After months of work by accountants at Conrad & Higgins, LLC., and city staff the Independent Auditors’ Report for the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2019, was presented by representatives of the accounting firm told the Chillicothe City Council on Monday night that the city received a good audit.
Council members, City Administrator Darin Chappell and Mayor Theresa Kelly all praised the hard work by the accounting firm, City Auditor Hannah Fletcher and other city staff for their hard work. It was Fletcher’s first audit as city auditor after being elected in April.
The council also passed an ordinance allowing the city to use up to $250,000 from Capital Improvements funds to purchase and outfit five new police cars. The council accepted the lowest bid for the five, 2020 police cars from Chillicothe Ford Lincoln for $36,864.70 each, for a total of $184,323.50. After subtracting the value for four trade-ins of two, 2014 Ford Explorers, a 2013 Ford Explorer and a 2009 Crown Victoria the total came to $168,873.50
Chief Jon Maples told the council the vehicles needed to be outfitted with computers and other gear including cages, console with radios, siren boxes, cargo partitions, police decals, and one cradle. He noted that on 2020 models, not all equipment is able to be transferred over.
City Clerk Roze Frampton said the request for bids for the needed equipment would be going out soon.
The only other bid submitted for the police cars was from Barnes-Baker Automotive in Trenton. Their bid stated the business was not interested in trade-ins and the cost for each of the five new vehicles would be $37,259.
After a discussion, the council voted 4-0 (Third Ward Councilmen Michael Smith was absent) to accept an agreement with Allgeier, Martin and Associates to have the group prepare construction plans, specifications and bidding documents at the railroad crossing on Corporate Drive.
Chappell noted in recent months the city had the railroad panels fixed for a cost of roughly $30,000 and engineers have suggested work to be done to change the pitch of the road surrounding the tracks, or the issue would continue. “The long-term fix is to change the pitch in the road at the approach of the railroad tracks,” Chappell said. "If it goes uncorrected in the next 12-18 months the railroad panels will need to be replaced again.”
Preliminary plans are to change the pitch in 20 feet of roadway on each side of the track to avoid putting unnecessary stress on the railroad panels. Engineers' early estimates for the cost of the project with construction and engineering fees come to $128,000.
The council decided to table voting on an ordinance dealing with an economic development agreement with B & B Theatres until the next council meeting.
In other business, the council re-elected Dr. Donald J. Metry, Jr., to the St. Luke’s Hospital of Chillicothe Board of Directors for a term expiring on Dec. 31, 2022.