August 26, 2016 - Chillicothe Municipal Utilities' buildings at the power plant are clearly visible from Third Street now that many of the buildings that were once part of the old Chillicothe Correctional Center complex have been razed. Just a couple buildings or partial buildings remain standing.

C-T Photos / Catherine Stortz Ripley

July 20, 2016 - Demolition continues at the old women's prison site on the west side of Chillicothe, just off of Third Street. The company, Red Rock, began demolition in November. A future use for the property has not been determined.


C-T Photos / Brittany Tutt

04/07/16


C-T Photo / Brittany Tutt

Red Rock company is hard at work tearing down the old Chillicothe women's prison. According to Red Rock owner, Derrick Fee, the demolition of the prison buildings began in November. Currently, the crew has almost all of the gutting of the buildings complete. Fee said once all the gutting is complete, the buildings will be knocked down and all the rubble will be hauled away. Fee hopes to have the demolition completed by late fall. It is still unknown what the old women's prison site will be developed into. However, a new walking / biking trail through Chillicothe will end on the old prison site and possibly loop around it in the future.

Prison Demo Continues
March 18, 2016


C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

Demolition at the former Chillicothe Correctional Center site on Third Street continues in earnest as nearly all buildings on the campus have been gutted. This building, which is the farthest east on the property, has been gutted on both floors. The roofs of Buildings 3 and 5 have been removed and the second floors gutted and cleaned out. Crews also are in the process of tearing down the addition which housed the swimming pool in the three-story schoolhouse building. See video online at 
www.chillicothenews.com.

02/10/16 C-T

Several buildings of the former Chillicothe Correctional Center on Third Street have been gutted and are in the process of demolition. Prior to becoming Chillicothe Correctional Center in 1981, the property had formerly been used as the Missouri State Training Center for Girls. A piece of lumber found amid the rubble reveals that Schell Construction Company was involved in the construction of at least one building. A March 1958 Constitution-Tribune newspaper article states that Schell was awarded the low bid of $172,400 to construct a two-story cottage, an addition to the Hyde school building, and make repairs and replacements to existing buildings on the grounds. Demolition has been stopped temporarily while the contractor seeks bids for asbestos abatement. The asbestos that was visible prior to demolition already had been removed; however, through the demolition process, more asbestos was revealed in the walls and around some pipes, according to Chillicothe Codes Enforcement Officer Chuck Greever.

Prison Demolition Begins
01 21 16


C-T Photo / Beth Cox

Demolition of buildings that once comprised the former Chillicothe Correctional Center campus on Third Street has started. Red Rock is the contractor. Prior to becoming Chillicothe Correction Center in 1981, the property had formerly been used as the Training School for Girls, a state institution dating back to the late 1800s.

History Sold at Auction
By CATHERINE STORTZ RIPLEY
November 16, 2015

The decorative wrought iron fence, a landmark of the Industrial Home for Girls that was established more than 100 years ago, was sold at auction Saturday morning. Eighty-seven sections of fence - each 8 feet long - were sold within two hours.


By Catherine Stortz Ripley

The price of sections ranged from $15 to $170 apiece, producing a total of $7,030 in receipts for the city of Chillicothe. City Code Enforcement/Inspector Chuck Greever served as auctioneer and was assisted by Tammi Venneman, assistant code enforcement officer, and other city workers. Sections with missing pieces brought lower dollar amounts while sections that were fully intact brought higher dollar amounts. As the sale progressed and the number of available fence sections dwindled, bidding heated up. "They started going high toward the end of the sale," said Venneman. "Each bidder was needing a certain amount of fencing." The section that went for $170 was a "regular piece" of fence, according to Venneman. In all, there were 21 registered bidders and 16 buyers. The iron fence had become a landmark, having been placed in a short concrete wall lining the property facing Third Street.

The fence dated back to at least the early 1900s when the campus was the Industrial Home for Girls. The Industrial Home for Girls was established in 1887. The facility's name was changed to the State Training School for Girls in 1947 then became a facility for adult women prisoners and became known as Chillicothe Correctional Center in 1981. The city of Chillicothe took possession of the former correctional center about 8 years ago when the state vacated the site and moved its correctional center to a new facility in north Chillicothe. Since that time, a portion of the fence has been used at Silver Moon Plaza and a section was given to the Grand River Historical Society Museum. In preparation for Saturday's auction, the fence was cut just above the concrete's surface. All of the buildings on site are slated for demolition in the coming weeks.

Part of History Up for Auction
By Catherine Stortz Ripley
November 3, 2015

The decorative wrought iron fence that lines the north side of what became the Chillicothe Correctional Center campus will be sold on site at auction on Saturday, November 14, at 1500 Third Street. The sale begins at 10 a.m. The city of Chillicothe took possession of the former correctional center several years ago when the state vacated the site and moved its correctional center to a new facility in north Chillicothe. Since that time, a portion of the fence has been used at Silver Moon Plaza and a section was given to the Grand River Historical Society Museum. All of the remaining fence and posts will be sold at auction. The remaining portion of fencing is estimated to be around 100 yards. Because the fence was set in concrete, the iron was cut just above the concrete's surface.

All the buildings of the prison campus are slated for demolition with Red Rock as the contractor. The contractor has ownership to all the salvable property except for the fence, according to City Administrator Ike Holland. The fence has become a landmark on the property for more than 100 years, dating back to at least the early 1900s when the campus was the Industrial Home for Girls. The Industrial Home for Girls was established in 1887. The facility's name was changed to the State Training School for girls in 1947, then became a facility for adult women prisoners and became known as the Chillicothe Correctional Center in 1981. For more information about the fencing, contact the city's Codes Department at 660-646-5636.

City Council Meeting 07/13/15 Excerpt - Chillicothe City Council members selected a contractor for the demolition of the old prison buildings on Third Street during their meeting Monday evening at City Hall. The council selected Derrick Fee, doing business as Red Rock, of Kidder, Missouri, for the demolition of the former correctional center buildings in the amount of $370,200. The company submitted the second lowest bid. The lowest came from Dale Brothers, of Kansas City, Kansas, but was dismissed because it was incomplete. In all, seven bids were submitted for the project, ranging in price from $248,858 to $1,708,318. Two bids topped $1 million. Representatives of Dale Brothers as well as the third lowest bidder, Earthworks Excavation and Associates of Higginsville, which submitted a bid of $527,500, addressed the council Monday evening, asking the council to reconsider the bids. It was noted that Dale Brothers bid was approximately 30 percent lower than Red Rock's bid.

COUNCIL MEETING EXCERPT 06/29/15: There will be a public hearing at 7 p.m. to consider distribution of capital improvement sales tax funds for the demolition of the old prison buildings on the south side of Third Street. The city had solicited bids for the demolition, but tabled action on the contract pending specifics on funding. The lowest responsible bid was submitted by Derrick Fee, doing business as Red Rock, at a price of $370,200. The city had previously approved using up to $1 million from the Capital Improvements Fund for a developer to transform the property into apartments; that renovation, however, did not reach fruition and the developer was not paid any city funds. The demolition involves razing the former prison property buildings - approximately 16 structures in all. The property will be leveled, the security fence taken down, and the iron decorative fence removed. The city has yet to decide whether to sell the approximate 45 acres as one parcel or as individual lots.

COUNCIL MEETING EXCERPT 05/26/15: City Moving Forward on 3 Demolition Projects
By CATHERINE STORTZ RIPLEY 
May 27, 2015

Chillicothe City Council members on Monday evening moved forward on the planned demolitions of the old hospital, the old prison, and an old dilapidated bridge. The council approved bids for taking down the old hospital and the bridge but tabled discussions about the prison demolition project, pending specifics on funding. The prison demolition was largest project put out for bid. The lowest responsible bid, among seven submitted, came from Derrick Fee, doing business as Red Rock, at a price of $370,200. At this time, the city does not plan to use money from the Capital Improvements Fund; however, if the city needs to tap into that fund, a public hearing would be held. The city had previously approved using up to $1 million from the Capital Improvements Fund for a developer to transform the property into apartments; that renovation, however, did not reach fruition and the developer was not paid any city funds. The demolition involves razing the former prison property buildings - approximately 16 structures in all - on the south side of Third Street. The property will be leveled, the security fence taken down and the iron decorative fence removed and put up for sale. The city has yet to decide whether to sell the approximate 45 acres as one parcel or as individual lots. Council members are expected to revisit this bid at their next regular council meeting on June 8. The second largest demolition project is that of the old Hedrick Medical Center campus and residential buildings. This project, in the amount of $270,000, calls for tearing down the old hospital as well as approximately five houses that were once used by hospital staff and visiting doctors. The parking lot to the south of the existing building will remain intact and everything else will be removed, Holland said. The city received 11 bids and accepted the lowest responsible bid from Derrick Fee, doing business as Red Rock. The other demolition project is that of an old dilapidated bridge on Willow Avenue in Lowe's Acres. Derrick Fee, doing business as Red Rock, submitted the lowest responsible bid in the amount of $46,000. Demolition of these projects should begin late June or early July and all projects should be completed within four or five months, according to City Administrator Ike Holland.

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SOLAR FARM NEWS

City Bumped in Solar Farm Bid
By BRITTANY TUTT
November 2, 2015

The idea of establishing a solar farm at the old Chillicothe prison site off of Third Street was discussed during a city council workshop this past summer. A representative from MC Power Companies, of Lee's Summit, (which pays for the installation and upkeep of all its solar farms) was in attendance of this to explain details of solar farms. Members of the public were there to provide input at the end of the workshop whether they would be in favor of the solar farm or not. Out of the 38 people who attended, only three raised their hands in opposition of the solar farm. Seeing the overwhelming approval, the city approved MC Power Company and Chillicothe Municipal Utilities to move forward with the project, which included doing more research on the land itself to see if it would be a good fit for a solar farm. MC Power Companies visited several towns in Missouri to determine which five cities would be good locations for solar farms. It had been an elimination process since the summer. Jim Gillilan, manager of CMU, and the city were informed late last week that Chillicothe has been bumped out of the top five and have been put on the alternative list for a solar farm. The following statement was issued to the city administrator, mayor, and legal counsel Robert Cowherd, by Jim Gillilan: "I have been notified that we have been bumped for consideration of acquiring the solar farm by Waynesville and Rolla. We are now on the alternate list for possible future projects." Local economic developer, Terry Rumery of Rumery and Associates, said Chillicothe could have gotten bumped out of the top five due to a Chapter 100 Bond issue. The bond would have provided MC Power with tax abatement on the bond-financed property. Under a Chapter 100 bond, the city retains ownership of the real and / or personal property and leases it back to the company under a lease purchase agreement. Because the title to the property is held in the name of the city during the lease term, the property acquired with the bonds proceeds is tax exempt. The company then assumes ownership at the end of the term of the bonds. In addition to property tax abatement, the company also benefits from a sales tax exemption for construction materials and / or equipment for the project. However, the city decided not to issue the bond because of cost (which could have ended up being thousands of dollars). The five cities in which MC Power Companies have installed or plan to install solar farms include Macon, Trenton, Marshall, Waynesville and Rolla.

Support Shown for Solar Farm at Council Workshop
By BRITTANY TUTT
July 9, 2015

CAPTION: Andrew Bonstead, a solar energy account manager from MC Power Companies, gives a presentation concerning the possibility of a solar farm being constructed at the old prison site at last night's council workshop.


CT Photo / Brittany Tutt

Andrew Bonstead, a solar energy account manager from MC Power Companies, attended last night's Chillicothe City Council workshop in the Council Chamber of City Hall. Bonstead made a presentation addressing the idea of constructing a solar farm at the old prison site off of Third Street to the council, and approximately 38 Chillicothe residents that attended the workshop. City Administrator, Ike Holland, said this is a utility project, not a city project. The project is between MC Power Companies and Chillicothe Municipal Utilities (CMU). The city of Chillicothe is only involved because the city owns the old prison site land.

Chillicothe City Council approved the preliminary work of the solar farm to be started at the last council meeting; however, before proceeding, the council and Mayor Chuck Haney wanted to see how much support the community would have for the project, which is why the workshop was held last night. After Bonstead's presentation, those in attendance of the workshop, including council members, were able to ask questions. At the end of the workshop, a vote was taken by Mayor Haney. Out of the 38 in attendance, only three raised their hands in opposition of the idea of a solar farm at the old prison site. After seeing the overwhelming support for the project last night, Holland said he will be talking to Mayor Haney today to see if he feels comfortable continuing to move forward with the preliminary work MC Power needs to conduct. Though this is a utility project and CMU is responsible for all the decision making, the solar farm will be a shared cost between MC Power, CMU, and the city. However, details and numbers are yet to be worked out, according to Holland.

If Haney and the council decide to continue moving forward with the project, the city will pay MC Power an estimated, non-refundable payment of $18,000 for the company to come and take soil samples of the land and perform other research needed to see if the land is suitable for a solar farm. Whether the company decides to construct on the site or not, the payment will not be refunded. The city will also pay for tree removal, a concrete entrance slab, and other imfrastructure for the farm, according to Holland.

It's becoming more of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guideline to utilize more renewable energy and resources, which is the main reason CMU is pushing for the project. CMU is in an energy pool consisting of 35 cities. If one of those other cities is chosen for the construction of the solar farm (which many of these cities are in consideration), CMU will nearly reap the same benefits as if the farm was located in Chillicothe. This is because the 35 cities share energy. CMU would only save about $5,000 more a year in transmission fees if the farm was at the old prison site; however CMU customers would not benefit from these savings. The cost of energy would not increase nor decrease for the energy pool by switching to green energy. MC Power will own the solar farm and sell the energy to the energy pool, which will be a shared cost between the other cities and Chillicothe.

CMU is looking at a potential 25-year contract with MC Power with set rates for energy. Those in attendance of the workshop were informed last night that CMU customers would not see an increase or a decrease in their utilities bills due to the solar farm. If it is decided to proceed with the project, preliminary research will be conducted, MC Power will make an offer to buy or lease the old prison lot, and a contract will be negotiated. Holland was unsure of a timeline, but MC Power wants to begin research as soon as possible. If the company decided to construct in Chillicothe, construction would take about three months, according to Bonstead. However, construction will have to begin after the old prison buildings demolition begins, which Holland hopes to be working on in August or September.

MC Power Companies is based out of Lee's Summit, Missouri, and has over 30 years of construction, electric and solar experience. MC Power has installed three of the largest solar farms in Missouri located in Springfield, Butler and Macon. They also recently constructed a solar farm in Trenton (which had its ground breaking ceremony on Tuesday), and are currently designing a solar farm for Marshall, Missouri. The company's solar farms usually sit on about 12 to 15 acres of land. The potential solar farm that would be constructed in the old prison site would sit on 15 of the 40 acres of land, and 3.214 megawatts would be installed in that 15 acres. The farm would be constructed in the middle of the lot to avoid cutting down as many trees as possible, which wouldn't leave much room to construct anything else on the lot. City Administrator, Ike Holland, said if the solar farm were to be constructed at the old prison site, nothing else would be constructed on the lot, at least not for several years. In the aerial view of the old prison site shown last night, Bonstead explained that most trees on the lot would remain standing, but a few will need to be cut down in order for the panels to be installed. Bonstead also explained that having a solar farm would be equivalent to planting 74,000 trees per year because the panels absorb so much carbon dioxide.

The solar farm would be installed at the expense of MC Power. This solar farm will cost the company an estimated five million dollars to install. The company will also maintain the solar farm and fix anything that would be broken. The panels (standing at about 10 to 12 feet tall) are protected against lightning and are able to take hail up to a quarter in size. The solar farm is insured for 25 years; however, even after the warranty is up, it is MC Power's responsibility to pay for upkeep and expenses. The panels are designed to last 40 to 50 years. It is not the companies intention to leave the panels abandoned after they are no longer usable. They plan to replace them and keep the farm active.

When the vote was taken last night, the three that were opposed to the idea were residents in the same neighborhood as the old prison site. Concerns were expressed about property values of homes in the area and the farm being an "eye sore." One resident in the area also presented a paper to the council last night with 13 signatures from other residents in the neighborhood in opposition to a solar farm at the site. One resident near the prison stood up and spoke for the solar farm in the area, stating the farm is "definitely better looking than what's there now." Of course by that statement, he was referring to the old abandoned prison buildings. Councilman Douglas spoke up and said a solar farm isn't the worst thing that could be put on the old prison site. Stating the solar farm would be quiet and well kept. Bonstead said MC Power has set up solar farms near residential areas before and that residents shouldn't be concerned. He said the solar panels do not create a glare and do not produce/radiate heat. They are also quiet and do not produce any noise whatsoever. "They just sit there," Bonstead said. The farm isn't a danger to people or nature. The panels will also be fenced in and monitored by cameras. Concerned residents of the area also asked if other Chillicothe areas had been explored for the solar farm. Those residents were informed that CMU had looked at other areas, but the prison site was the only viable option.

City Exploring Solar Farm
June 29, 2015

A solar farm is being considered for the former prison property on Third Street. The city of Chillicothe will have a public workshop at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 8, to discuss the proposal. The project would include a series of solar panels that would produce electricity for Chillicothe Municipal Utilities. The workshop will be in the council chambers at City Hall. Community members and neighbors are urged to attend.


C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

The city of Chillicothe Council will hold a public workshop on Wednesday, July 8, at 5:30, at the City Hall Council Chambers to discuss the proposal of an electric utility project that would be on the former prison property on Third Street. A solar farm that would encompass most of the 40 acres would be constructed in the next year, according to City Administrator Ike Holland. The former prison is in the process of demolition, and this project would start this fall and be completed by 2016. The solar farm would be a series of solar panels that would produce electricity to CMU electrical department. Chillicothe has been selected as a possible site for the facility along with other towns in Missouri. The City Council is asking the community, neighbors of the former prison, business owners and all interested parties to attend this workshop. There will be photographs of the proposed solar farm and discussion with the public will be on the agenda. Questions about the proposed solar farm can be answered by the CMU director in Chillicothe. Questions about the former prison site may be answered by the City Administrator at City Hall.

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City Asks Public for Ideas After Developer Pulls Out
By Catherine Stortz Ripley
October 17, 2014


C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

CAPTION: The city of Chillicothe took ownership of the vacant women's prison on Third Street more than five years ago with plans that a private developer would turn the site into residential and commercial spaces. Those plans were formally dissolved last month and the city is asking the public to share ideas or if they know someone who might be interested in this property to contact City Hall.

An education or training facility? Senior housing? Duplexes? Open space? A city park? These are just a few possibilities for the former women's correctional center on the south side of Third Street. The plans of five years ago to convert remains of the vacated Chillicothe Correctional Center into residential and commercial spaces with recreational facilities, dissolved. The city's agreement with the Foutch Brothers, of Weatherby Lake, Mo., was cancelled last month, according to Chillicothe City Administrator Ike Holland. The financial climate was different in 2009 and the developer had planned to use tax credits and finance the project through the state. "Those tools have kind of dried up," said Holland. "What was possible five years ago is not doable now."

Therefore, the city is starting over from scratch on this project and is asking the public to share ideas or if they know someone who might be interested in this property, to contact Holland via email at cityadmin@chillicothecity.org, or mail correspondence to City Hall, 715 Washington Street (no phone calls, please).

The complex consists of about seven main buildings located on 42 acres of land. Around $210,000 has been spent on the grounds since the city took over ownership. Of that amount, around $200,000 was spent by the Environmental Protection Agency for the removal of asbestos, lead and arsenic on the grounds. The city spent around $5,000 to secure the buildings with doors, boarding up windows, and removing materials that had fallen over, about $1,500 on mowing this year, and around $3,000 on soil testing. An area where underground tanks, that used oil for the facility's heating system, once were located is being monitored. The tanks have been removed; however, the immediate site must be monitored before the Department of Natural Resources gives full clearance of the property. The buildings have been given a clean letter and all can be developed, but the actual site where the oil tanks were located has not been given a clean letter. The city is pursuing an effort to get a protective covenant of the tank area (estimated to be less than an acre), and obtaining a clean letter from DNR to develop the rest of the land. If that designation could be reached, someone could pursue a development. "Without a clean letter, it makes it hard for someone to get financing," Holland said. A clean letter for the final acre could come as early as next year, Holland said.

The city took ownership of the former correctional center in 2009, after the state of Missouri built a new women's prison in the north part of town and transferred inmates to the new facility. The city then sought proposals for development. Two proposals were submitted by the city's deadline, and the project by the Foutch Brothers was chosen. The Foutch Brothers estimated the project to be $9.75 million, in which $4 million would come from a bank loan, and 40 percent of the cost would come through state and federal tax credits by listing the properties on the National Historic Registry. Foutch Brothers would finance 20 percent of the project. Highlights were: 95 loft condominiums, 6,000 square-feet of office space, 8,000 square-feet of retail space; using the existing auditorium and gymnasium available for community/private rental events; soccer fields, tennis courts and ball diamonds. Under the development plan with the Foutch Brothers, the company would develop the property and the city would reimburse them for expenses up to $1 million. The second proposal considered at the time was to use the facility as a home for mentally handicapped women, second chance house for women transitioning from a correctional facility back into society, a home for youth, and substance abuse treatment center for women. The city has not marketed the property, per se, but is using word of mouth to spread the news that the tract of land and its buildings are available. "Every chance we get, we talk to people about the possibilities for uses of those buildings," Holland said, noting that he had talked with the school district for possible use, such as dorms for students attending Grand River Technical School. Other ideas were to convert it into a campus for training correctional officers, converting it into an office park, or something related to internet technology. "We've been trying to search for uses for it," he said. "It's very old. It would make a cool office building, but we don't have a big demand for an office park."

At this point, the city is trying to sell certain surplus items from the former correctional center on the south side, including walk-in freezers, a conveyor belt and exterior lights on the website: www.municibid.com. These items are such that their removal would not affect the integrity of the buildings.

Some interior chain link fence is planned be relocated for use by the city's park and street departments. Not all of the buildings are old and deteriorating. There are two buildings that Holland said were built probably in the 1970s that could be used. "The rest, because of their design and concrete in them, it makes them costly to remodel," he said, noting that some have small inmate cells. The oldest building in the complex was built around the turn of the century and is not salvageable. "Even when the state was using the facility, they didn't remodel it," Holland said. "It had been sitting empty for about 10 years." If no definite plans emerge, the city will likely demolish the buildings and salvage anything of value to recoup some of the costs of demolition. No deadlines have been set for making a decision as to how to proceed.

"I would like to have some movement on it this year," Holland said. "By next summer, if we don't see any movement, the council may start seeing something in the form of demolition and putting the property up for sale."

In addition to the property on the south side of Third Street, the city also acquired around 20 acres of land at the time as well as the former correctional center's administrative building on the north side of Third Street. The city signed an agreement with Randy Constant to develop the property for residential use. The agreement stated that for every house that was built during five years, he would get a reduction on the total amount due on the property. During the term of the agreement, two houses have been built on that property. Holland stated that Constant is set to close on that property with the city next month, paying the city approximately $200,000. "When we settle out, he will get credit for two houses," the administrator said.

Future of Former Prison Site Undecided
June 6, 2014

CAPTION: This auditorium is among part of the buildings remaining at the former Chillicothe Correctional Center on Third Street. The city of Chillicothe plans to meet with developers of this property as well as property on the north side of Third Street during a workshop on Tuesday, June 24.


C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

Approximately six years have passed since the Missouri Department of Corrections vacated the buildings and grounds on west Third Street and moved to a new facility in north Chillicothe. As the state moved to the new correctional center, the city of Chillicothe took ownership of the Third Street property consisting of around 42 acres and numerous buildings. The city then solicited bids for the development of the property and accepted the proposal of the Foutch Brothers, LLC, of Weatherby Lake, Mo., for the property on the south side of Third Street.

Chillicothe City Council members recently toured the grounds in preparation for an upcoming workshop meeting scheduled with the developer. "Some of the council members had not been in the facility, so I wanted them to tour this," said City Administrator Ike Holland. The developer's initial plan called for converting eight of the buildings into approximately 95 residential lofts and developing two of the buildings into office/retail space. The proposal called for the city to reimburse the developer for the first $1 million spent on the project. The time frame was left open because the developer would present the final plan once an environmental study was complete. That study is ongoing. The buildings have been given clearance; however, the city is still working with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources concerning possible contamination from underground tanks that have been removed.


C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

The city plans to meet with representatives of the Foutch Brothers at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 24, at City Hall to review their current intention and determine whether the developer still has plans to work on the project. "If they do, fine; we'll drive on," Holland said. "If not, then I think we need to look at other options."

Also, during that June 24 workshop meeting, the council plans to meet with representatives of Mystic Land Development which entered into an agreement with the city to develop the old prison property on the north side of Third Street. The agreement stated that by 2014, the developer would pay the remainder of the price of the land, currently estimated to be around $200,000. If the developer opts to not pay the balance, the unused land will revert to the ownership of the city. There currently are two houses constructed on that property.

For more photos, see Photo Gallery on CT website.

Items from old prison considered for surplus property sale (June 9, 2014)
Chillicothe City Council members on Monday declared some items from the old Chillicothe Correctional Center on Third Street as surplus property and available for sale. The items included a conveyor belt, freezer and handicapped chair lift that could be added to the city's surplus property auction taking place on Friday, June 20, at the former hospital. It is possible that the correctional center items, because of their size, may be sold on at the former correctional center site either on June 20 or at a later date. City Administrator Ike Holland stated that anything that is historical from the former correctional center will not be sold. "We will not sell items such as the fence that keeps the buildings secure or the fancy iron gates or fencing," he said. Also approved with a surplus declaration are a couple of specialized push mowers that were used at the municipal golf course. Council members also discussed making some items available for sale via the internet in an effort to reach more specialized audiences.

City Talks of Old Prison Site (Excerpted from Council Meeting 04/28/14)
Water & Soil Needs Continued Testing, Monitoring
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 CT

The old prison property on the south side of Third Street has sat vacant for several years, and it may be awhile before any significant activity takes place. The property has a "clean letter" from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for all the buildings from 2013; however, as of last week, the city was informed that the water/soil testing will need to continue for the next year, at a minimum.

"The property can be developed now, but with the restrictions around the area being tested and monitored," Holland told City Council members during their regular meeting Monday evening at City Hall. The site being monitored is near the building that housed the kitchen where underground fuel tanks had been buried. Holland recommended that after the council tours the facility on May 15, a workshop be held to determine the council's direction for the facility.

The Foutch Brothers of KC has contracted with Chillicothe to develop at least a portion of the existing buildings to include apartments. The development is identified on the Foutch Brothers' website as a "future project" that would include a movie theatre, restaurant, laundry area, and a social lounge.

There was some discussion about removing existing soil, adding clean soil, and amending it with lime - a process that can be effective in commercial situations; however, it was noted that restrictions differ for residential purposes.

Prison Development Progressing
City awaits results of further soil testing
By Calli Price, CT, October 30, 2013

Nearly five years ago, the former Chillicothe Correctional Center property was given to the city of Chillicothe from the State of Missouri. Shortly after, the City Council decided to accept a proposal from Foutch Brothers to turn the facility into an apartment complex. Since the initial proposal, the State of Missouri and the Environmental Protection Agency have been working to get the site cleaned up. According to City Administrator Ike Holland, the buildings on the property have been cleaned, and the current phase of the project includes testing and monitoring the soil contamination levels. "There are two underground fuel tanks over there that were used for heating and cooling of the facility," Holland said. "Those have been monitored and the ground, soil and water flow, the aquifer and all of that has been tested. Now the EPA is done, but that did not satisfy the state, so now the state has requested further testing which has now started."

The EPA testing was paid for by a grant totaling $250,000. Since the EPA has finished its testing, the city of Chillicothe will have to pay about $1,000 for further testing of the grounds. Holland said that where the project goes from here is dependent upon the results of the testing. "The results could say it's okay to proceed, or they could say we have to continue to monitor," Holland said. "Once (the State) is satisfied that they've tested everything properly they will give me courses of action. It could be nothing, no further action needed. It could be to remove the dirt and replace it. It could be to remove the tanks and the dirt and replace it."

In addition to further testing, the facility is undergoing weatherproofing. Copeland Development and Construction is working on the nearly $5,000 project, currently building window covers which will be installed next week. The project will be completed within the next two to three weeks.

Once the test results have been completed, and if they meet the state's standards, then Foutch Brothers can start the project. The company will still have to appear before the Council, and approval is required before the project may begin.

The current vision for the project, which is to be completed in phases, is that the current buildings will become apartments, and the outlying land on the property will be developed into single-family homes.

Prison Abatement Continues
04 09 12


C-T Photo / Drew Van Dyke

Crews were at work on Monday morning, clearing out asbestos from the old Chillicothe Correctional Center on Third Street. This abatement process must be completed before the Foutch Brothers company can refurbish the complex into apartment buildings and affordable-income housing. Foutch Brothers was recently included in the city's 2012-13 expenses, for $250,000 in redevelopment costs, back in mid-March.

Abatement Begins on Old Prison Property
01 24 2012


C-T Photo / Amanda McKay

CAPTION: The old prison property on the south side of Third Street in Chillicothe is finally seeing a step towards progress. Abatement contractor Major Abatement began removal of asbestos and lead paint on Monday beginning with building No. 3, pictured above. The removal is being paid for with a grant through the city council.

The Issue

In August 2011, the Chillicothe City Council was ready to move forward on the old prison project when council members awarded the abatement of asbestos contract to Major Abatement & Demolition, Inc. out of Blue Springs. The city was approved early in 2011 for a $316,000 grant from the Missouri Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund to fund removal of the asbestos from the buildings located on the south side of Third Street. Documentation authorizing the grant was finalized last summer, but the city had not received necessary approval to start work until just recently. Any costs of the abatement that are not covered by the grant will be the responsibility of the Foutch Brothers of Weatherby Lake, Missouri, who have plans to develop the buildings into housing units. Once the hazardous waste has been removed from the property, Foutch will then take over ownership of the property.

What's Happening

According to Chillicothe City Engineer Ron Urton, Major Abatement, the contractor working on the removal of asbestos and lead-based paint from the former Chillicothe Correctional Center located on west Third Street, began work Monday morning. The contract is for $315,000 and ends April 16. Asbestos was said to have been found in nearly every building on the property including building No. 3, which is located closest to Third Street.

Asbestos Abatement to Start this Fall at Old Prison
August 30, 2011 CT

Three years after taking ownership of the old Chillicothe Correctional Center buildings and property on the south side of Third Street, the city of Chillicothe is finally moving forward on its asbestos abatement project. Council members Monday night (August 29, 2011) awarded the abatement contract to Major Abatement & Demolition, Inc., of Blue Springs, which had the lowest of two bids submitted. The base bid on the project is $315,025. City Engineer Ron Urton stated that work will likely start around mid-October, and that the contractor has six months to complete the project.

The city was approved early this year for a $316,000 grant to fund removal of asbestos from the old buildings. However, documentation authorizing the grant was not completely finalized until recently.

The city currently has a contract with Foutch Brothers, of Weatherby Lake, Mo., to develop the buildings on the south side into housing units. Any costs of abatement that are not covered by the grant will be the responsibility of Foutch Brothers. Once the hazardous waste has been removed, Foutch will then take over ownership of the property.

PUBLIC NOTICE 03/28/11

The City of Chillicothe, with the support of a grant from the Environmental Improvement and Energy Resources Authority (EIERA), is holding a public meeting regarding the cleanup of a brownfield site at 1500 Third Street (the former Chillicothe Correctional Center). The analysis of cleanup alternatives and other project information will be available at the meeting and public comment on the cleanup will be allowed at the meeting.

Where: Chillicothe City Hall, Council Chambers
When: April 20, 2011
Time: 4pm to 5pm

The analysis of cleanup alternatives and other information regarding the project may be viewed at City Clerk's Office at 715 Washington St. and at City Engineer's Office at 921 Jackson St. and on this website (ANALYSIS OF BROWNFIELDS CLEANUP ALTERNATIVES (ABCA)), or at the EIERA's offices at 325 Jefferson St., Jefferson City, MO during normal business hours. The analysis of cleanup alternatives may also be viewed at the EIERA's website at www.dnr.mo.gov/eiera. Public comment on the clean up will be accepted until close of business, Monday, May 2, 2011 and may be submitted in writing to Ron Urton City Engineer, 921 Jackson St., Chillicothe, MO 64601 or e-mailed to rurton@chillicothecity.org.

$316K for Cleanup - City Awarded Grant for Old Prison Property
February 7, 2011, C-T

The city of Chillicothe has announced that it has received a grant for the clean-up of the old prison property on the south side of Third Street. The grant, in the amount of $316,974, comes following an application by the city to the Missouri Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund for the cleanup of the former Chillicothe Corrections Center.

In an email to City Engineer Ron Urton, Brownfield officials said "they knew that the city's application and the entire process had taken a while, but things are starting to break loose." Kristin Allan Tipton, development director for Environmental Improvement and Energy Resources Authority (EIERA), said that the grant of $316,974 is an odd dollar amount because it exhausts a category of available grant funds.

The EIERA also approved an additional loan of $100,000 if this is needed to complete the project. The EPA allows for a maximum of $200,000 in grant awards and they requested a waiver from them for the prison project in Chillicothe.

Tipton said, "I apologize there has been so much time between your application and our award. Please know that we are very enthusiastic about this project and look forward to working with you in the near future."

The Foutch Brothers of Buchanan County have a contract with the city to develop the prison property and buildings on the south side. They are pleased that the grant was allowed and look forward to the clean-up and development of the property. "This a tremendous boost to the housing project," said Terry Rumery, who is Chillicothe's contracted economic developer. "The fact that we are able to get this size of an EPA grant for the clean-up of the old prison property saves the citizens a great deal of money that now can be utilized for more public improvements to the area. Once it is cleaned up (asbestos and other requirements) the developer can start to work on the infrastructure improvements that need to be done."

"The fact that the mayor, city council, and administrator used the foresight to apply for the grant really saved the community a sizeable amount of money," Rumery said. "Even though it took considerable time longer that we had felt it would, it obviously was well worth it. This $8 to 10 million dollar project can now move forward and Chillicothe will be able to see the condos and apartments that we so are desperately short of." Rumery went on to say that the grant helps attract not just manufacturing jobs, who always inquire about housing for their employees, but it helps entice retail business who use this type of development as a barometer of the community's growth and strength.

Mayor Chuck Haney said he was excited to learn about the grant and what it means to the city of Chillicothe. "This is great news and just adds to a list of recent announcements and accomplishments as well as building projects that are or will be going on in our city," he said.

Councilman-at-Large Darrel Rinehart, who serves as the city's finance director said, "this grant was a very good cooperative effort of a lot of people in our city. I appreciate their work... without this grant, the clean-up would have been very expensive for our taxpayers, but now we can move forward to make the area and our community more marketable."

City Moves Forward on Old Prison Property - click here for article...
Constitution-Tribune
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New Plans for Old Prison - click here for article...
By Catherine Stortz Ripley, Constitution-Tribune
Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Prison Panel Votes 8-0
By Amanda McKay, Constitution-Tribune
Wednesday, Sept 16, 2009

Proposals from Chillicothe Transitional Housing and Training, a non-profit corporation formed this year by Armand Peterson, of Chillicothe, and the Foutch Brothers, LLC, based out of Weatherby Lake, in Platte County, Mo., were presented to the Chillicothe Prison Committee Tuesday afternoon. After nearly 2-1/2 hours later, the panel voted 8-0 in favor of the Foutch Brothers, LLC. The proposal will now be forwarded to the Chillicothe City Council for consideration.

Both proposals called for purchasing the property for $1 and both proposals supported improving the existing buildings with very little demolition.

CTHT proposed the facility be used as a home for mentally handicapped women, second chance house for women transitioning from a correctional facility back into society, a home for youth, and substance abuse treatment center for women. The proposal called for each building to house between 77 to 123 women. Each housing unit would be equipped with a kitchen, dining area and living area where the women would be responsible for cooking, cleaning and learning basic life skills for transition into society.

Foutch Brothers proposed that the 42-acre facility and buildings be converted into residential and commercial spaces. Eight of the buildings currently on the campus would be used for approximately 95 rental loft/condo units while two buildings would be converted into retail and office space. The Hyde School building would serve several uses due to the theater and gymnasium that would be available for commercial and public events.

The proposal also included the vacant sites to the west and south of the property in which Foutch Brothers, LLC would co-develop with the city for low-cost public amenities such as walking/biking trails with fitness stops, Frisbee golf, skateboarding park, more soccer and tennis facilities, ball diamonds, etc.

Future of Former Prison Site: 2 Proposals Submitted
Published: Monday August 24, 2009, C-T

The city of Chillicothe received two proposals for the purchase/development of the old Chillicothe Correctional Center facility located on the south side of Third Street. The 42-acre site consists of both open land and numerous buildings and the city is selling the property “as is.” Proposals were accepted until 2 p.m. Friday.

The proposals came from Chillicothe Transitional Housing and Training, a non-profit corporation formed this year by Armand Peterson, of Chillicothe, and the Foutch Brothers, LLC, based out of Weatherby Lake, in Platte County, Mo. Both proposals called for purchasing the property for $1.
The proposals will now be forwarded to the mayor-appointed Prison Committee for review. It is anticipated that the committee will then make a recommendation to the city council.

The Foutch Brothers’ proposal, received on Thursday, calls for converting eight of the buildings into approximately 95 residential lofts and developing two of the buildings into office/retail space. The majority of Chillicothe City Council members as well as many Prison Committee members recently toured the old Mead factory in downtown St. Joseph, which was a project of the Foutch Brothers who renovated the factory and turned it into residential lofts.

The CTHT proposal, received on Friday, calls for improving the existing buildings so that the area can operate as a gated community to assist in the training and preparation of life skills for former inmates trying to transition back into society. CTHT also proposes improving the facilities so that they could be leased for other uses, such as a home for mentally-handicapped women, a second chance house for women, one for youth, and one for women who need treatment for substance abuse.

City Seeks Proposals for Prison Property
Published: Friday, July 31, 2009, C-T

CAPTION: Chillicothe is seeking proposals for the development of the old prison property on the south side of Third Street. The deadline for proposals to be turned into City Hall is 2 p.m. on Aug. 21.

C-T Photo/Laura Schuler

The city of Chillicothe is currently requesting proposals for the purchase/development of the real property and buildings of the old Chillicothe Correctional Center facility located on the south side of Third Street. The 42-acre site consists of both open land and numerous buildings and the city is selling the property as is. Proposals will be accepted until 2 p.m. on Aug. 21, 2009, at City Hall, 715 Washington Street, Chillicothe, MO 64601.

The legal description of the property, specifications and any additional information may be obtained by contacting City Administrator Dean Brookshier at 660-646-2424. Those interested are asked to obtain a complete copy of the request for proposals before submitting a proposal.

NORTH SIDE

Building Trades Class Works with Mystic Heights to Start Housing Project
September 30, 2011 CT
Click here to for complete article and photo...

Housing Development Work Starts
First phase involves construction of seven, single family homes
Constitution-Tribune
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

CAPTION: Construction work at the Mystic Heights development site in southwest Chillicothe has started this week with the installation of a new sanitary sewer line to serve Phase 1 of the development. The first phase of construction work — involving the building of seven single family homes — should be completed by mid to late July.


C-T Photo/Laura Schuler

Work has commenced at the Mystic Heights construction site on the north side of Third Street in southwest Chillicothe. According to David Buttman, co-developer, the work being done this week involves installing a new sanitary sewer line to serve Phase 1 construction of the development.
Buttman said the current plan for Phase 1 consists of seven single family homes with a variety of floor plans.

“Most (homes) will be single story with attached, two-car garages, but some will be one-and-a-half stories and a couple of them will have detached garages,” Buttman explained.

The start date for the remaining Phase 1 construction has not yet been set, but will begin shortly, Buttman said. He predicted the first phase of construction work should be completed by mid to late July. Buttman also said that a few multifamily units have been planned for Phase 2 and 3.

City OKs Plat for Mystic Heights
Constitution-Tribune Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chillicothe City Council members approved the final plat for the first phase of Mystic Heights Development when they gathered for their regular semimonthly meeting Monday night at City Hall.
The plat, presented by Randy Constant of Mystic Land Development, had been recommended for approval by the city’s Planning and Zoning Board and its approval was the final action needed to be taken by the council to allow development to begin. Ron Urton, of the city’s contracted engineering firm of Shafer, Kline and Warren, said work could start after the developer provides an escrow account for the cost of improvements for Phase I and final construction plans. The proposed Mystic Heights development consists of around 14 acres of land on the north side of Third Street in southwest Chillicothe. The land was previously owned by the state of Missouri and used by the Department of Corrections.

Constant, along with David Buttman, also of Mystic Land Development LLC, of Chillicothe, plan to build 100 medium-income level housing units, with the half of them to be completed within five years. The first phase to be developed is along the west side of the property (Woodrow Street) and consists of nine single family dwellings.

City Council OKs Plans for Mystic Heights
Constitution-Tribune, Tuesday, Sep 15, 2009

After nearly an hour of discussion regarding plans for a new housing development, Chillicothe City Council members Monday night unanimously approved a conditional use permit and preliminary plat for Mystic Heights Subdivision. The subdivision, to be developed by David Buttman and Randy Constant, of Mystic Land Development LLC, of Chillicothe, is being planned for around 13 acres of the old Chillicothe Correctional Center site on the north side of Third Street. One hundred medium-income level housing units are planned, with the half of them to be completed within five years.

The conditional use permit was required because the developer is proposing to reduce the exterior boundary setback requirement from 35 feet to 25 feet and reducing the required minimum for lot size. The conditional user permit also waives the 20-foot exterior boundary landscape area. There will also be a reduction of common or dedicated open space from 35 percent of the development to 5 percent. The average size per single family lot will be around 60 feet by 120 feet.

The matter had been unanimously recommended for approval by the city’s planning and zoning board.

The first phase to be developed is along the west side of the property and consists of four single family dwellings and two duplexes. It is hoped that the first phase would be completed next year. The following phase would be at the southwest corner. The final phase would take place along the north part of the property.

The housing units are projected to be in the $90,000 to $130,000 price range and build for various demographics and age groups. Phase I will test the market and help the developer determine what type of unit is going to sell the best. The proposed development calls for the units’ garages to be accessed through alleys behind the housing units.

Most of the discussion Monday night took place between members of the public who had questions about the project and project architect Brian Hendrickson. Residents expressed concerns about the community not having a demand for additional housing and the need for more senior housing. It was noted that if the development tends to attract senior citizens then future development may be tailored more toward the senior population. Hendrickson said that a majority of the homes would have universal access and some units, where possible, would not have steps. Members of the public also expressed concerns about proposed buildings which would house multiple housing units (up to six per building), fire safety concerns, and the possibility of the units becoming rental properties. Hendrickson addressed the fire safety concerns and he also said that it is the intent of the developer to sell - not rent - the housing units.

Development plans for the former Chillicothe Correctional Center south of Third Street have yet to be determined. The mayor-appointed prison committee was to meet Tuesday and vote one of two proposals to recommend to the City Council.

CAPTION: David Buttman, Jenny Butman, and Pam Constant of Mystic Land Development signed a purchase agreement this morning (Friday, July 31, 2009) at City Hall for the north prison property on Third Street.

(Not pictured: Randy Constant). Robert Cowherd (center) drew up the agreement and Mayor Chuck Haney (second from left) and Roze Frampton (right) signed for the City of Chillicothe. Sherry Parks and Dean Brookshier also attended the signing.

C-T Photo/Amanda McKay

City OKs Housing Plan
Published: Thursday, July 2, 2009
By Laura Schuler, C-T

The Chillicothe City Council approved a proposal to convert approximately 14 acres of old prison property on the north side of Third Street into a 100-unit carriage home development. The unanimous decision came after an hour-long discussion Wednesday night in the Council Chambers at City Hall. The special meeting was called expressly for that purpose and was held two days after a regular semi-monthly meeting when the council first considered the issue.

Prior to the vote, a few councilmen told those gathered of the constituent input they have received since Monday night’s meeting. Council members who said they had received comments said the majority of opinions they heard were in favor of the development. “I’ve talked to about 25 people in the last two days and the majority of everyone thought it was best for the city to do this,” said 3rd Ward Councilman Tom Douglas.

The proposal calls for building 100 medium-income level homes on the property, with at least 50 to be completed within five years. The developer — Mystic Land Development, LLC, Chillicothe — projected that the units generally would be duplexes and triplexes, but said the market would determine what is built so that single-family dwellings as well as four-family homes could also be considered. The units would be marketed in the range of $99,000 and $120,000 each.

With council approval, MLD will purchase the land for $273,000. As an act of good faith, MLD gave the city a $70,000 check to be used as security at closing. The MLD proposal was the only one submitted after the city advertised for proposals in the newspaper in early June. The deadline to submit proposals was 2 p.m. Monday. City Administrator Dean Brookshier said that although there had been several inquiries, MLD was the only one submitting a proposal.

David Buttman and Randy Constant, of MLD, fielded a few questions from the council and some from city residents during the meeting. They told the council that they intend to develop the entire property, complete with interior streets and utilities — not just the exterior edges of it. Chillicothe resident Billie Fair spoke against the development for the second time in two days and asked the council why it has not taken more time to carefully consider the proposal. She went on to note that building 100 homes on 37 lots may lead to a housing development like those found in urban cities. "You're going to have a lot of people in a relatively small amount of space," she predicted.

Fair also asked who the other principals of MLD were, asked if onsite inspections were going to be conducted on the homes and wondered why the two buildings on the north property were being sold at such a low price - $20,000 within 60 days of the asbestos in them being abated by the city. The proposal stated that if the abatement is not complete within two years, MLD may purchase the properties for $1 each for each building and perform the abatement itself.

Constant said the cost of asbestos abatement runs in the neighborhood of $40,000. He also noted that the buildings need new HVAC systems and roofs. He also said the principals in MLD were Buttman, himself and their wives. He noted that the homes will comply with city building codes.

Local attorney Robert Cowherd, who attended the meeting in place of city attorney Adam Warren, said the city wants to avoid both the rapid deterioration of the buildings on the property, which are not winterized. He also noted that the city wants to attract new residents to the city who may be commuting to the new prison before they get used to the drive. Cowherd also said that having duplexes instead of single unit homes on the property will actually yield more green space around the buildings. Cowherd stated there are several reasons why the transaction, in fact, makes the city money:

  • Reduces the overhead involved with property upkeep
  • Increases property taxes indefinitely
  • Increases revenue for the city-owned utility
  • Yields more sales tax revenue from an increased population.

Buttman also said that MLD must pay for streets and utilities, which has been estimated to cost $1 million. That, in addition to construction costs, he said, must come out of pocket.

Following the council's approval, plans for the project will commence as soon as the planning process is done and the sewer line installed. "Realistically, it will be mid-October before we turn any dirt," he said. Constant said the size of the lots will be determined after the lots are adjusted in an effort to save as many of the large trees on the site as possible.

Housing Planned for Old Prison Property
Tuesday, June 30, 2009 by Catherine Stortz Ripley, C-T

CAPTION: Mystic Land Development has proposed building a carriage home development area on property formerly part of the Chillicothe Correctional Center grounds (in gray). This area is property north of Third Street.

Submitted Photo

The city of Chillicothe has a $70,000 check in hand from a developer who wants to convert the 13 acres of old prison property on the north side of Third Street into a 100-unit carriage home development. Chillicothe City Council members are now reviewing the proposal — which they received during their regular meeting Monday night — and plan to make a decision at a special meeting at 6 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday) at City Hall. A decision could have been made last night; however, several council members said they wanted time to review the proposal and give the public an opportunity to provide feedback.

David Buttman and Randy Constant, representing Mystic Land Development, LLC, Chillicothe, told the Council and a roomful of community members Monday night that they want to buy the land to build medium-income level homes which would be marketed in the range of $99,000 and $120,000 each. MLD proposed buying the land for $273,000 and, as an act of good faith, gave the city a $70,000 check to be used as security at closing.

The development would be a community of patio homes, also known as carriage homes. “Historically, these have proven to be a great way to provide larger high-quality housing for less money, keeping the market prices in the appropriate range for medium income buyers,” Buttman said. The proposal calls for building 100 housing units on the property, with at least 50 to be completed within five years. The developer projected that the units generally would be duplexes and tri-plexes, but said the market would determine what is built so that single-family dwellings as well as four-family homes could also be considered.

The MLD proposal was the only one submitted after the city advertised for proposals in the newspaper earlier this month. The deadline to submit proposals was 2 p.m. Monday. City Administrator Dean Brookshier said that although there had been several inquiries, MLD was the only one submitting a proposal.

The $70,000 check represents more than 25 percent of the proposed purchase price. The proposal up for council approval calls for the purchase price of $273,000. The funds would be distributed as follows: $100 will be transferred at closing; $70,000 to be deposited in escrow to be applied to the purchase price balance at the completion of the contract; at buyers option, either the balance of the funds will be due upon the fifth anniversary of the closing date or all undeveloped lots will be conveyed back to the seller; a credit of $5,500 will be given to MLD toward the purchase price for each housing unit that is constructed or under construction during the five-year period of the contract. If that figure meets or exceeds the purchase price prior to the fifth anniversary of closing, the contract will be considered fully executed and closed.

The development would be governed by a home owners association, which would give each resident input and control over the look of the entire neighborhood. MLD has proposed buying the two north side buildings - the former administration building and the training building (warden's house) for an additional $20,000 within 60 days of the asbestos in the being abated by the city. The proposal also calls for MLD to pay all of the initial cost of construction for the onsite utilities, streets, curbs and sidewalks. It will share the cost of off-site sewer installation with the city paying one-third of construction costs and MLD paying two-thirds of the cost. MLD is requesting no tax reduction or exemption on the project.

After the presentation, the council opened discussions for the general public. Chillicothe resident Billie Fair asked the council to consider more options for the property before making a decision. She also questioned why the city would divide the prison property between the north and south sides of Third Street. Fair asked the council to delay action in order to get more community input. Alvin Thompson, also in attendance, also expressed concerns about the council making a decision too soon.

What’s Next for Former Correction Center?
Tuesday June 23, 2009 by Catherine Stortz Ripley, C-T

CAPTION: The city of Chillicothe is seeking requests for proposals for developing a portion of the former Chillicothe Correction Center property. The first proposal to develop a vacant tract of land on the north side of Third Street into housing units fell through. The city is seeking new proposals for this part of land and the deadline to submit proposals is next Monday. The specific area for which the city is soliciting proposals is for the north side of Third Street, although proposals could include intentions for the property on the south side (shown above).

C-T Photo / Laura Schuler

What happens to the old Chillicothe Correctional Center now that the city of Chillicothe has full possession of the land and all its buildings? An indication could come as early as next Monday — the date when proposals are due for the purchase/development of a part of the real estate and buildings located on the north side of Third Street.

What’s in the works — if anything — is unknown to the public at this time. But, the city announced two weeks ago that it would seek proposals with the deadline being June 29. Whatever proposals are submitted — if any — will be reviewed by the Chillicothe City Council during their regular meeting that evening and a possible vote could follow, according to City Administrator Dean Brookshier. To date, no proposals have been submitted; however, several inquiries have been made at City Hall.

Brookshier said the specific area for which the city is soliciting proposals is for the north side of Third Street, although proposals could include intentions for the property on the south side of the street. It will be up to the council to determine what proposals are considered. If no proposals are received, it will be up to the council to decide how the city moves forward on the matter.

The prison committee — which was appointed by Mayor Chuck Haney “to seek solutions” for the use of the old facility — met Friday afternoon at Grand River Technical School. During the meeting, the city’s contracted economic developer Terry Rumery explained what has transpired since the city acquired the first part of property on the north side of street.

The city of Chillicothe took ownership of the property on the north side on July 9, 2008. This consisted of 14 acres of vacant land, the former administration building, and the parking lot. (The other building on the north side of Third Street — which once served as administrative living quarters — was deeded to the city two weeks ago along with the remaining former prison property on the south side of Third Street).

Through a request for proposals process, the city received and subsequently approved a proposal from the Ferguson Group to develop the property into multiple-family dwellings. The council approved the proposal Aug. 11, 2008, and had planned to close the deal with the developer the following month; however, the developer had trouble financing the project because its money was tied up in a bank that was being seized by the government. The city proceeded to grant the developer extensions with the final extension expiring June 5, 2009.

On June 10, the city issued another request for proposals - similar to the initial RFP. Brookshier said that the longer the city retains the property, the greater the liability for the city. He said that as long as the city retains ownership, the street department is in charge of its upkeep and maintenance and the police department is responsible for its security.

Member of the prison committee are: Ron Wolf, Robert Cowherd, Terry Rumery, Ed Turner, Dale Wallace, Linda Gray-Smith, Chuck Haney, Neil Nuttall, Dean Brookshier, Tom Bosler, Fred Simmer, Ken Lauhoff, Becky Steele, Amy Supple, Cindy Hanavan, Don Ratliff, Ron Keith, Lonnie Sewell and Paul Howard.

CAPTION: Proposals for developing this part of property of the former Chillicothe Correction Center are due Monday, June 29. This area contains about 14 acres of vacant land, the former administration building, and the parking lot.

C-T Photo/Laura Schuler

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