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Chillicothe Times-Bulletin - Chillicothe, IL
  • Boyer resigns from Chillicothe City Council

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  • An experienced alderman said goodbye to the Chillicothe City Council at its Feb. 11 meeting.
    Ward 3 Alderman Chris Boyer tendered his resignation, citing additional responsibilities at work, which would not allow him the time and energy to continue sitting at the council table.
    Aldermen joked if they did not accept his resignation then he would have to stay.
    Appointed to his seat originally by Mayor Gary Fyke in April 2005 for the vacancy left by Jason Kilmer, Boyer admitted he was "clueless" about what the job entailed.
    Boyer said he thinks it takes aldermen at least six months to get caught up on how the city operates.
    In the last eight years, he has served on all the council committees, and has been the chairman of the finance and economic development committees for a few years and added the police/fire committee after Alderwoman Judy Cantwell resigned last year. Those three committees are the busiest ones year round.
    "I've had a wonderful time, but it is, sometimes, a thankless job," said Boyer.
    He said he will miss the details: delving into the budget and working on economic development. Those items keep the city rolling, but they take time and energy, he said.
    Getting comments from the public after a vote or the pettiness at times both from city officials and the public are things he said he will not miss.
    Mayor Troy Childers Sr. presented the outgoing alderman with a special Chillicothe pin and thanked him for his service.
    "He was very much involved. I enjoyed working with him," Childers said of his mayor pro-tem. "We had the same thoughts most of the time. He is a self-starter. He's young. He's aggressive. He will be sorely missed."
    Childers said he planned to appoint, with the council's consent, Trish Westerman-Connor, who was running unopposed for Boyer's seat.
    Childers also plans to change committee assignments to last until May 13 when a new mayor and half of the council will be seated.
    Also beginning in May is the city's new fiscal budget, one of the last big issues Boyer, as well as other aldermen and supervisors, oversaw.
    Most of the line items remain the same, with expenses a littler higher and revenues a little lower, said Boyer. The city's net operating budget is just shy of $2 million.
    On top of that is a list of projects set forth by the various city committees, with priorities of one, two or three, with the lowest being the most important.
    Some of those items include regular or necessary purchases such as the continual upgrading of radios to comply with federal standards for the police and fire departments, and switching out more of the old water meters to the radio read meters.
    Page 2 of 2 - The total for projects this year, should the council choose to approve them throughout the year, is about $430,000. Each item comes before the council separately for a vote.
    The most noticeable thing in the budget, Boyer said, is an increase to the police pension fund due to Police Chief Steve Maurer retiring.
    When someone retires from the department, there is a normal increase to the funding. The department now is mostly younger officers.
    In other items, the council:
    • Approved a Tax Increment Financing loan of $50,000 to Schilling Real Properties LLC for the renovations of 1008 N. Second St., formerly River Valley Residence. The loan, to be paid back with 1 percent interest over 10 years, is personally guaranteed by Josh Schilling, and the disbursements will be made directly to contractors or to Schilling with contractor payment receipts. The city will have the second position on the loan with Morton Community Bank holding a lien of $84,000.
    Mayor Troy Childers Sr. questioned if in the future the city could secure better than the second lien on a property because of a past experience. The building where Helping Hands is now located at the corner of Fourth Street and Truitt Avenue dropped in value and ended with the city out its money.
    City Attorney Mike Seghetti said the committee had discussed the money directly going to the contractor doing the work to avoid possible problems.
    Economic Development Director Rachael Parker said the hope is that the value of the property will increase, and if that happens, the city would be in a better position to get its money if the owner defaulted.
    Boyer said it is a "risk and reward" situation, and that officials are more likely to remember the deals that did not work as opposed to the ones that did.
    • Approved paying $500 each to three groups: the Chillicothe Rotary Club for the promotion of Bald Eagle Days, the Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce for marketing and advertising events, and the Chillicothe Historical Society for the promotion of the grand opening of the Johnston McCulley Room at the main museum on June 8. The money comes from the Marketing and Tourism Fund, which is money paid in the Hotel/Motel tax.
    • Approved paying $1,025 to Willis Electric Inc. for the installation of four disconnections on light poles in Sycamore Trail Subdivision.
    • Approved the 2013 yard waste drop off schedule, which runs March 6 through Nov. 30. The days and times are the same as last year for residents to bring their leaves and yard waste to the front of Moffitt Nature Park for drop off.
    • Approved an intergovernmental agreement with IVC District 321 for an annual rebate of $1,000 for irrigating the athletic fields. In the summer, Alderman Denny Gould said, the school district can pay up to $6,000 per month during the summer to water the fields.
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