Council buys more radio read meters

Marianne Gillespie

More radio read meters will be on their way to city homes in the future after the Chillicothe City Council approved payment for the Priority 1 project at Monday night’s meeting.

Since the council already had two proposals months ago while looking into the project, the council waived the requirement to advertise for bids for the new water meters.

Then, they approved purchasing 66 meters at $143 each and 151 transmitters to retrofit some of the existing meters for $110 each. In total, the measure cost $26,048.

Public works committee chairman Denny Gould explained that city officials will try to retrofit newer homes’ water meters. Water meters that are old and are found to not work properly will be replaced.

Additionally, the council approved paying LOCIS $1,500 for software, which office manager Denise Passage said the company needs about six weeks to write the program.

City officials have said in the past radio read meters are more accurate with a property’s water usage and in the future will be able to pinpoint water leaks. What may be helpful for residents is that they can find out when their water usage is high in tracking their bills.

The system also allows the meter reader to be able to hold a device while in a vehicle in the street and read the meter, up to 300 feet.

In other items, the council:

• received a letter from Rich Lipsey of the Chillicothe Police & Fire Commission requesting that the city hire a fulltime police officer. “I had this discussion with Kenneth Kirkman — this was six weeks ago — and I told him then, ‘Go ahead and hire one.’ It’s just that he’s really wanting to hire two. And, right now until we find out about the grant and when we get that grant, then we will hire that second officer.”

Lipsey said the commission of three members, including Kirkman and Bennie Razo, wanted to meet jointly with the police/fire committee, but Cantwell said there was no need to do that to hire one officer, which would make eight officers total.

Cantwell said if the city hired a ninth officer before finding out if it could receive a grant to pay for the policeman’s salary, then they may have to hire a 10th officer. The discussion ended with a plan to get the two groups together and for the commission to go ahead and hire a policeman. Separate from the city council’s committees, the commission is in charge of the hiring, firing and discipline of the officers.

• received a letter from Jim Redman, Chillicothe Plan Commission secretary, asking the council to consider updating its comprehensive plan and a sign ordinance, which is currently in the judicial committee. Redman also is resigning as secretary of the commission but said he wants to remain a member of the commission. Mayor Troy Childers Sr. said the commission appoints its own officers, so the commission will be handling his resignation.

• received a letter from downtown business owner Sarah Williamson, letting city officials know that Chillicothe PRIDE, a downtown group, officially has dissolved. PRIDE’s main project was the enhancement of the walkway in between Printographi and Village Eye Care. The area has been cleaned up, aldermen said, and the area will be under the parks/cemetery committee.

• heard resident Sally McElhiney ask about animal control issues. She said a rabid dog was running

around a neighborhood and called for animal control, but since the officer is part-time, he is not always able to come to a scene right then. She said this dog was foaming at the mouth and scared children. The issue will be on the agenda for the police/fire committee.

• approved paying the Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce $700 to reimburse its promotion of the Cornfest/Citywide Garage Sale and HLC Canoe/Kayak Jaunt

• approved paying Carl’s Season Control $8,478 for a new boiler for Chillicothe Fire Station No. 1. An Energy and Efficiency Block Grant from the Department of Energy, through the Tri-County Planning Commission, will be used as 75 percent of the cost will be reimbursed. Cantwell credited Chillicothe Fire Chief John Myers and Assistant Fire Chief Greg Hurd for working on the grant, but also Randy Stevens, part of the Tri-County Planning Commission, for bringing it to the city’s attention. “We love free money,” said Cantwell.

• heard Myers also say he expects the city’s new aerial ladder fire truck to come to town today, which would then allow it to be in Friday’s IVC Homecoming Parade.

• approved a sidewalk program application for Brice Lauber for the commercial property at 1421 N. Second St. for $400. The balance left in the fund is more than $7,250. Applications and more information about the grant may be picked up at City Hall.

• approved paying Schaeffer & Son Construction $4,990 for preparing the areas on city streets in need of bituminous patching

• and approved an ordinance specifying loading zones to City Code.