The council voted to move forward with plans to demolish the Chillicothe Municipal Utilities' old steam plant and also passed an ordinance establishing a local bid preference policy.

At Monday night’s Chillicothe City Council meeting, the council voted to move forward with plans to demolish the old Chillicothe Municipal Utilities’ old steam plant and also passed an ordinance establishing a local bid preference policy.

With a vote of 5-0 the council voted to move ahead with the demolition of the building and awarded a bid of $320,000 to at a cost of Red Rock, after reviewing more than 10 bids; the highest being $937,000.

The city previously spent $1.79 million to have asbestos removed from the structure, which was shut down around 2005. The building was built in 1938 Steam plant usage began to slow after the diesel plant was installed to produce power. The steam plant continued on for several more years, being used only during summer and winter peak times. Once coal became outdated, it was difficult and costly to upkeep and maintain emission standards.

Crews are expected to start work around August 1, and will have five months to complete the demolition.

Second Ward City Councilman Wayne Cunningham verified that every effort was going to be taken to save the stone archway around the main doors and the sign reading, “Chillicothe Power Plant,” for use at a later time in an appropriate place in the city.

The council also discussed and ultimately voted 5-0 to approve a local bid preference ordinance. The ordinance established local bidder preference if the local bidder is within 3 percent of a non local bidder on a construction or formally bid project for all construction or other projects from $5,000 up to $5,000,000.

The local bidding preference does not apply for federally funded projects, when projects are not required to be formally bid, or fall below $5,000 or above $5000,000. The ordinance defines a local business as one operating within the city limits of Chillicothe, with a physical office location in the city limits. This is the first local bid preference ordinance the city has had. At their next meeting the council will discuss an ordinance establishing bid protest procedures.

In other business the council approved the bid from Chillicothe Ford, for $28,699.80 for the purchase of a 2019-2020 one-ton pickup truck for the Chillicothe Street Department. To ensure the bid amount, the order had to be placed by June 4, so Mayor Theresa Kelly signed-off on the order, pending council approval. The council approved the bid, which was $14,000 lower than budgeted, with a vote of 5-0.

The council also voted on the local medical marijuana ordinance, see Thursday’s Constitution-Tribune for that story.