Tincher asks for final input

Marianne Gillespie

Consultant Tom Tincher spoke to the Chillicothe City Council Monday night looking for final input about ideas for Chillicothe’s riverfront development.

Then, he said, the implementation ideas will begin.

Tincher, officials and the mayor’s riverfront development advisory committee added the ideas from the aldermen and residents from the workshop in February.

Tincher said, based on comments, priorities to implement first include the hotel/retreat center and the riverboat landing, both of which are located around Cutright Park.

Next, he said the Walnut Street corridor needs to be a priority as the gateway to downtown, linking Illinois Route 29 to the downtown and the riverfront.

A third priority, he said, could be a facade and enhancement plan for the downtown, if the downtown businesses agreed.

As a fourth area, he suggested a visitor center area around City Park, the Chillicothe Historical Society’s depot and the former Four Seasons Hardware store, which the city is in the process of buying.

“Per your input, we’re suggesting that rather than pursue the downtown marina as an early action project, that it makes more sense to shift that energy to look at improved marina capability in the Hamm’s Harbor area in concert with a follow-up planning effort with Three Sisters Park,” said Tincher.

He also outlined the information in a memo to the council, and proposed a consulting contract with Tincher & Associates be approved in April for further implementation work.

Estimated costs outlined were about $26,000 with an optional downtown enhancement plan for an additional $3,500, for a total of $29,500. His consulting fee for the last year was $29,500.

Aldermen asked questions about the boat landing area and homeowner displacement.

Also discussed was if the final plan included removal of the current boat launches, then an acceptable relocation would need to be found.

Additionally, he said a critical element is a public access trail.

“If we are not successful in negotiating fair market value prices for those properties, including Bananas and the others, then we could look at relocating the hotel to the existing park location and developing the lakefront along Bananas there and a more park-like setting,” said Tincher. “We’d be integrating those two. That would be one option.”

For more of what the Chillicothe City Council approved, see this week's Chillicothe Times-Bulletin.