The Chillicothe City Council discussed the issuance of Chapter 100 bonds to IBC North America, a new business that is being developed at the Industrial Park.
The Chillicothe City Council attended a hospital site visit at 5 p.m. Tuesday to tour the new hospital site. City Administrator Ike Holland said that they viewed some areas, including examination rooms, that are 99 percent done. The plan for the hospital in the next four weeks is to put final touches on areas, such as hanging doors, and the substantial completion date is still set for Dec. 20. Holland said there will be a grand opening party held at the new hospital tentatively scheduled for late January, and the hospital will still open around Feb. 13.
Following the site visit, the council met for their regular semi-monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers, where the council discussed the issuance of Chapter 100 bonds to IBC North America, a new business that is being developed at the Industrial Park. These particular bonds provide tax abatement to personal property, which will be provided by Gilmore and Bell, P.C. Rich Wood, spokesperson from Gilmore and Bell, appeared before the council to explain the process.
"Chapter 100 is simply a method of providing tax abatement here in Missouri," Wood stated. "It's the only method of providing tax abatement to personal property."
IBC North America will be purchasing $3.8 million in personal property to be included in the IBC development project. Gilmore and Bell will be providing the tax abatement for 100 percent of all taxes payable on the personal property for five years, then 50 percent for two years. This seven-year abatement plan will match the depreciable value of the property, coming to a close when the property value reaches close to zero.
The City Council signed a resolution stating that the City of Chillicothe will move forward with the IBC North America project and will prepare bond documents and proceed with the transaction between IBC North America and Gilmore and Bell.
"What this (resolution) allows the company to do is move forward with the project, to purchase things with the understanding that we will move forward with the Chapter 100 transaction," Wood explained. "It does not obligate (the city) to approve the transaction...this simply instructs the company that the city is willing to do the transaction."
An ordinance was then passed allowing Mayor Chuck Haney to sign an Engagement Letter with Gilmore and Bell, which allows Gilmore and Bell to offer the bond counsel services to IBC North America. Gilmore and Bell will prepare a Chapter 100 bond plan, which will be brought to the Dec. 9 meeting of the City Council. At that meeting, an ordinance will be drawn up to approve the plan and the bond documents. Once accepted, Gilmore and Bell will close the transaction with IBC North America for the tax abatement. IBC North America is paying Gilmore and Bell for these services with no cost to the city; the council's job is to merely approve the transactions between the two companies.
The status of the Railroad Advisory Board was also discussed. According to the current ordinance, there is no official advisory board; the ordinance requires that there be five members on the board, one of which must be a representative of the Industrial Park. Amy Supple's term ended on July 25 of this year, and around that time Brian Anderson, who was a representative from the Industrial Park, also left the board.
Amy Supple and two current members of the board, Butch Shaffer and Mel Gregg, appeared before the council to determine whether or not there should still be a board. Supple said she did not think that there needed to be a specific Railroad Advisory Board due to the immense help the board was already receiving from the City Administrator's office, so she said she did not see a problem with putting the railroad in charge of the City Administrator.
Butch Shaffer and Mel Gregg, however, disagreed. They both discussed the Rails to Trails project, which is still hopeful for the future of Chillicothe, and they stated that a Railroad Advisory Board would be needed to oversee the project.
Councilman-at-Large David Moore said that having people who feel passionately about the future of the Railroad Advisory Board is important.
"As long as there's that interest there, we should maintain the board," Moore said. "I think the guidance and the input we can get from them is important for us to have."
The council agreed to maintain an advisory board, and a revised ordinance will be drafted for the next meeting. The number of members required for the board will remain five, but none of them will be required to be a representative from the Industrial Park.
The Arbor Day Proclamation was also presented at the meeting by Director of Parks and Recreation Josh Norris. Arbor Day will be Nov. 15 of this year. Presenting this proclamation was part of the requirement in order for the City of Chillicothe to be considered as a Tree City, USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation. This is the 10th consecutive year that Chillicothe has applied to be a Tree City, USA.
The city council will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 25, at the Council Chambers in City Hall.