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Minutes For City Council Review Session 07-20-2009
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Council Chambers
Legislative Review Session
July 20, 2009
6:47 p.m.

 

 

Council met in Legislative Review Session as a quasi committee of the whole chaired by Pres. Shoultz, with all nine members present:  Ames, Bonner, Cross, Henderson, Lester, Malone, Patrick, Proehl and Trutschel.   There were 2 media representatives and 4 other visitors present, in addition to Mayor Sulzer. 

Pres. Shoultz called upon Mrs. Patrick to lead tonight’s discussion on the first topic on the Agenda, the Utility Department Rules & Regulations. 

Mrs. Patrick indicated that the proposed rule change, at the request of Mayor Sulzer, would grant the same authority for sewer line extension as presently exists for water line extension, so that the Utilities Director and the Administration could grant an extension of the sewer line without first getting Council approval.  She indicated that she is opposed to this, but that she requested tonight’s review session so that all Council members could be heard on the subject. 

Richard Johnson, Utilities Director, spoke in support of the change.  He indicated that often there is a developer who needs an answer quickly, and is willing to pay the expense of putting in the sewer line extension.  He said that the city would then accept the sewer line after it meets inspection.  Mayor Sulzer joined with Mr. Johnson in supporting this change, stating that this is needed for economic development.  They spoke about a person owning property on the west side of U.S. Rt. 23 north of town who is making such a sewer line extension request, and indicating that he will pay the cost of the extension. 

A discussion ensued, with Mrs. Patrick providing a list of similar communities who all require prior Council approval before granting a sewer line extension. 

Mrs. Henderson indicated that she is not in favor of making this change because it takes Council out of the loop. 

Mrs. Ames said that Chillicothe might wish to be different from these other communities in order to promote development opportunities. 

Pres. Shoultz turned the meeting over to Mrs. Ames to lead the discussion on the second topic on the Agenda, the Firefighter’s grant. 

Mrs. Ames said that this is Council Committee Assignment #311 for an Assistance to Firefighters Grant.  She said that Steve Gallagher is here to explain this grant.

Mr. Gallagher said that this is a SAFER Grant, and that it comes under the Homeland Security Department.  He said that it is similar to the COPSFAST Program.  Presently, he said that it provides for $108,000.00 per position, and that this is a five year program.  He said that they will pay 90% of the wages and benefits the first year, but that this decreases each year after that until after the fifth year, when there is no funding. 

Mr. Gallagher indicated that six positions would put the Chillicothe Fire Department where it was before the layoffs.  He said that this would allow the Fire Department to get its third squad unit out, and that this would increase the amount of EMS billings. 

A discussion ensued about the pros and cons of such a grant, and the city’s ability to continue the positions after the funding ran out. 

No formal action was taken on any matter discussed during the review session, and no roll call votes were taken. 

The meeting adjourned, by consensus, at 7:45 p.m.

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