At the City Council's regular meeting last night (Monday), a new ordinance was passed 4-0 that gives disabled persons on motorized wheelchairs the same rights as pedestrians.
"This takes a step in the right direction and I think it'll remain once we get it a part of the ordinances," Councilman-at-Large David Moore said.
According to Ordinance 2013-55, "pedestrian" now includes a "disabled person operating a motorized wheel chair or power scooter or other similar electric powered assistive mobility device." The motorized devices can be operated on a roadway with a speed limit under 35 mph, and must display a pennant five feet above the device when in operation. No one under 16 can operate the devices unless they have a mobility-related disability. The scooters may only cross roadways at intersections, and must be used on sidewalks when provided. When sidewalks are not provided, operators must drive on the shoulder on the left-hand side of street as far from traffic as possible. To view the full ordinance, call City Hall at 646-1877.
There was also a public hearing to consider an ordinance setting the 2013 General and Parks Tax Levy on real and personal property. The suggested tax increase will raise the general tax by less than 1/2 a cent compared to last year's general tax. The increase was approved, setting the general tax levy at $0.6798 per hundred dollars of assessed valuation and the parks tax levy at $0.1911 per hundred dollars of assessed valuation.
A discussion about a speed limit reduction on Hwy 36 concluded that a reduction may not be the answer. Mayor Chuck Haney asked for the councilmen's individual opinions on the matter, and they all indicated that installing signs warning of a dangerous intersection at Hwy 36 and Mitchell Street was a better solution to the problem. Each councilman discussed how the intersection's limited visibility due to the concrete barrier causes the intersection to be dangerous, and multiple accidents have occurred there. Councilman Fourth Ward Paul Howard suggested that cables, rather than a concrete barrier, should be installed at the intersection to increase visibility. Signage, however, would have to be paid for through the city's funds. The council decided to look into the costs of signage and will discuss it in an upcoming meeting.
The council passed an ordinance agreeing to loan $100,000 to Cleantide Containers, Inc. and IBC North America, Inc., the two new businesses located in the Chillicothe Industrial Park.
"It's a great thing for the city and putting somebody back in a building that was vacant," Moore said. "This is an economic development loan that the city has the funds to loan and the money comes back to us to be able to loan it again. In my opinion it's kind of a win-win situation for the city."
The installation of the flashing light at Hornet Drive should be completed by the start of school. It was suggested that the speed limit on Hwy 190 should be reduced to 35 mph until 600 feet past Hornet Drive, and should be enforced 24/7 as opposed to just during school operation hours. Because this change would be within city limits, an ordinance and approval from the City Council would be required for the change, as well as payment for signs warning of the speed limit change. An ordinance will be drawn up and presented at the council's first meeting in September.
Page 2 of 2 - An ordinance was passed leasing the 1955 fire truck to the Grand River Historical Society Museum. This means that reparations needed on the fire truck will be able to be done by the museum. Employees will able to operate the fire truck if they are qualified to do so and they will be able to display the fire truck without having to consult the Chillicothe Fire Department first.
Construction permit fees were also amended at the meeting. Commercial remodeling minimum fees were lowered to $25.00. Pool permits were changed to a one-time fee of $20.00 in addition to a $10.00 yearly Safety Inspection fee. Roofing and concrete slab permit prices were also changed. To see the full ordinance, contact City Hall at 646-1877.
In closing comments made by council members, Dupy said that the public should be aware that garage sale sign removal should be done within 24 to 48 hours of completion of said garage sale. The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 26.