Main Street Chillicothe went to the City Council this week to push for a preservation ordinance that would label buildings that have historic value to Chillicothe.
Main Street Chillicothe went to the City Council this week to push for a preservation ordinance that would label buildings that have historic value to Chillicothe. The ordinance would only apply to the outside, historic integrity of the building structure and not the interior, which could have received modern renovations through the years. Main Street found that this action would qualify the City of Chillicothe to receive federal and state benefits as a certified local government. Executive Director for Main Street, Micah Landis, cited the resources already established by the program like the design committee and the participation of more 40 building owners, in the facade grant program that helps renovate downtown buildings, as a show of development capacity already in practice, here in Chillicothe. Steve Franke, a member of the Main Street board, discussed an example of one such program that Chillicothe would be qualified to utilize through a preservation ordinance. By passing a preservation ordinance, Chillicothe would qualify to participate in the Certified Local Government (CLG) program that provides such funding. CLG is a partnership between the federal, state and local governments that encourages historic preservation, through the federal parks district. There are already 54 “certified” communities in the state of Missouri to date and are allowed to apply for up to $50,000 at a time. In Main Street’s presentation, they noted that in their research, they found that as little as 10 and as many as 15 communities apply for grants when they come available and there is a lot of money that never even gets used. The council determined that this issue would have to begin with the planning and zoning department, where it would eventually go through a public hearing. The City Council did vote unanimously to do just that. Another item on the agenda was issue of adding a pickle ball court. City of Chillicothe Parks Director, Josh Norris, has recently been approached by a group of citizens that are tennis enthusiast, who would like to have a pickle ball court added to at least one of the tennis courts at Simpson Park. According to Norris, the sport is growing in popularity in people younger and older. As part of the process, Norris had to bring the issue to the Parks Board, before he could bring it to the Council. The Parks Board approved, with the intention that it will be paid for by the group of individuals interested in applying the court. A quote for the changes to add a pickle ball court, to a tennis court, came in at about $700, and the citizens are asking for the pickle ball court lines to be applied to just one of the tennis courts. “If interest grows we can look at adding to other courts at a later date,” said the parks director. The pickle ball net is actually lower than a tennis court net, but the interested party said that they would just play with the higher net, a difference of two inches. The council voted unanimously for the recommendation by the parks director to allow them to add the pickle ball court lines to one tennis court.