The first question to address is: "What property belongs to the city of Chillicothe?"

Secondly, "Are these properties beneficial to the city, or would Chillicothe be better off selling some of the parcels it owns?"

These are just a couple of questions the city will be considering as it inventories its properties before making plans to move forward.

City Administrator Ike Holland recently presented to Chillicothe City Council members a list of some 70 properties identified as being owned by the city. Not all actually are owned by the city, and some of the properties on the list are lots where dilapidated houses once stood, but were demolished by the city.

Holland emphasized the need to have a complete and accurate list.

"It really is about a plan for the future," Holland said, noting that the city's existing master plan is 13 years old and needs to be updated. "This is probably the second-most important document — second to the budget — that we have. We should know this document."

While properties such as the parks, the golf course, public safety buildings and city hall — just to name a few — won't be considered for sale, they will be included on the inventory list. There are properties that the city may have taken over for one reason or another that provide no benefit to the city.

"Some of these projects we have, I will recommend we keep," Holland said. "Others, I will recommend we get rid of."

Holland estimates that the city owns around 60 parcels. That amount includes about a dozen parcels comprising the existing hospital and areas around the hospital. An estimated 10 percent of the parcels the city owns is not in use.

The council gave a consensus for the administrator to pursue inventorying the properties and come back to the council with a recommendation about what to do with parcels the city may not want to keep.

Holland noted that in some instances, such as ones involving vacant, unused lots, retaining the properties becomes an expense to the city because the city must continue maintenance, including mowing, of these properties.

The council also discussed using revenues collected from the sale of properties to be earmarked for costs associated with the demolition of dilapidated structures.