Council strikes down downtown parking changes

Marianne Gillespie
Downtown Chillicothe

The downtown parking ordinance will stay as it is.

The Chillicothe City Council struck down in a 5-3 vote to change the ordinance with aldermen Chris Boyer, Alex Block and Denny Gould approving it, and Judy Cantwell, Danny Colwell, Sandi Levell, Rich Underwood and Mel Witte voting against the change.

The consensus of the judicial committee — made up of Underwood, Witte and Levell — which was presented at the council meeting, was to change the hours of no parking from 3 to 5 a.m. to 3 to 4 a.m. and only have the no parking on Second Street, not the additional side streets in the area. That one hour, Underwood said, allows the opportunity for at-will loading zones, and the police then can block off an area.

Business and property owners have expressed their displeasure with the ordinance after it was enacted with at least one opening at 5 a.m. for customers and others having renters upstairs who then must park in the back if there are parking spots.

“But the bottom line is apathy is no excuse. No one spoke out against it before … I think Jimmy Mattox did. Now we’ve spent money on the signage, money to have it put in, and now once it’s done, nobody likes it and wants it changed. That’s just not the way it should work,” said Cantwell, who voted against the original changes months ago, when there was a two-hour parking limit.

Underwood agreed with her, saying that ordinances should not be changed for one or two businesses.

“We just want a time period where on Second Street if they need a loading zone, if they make the proper request, the police can go down there and block off that area, and we have a loading zone in that area,” said Underwood.

In other items, the council:

• Approved paying the St. Jude Brad Wallin Tournament $300 for marketing and advertising of the memorial baseball tournament, which is one of the largest tournaments in the regional area, according to aldermen. Last year the tournament boasted 128 teams, who play all over the Chillicothe area.

• Approved a notice for special event held on public property for Geiger True Value Hardware Store to close Third Street next to the business for a celebration from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. April 29 and 8 a.m.-1 p.m. April 30.

• Approved a notice for special event held on public property for the Chillicothe 4th of July Committee to use Cutright Park, Elm, Walnut and Pine streets from the riverfront to First Street and the riverfront from Pine to Elm streets for the Fourth of July fireworks. Chairman Steve Maurer said the committee signed another three-year contract with its previous fireworks supplier. The show will be 45 minutes long and cost about $20,000.

• Heard Witte say that he, alderman Denny Gould and school board member Mike Denzer will throw out the first pitches during Community Night at the IVC baseball field Saturday night

• Heard Underwood say a few calls have been received about residents not burning leaves and yard waste during the correct time, which began April 1 and can be anytime during the week except Sundays, parade days and holidays. Additionally, no garbage can be burned at any time.

• Heard Colwell say a Boy Scout group cleaned up Moffitt Nature Park recently as part of a pledge for civic duty. He also said he wants to encourage more students to do work like that.

• Heard Childers tell Superintendent of Public Works that he received many comments of appreciation for alleys in town being resurfaced.

• Authorized Chillicothe Police Chief Steve Maurer to attend the International Association of the Chiefs of Police conference Oct. 22-26 in Chicago.

• Instructed City Engineer Ken Coulter to advertise for bids for the demolition of the water tower on Santa Fe Avenue. Gould said the water tower has been out of use since the new water tower in RiverSound was built. The small water tower held 50,000 gallons of water.

• Instructed Coulter to advertise for bids to construct two manholes in the 1100 block of Sunnyside. The area is where sewer backups have occurred, Gould said.

• Instructed Coulter to advertise for bids to repair the roof of the small garage at the public works facility on Santa Fe Avenue.

•Approved an amendment to the administrative travel, convention, seminar and workshop policy, which itemizes what will and will not be reimbursed by the city for fees while an employee or elected official attends a conference.