Council sees fire trucks together

Marianne Gillespie

The Chillicothe City Council took part in a show-and-tell of sorts at Monday night’s council meeting.

Parked to the south side of City Hall, two 100-foot aerial ladder fire trucks were shown on the sides of Walnut Street.

With 30 years between them, Chillicothe Fire Chief John Myers told the aldermen during the meeting there was some discussion about the differences between the fire vehicles.

As he told the Chillicothe Times-Bulletin for last week’s edition, the differences include more capabilities, 30 years of technological advances and more safety features. The new fire truck made its debut to the community in the IVC Homecoming Parade through downtown Chillicothe.

Six firemen were trained one week ago Monday by the manufacturer to operate the vehicle safely, and on Nov. 3 they will meet with the manufacturer of the aerial ladder to be trained in depth on it. They, in turn, will train others in the volunteer department on how to run the truck, and Myers said his goal is to have enough firemen trained to put it into service by Nov. 15. The department is currently using the old aerial ladder truck until that time.

Aldermen were able to look at the vehicles before and after the meeting.

In other items, the council:

• heard police/fire committee chairwoman Judy Cantwell say that the committee did look into resident Sally McElhiney’s concerns about needing more animal control services. She told the council a dog, foaming at the mouth, was running around a neighborhood scaring children, but the city’s part-time animal control officer was not available to help.

“Unfortunately, I think her dog fell through the cracks,” said Cantwell. She said the city estimates an average of 24 to 32 calls per month about animals. Cantwell also said she thinks it may help to have the animal control officer have a phone for emergencies.

“Right now we really think we’re adequate,” said Cantwell about the part-time, on-call officer.

• heard Shademakers/Beautification Board liaison Mel Witte say memorials for Lee Henderson of about $250 may be used to purchase a Christmas tree for each of the downtown planters before the annual Santa Claus parade. The move would make the planters uniform, but business owners could decorate them as well.

• approved the city’s tax levy for May 1 through April 30, 2011

• approved paying Varsity Striping $3,137 to stripe Plaza Drive from Cloverdale Road to Hillcrest Drive, which should be completed in the next couple weeks, city engineer Ken Coulter said. Aldermen also talked about other streets which may be, or are, striped. Coulter said the public works committee may want to make a list of what streets should be striped.

• approved a Tax Increment Financing sidewalk application for alderman Denny Gould, 942 N. Second St., for $250. Similar to the residential sidewalk program, the TIF sidewalk program assists business or building owners who want to fix sidewalks located in the TIF district. He is the first applicant for the 75/25 program.

• approved paying Alexis Fire Equipment $345,087 for a final payment of the new aerial ladder fire truck. The money came from the general fund, $104,000, and the fire protection fund, $241,087.

• authorized Myers to advertise for bids to sell a 1997 Suburban, which was used as a fire command vehicle. The vehicle was given to the department. The council also authorized Myers to advertise for bids the 1980 duplex 100-foot aerial ladder fire truck.

• approved a Priority 1 project of painting the public works building. Art Jackson will power wash, prime, tuckpoint and paint the building for $5,142.

• heard alderman Rich Underwood say that the Chillicothe Optimist Club is seeking a variance for special parking in downtown as it plans to host a special screening of the new Harry Potter movie at 12:01 a.m. Nov. 20. With the moving getting out around 2:30 a.m., anyone parking in the downtown would be breaking the city’s new overnight parking ordinance. The ordinance does not allow for a variance, so Underwood said the judicial committee will come back to the council with a recommendation.

• approved a flood plain permit at 508 N. First St. for Brad Burgess Contruction Inc. to build a roof over an existing deck

• and hired Chris Barry as the city’s new janitor, effective today. Underwood commended the aldermen in narrowing the pool of applicants from 27.