At Monday night's Chillicothe City Council meeting, the council gave initial improvement for a capital improvement project at Hedrick Medical Center, approved bids for work at the airport and also gave initial approval for a Rotary project at the old prison site.

After a lengthy discussion, the council voted 5-0 to approve the Rotary grant which allows the group to do dirt work, grading, laser leveling, irrigation pipe and seeding of one single athletic field, or pitch, as Adam Warren, president of the Rotary Board described. The work will cost the city nothing, as the local club has received a grant from Rotary International will pay for the work at the old prison site.

Discussion involved members of the Green Hills Soccer Club who stated they would like to have a more permanent home for their fields, as they currently use about 6 acres near St. Columban's Cemetery. The approval to allow Rotary to begin work on the field is a step in the right direction, Sharon Brooks secretary of the soccer club said, noting the club would help with maintenance, but would really like a more permanent area for the growing soccer club.

The initial project, which Warren and Rotary were seeking and ultimately gained approval for, is a field only, no lighting or restrooms. The field must be named Rotary Field, and the council approved.

A long-term, multi-phase project was also discussed. Mayor Theresa Kelly supported the idea but also expressed concern about several other, larger-scale projects and uses for the 40-acre area that have been discussed, including a possible law enforcement center.

“For now, I feel like we need to move forward, we have someone coming in, offering to do this work for free, at no cost to us,” Denny Albertson, First Ward Councilman said.

In other business, the council approved bids for improvements to the runway at the Chillicothe Municipal Airport. In the spring crews will begin the reconstruction of a runway and connecting taxi-ways and installation of lighting, lighted holding position signs and other systems. The accepted bid was from Ideker, Inc. for $3,343,746 A State Block Grant is covering 90 percent of the costs, leaving the city only responsible for about $388,000. City Administrator Darin Chappell noted the city had budgeted $400,000 for the project. The project will start in the Spring of 2020 and is expected to take less than five months to complete.

By Dec. 31, 2019, Hedrick Medical Center is mandated by U.S. Pharmacopeia to make changes to the hospital pharmacy to be in compliance with new standards for handling the compounding of certain medications and to ensure the safety of all employees. The hospital's pharmacy will remain open and the project will be done in phases, all paid for by St. Luke’s Health System and Hedrick Medical Center. Work will begin on or around August 9, in order for all of the work to be completed by the deadline.

The council also voted 5-0 to enter into a Surface Transportation Program - STP - Urban Program Agreement with Missouri highways and Transportation Commission And the Missouri Department of Transportation which will allow the city to receive Surface Transportation funds in the amount of $178,000 for a three-inch overlay on Litton Road for a project slated to begin next spring.