Residents address council on possible business by their homes

Marianne Gillespie
Chillicothe City Hall

Residents expressed their concerns over a possible business development at the March 24 Chillicothe City Council meeting.

“We have been hearing the chatter about town that may or may not happen to the former Pizza Hut,” neighbor Tazio Grivetti told the aldermen.

When Pizza Hut made its home there in 1985, Grivetti said, the neighbors were not living there then, but “we now pre-date the new business.”

He went on to explain that the neighbors, which includes more than 20 children, had four main concerns about a possible business moving into the building, including its hours of operation, noise, parking concerns and the type of liquor license.

The neighbors began a petition about the endeavor and plan to present it to the council at a future meeting.

Mayor Doug Crew said that the possible business project was in a “formative stage. This project is far from certain at this point, but your concerns are certainly well noted and as we move forward we’ll make sure that you’re given full consideration.”

Resident Wes Green told the council that the neighbors are concerned if the possible business is a restaurant that serves alcohol, like Pizza Hut, or if it is a bar serving food.

Green said residents had also heard that live music, being on a poker run and a beer garden were planned. Neither the neighbors nor city officials seemed to know the business plans at the council meeting.

The neighbors were told of a Finance/Economic Development Committee meeting on March 26 that had discussion on a HELP loan for the business. A HELP loan assists business owners by giving them a low-interest rate.

After attending that meeting, Green said he and the neighbors feel like the aldermen are not listening to their concerns.

“Nobody in city government really wants to hear from us. They don’t want to be concerned about what we’re concerned about,” Green said.

He said the neighbors are planning to continue attending meetings and presenting their point of view.

“Everybody we’ve talked to is not in favor of this,” Green said.

In other items, the council:

• Heard City Clerk Sharon Crabel say that the city received its Motor Fuel Tax audit, which includes the years of 2005-12 because the state has been behind. The council placed the items on file.

• Heard Alderman Denny Gould say he received a call from a resident who lives across from Route 29 in the area of where a Kroger gas station will be built. The resident was concerned about the lighting at the gas station, which Gould said City Engineer Ken Coulter will review.

• Heard Mayor Doug Crew say former Mayor Irvin Latta had asked him to present a key to the city to resident Dianne Colwell, who retired as a real estate agent after 40 years in business recently. She wrote a thank-you note, which Crew read.

• Approved two notices for special event held on public property to use various streets for an American Cancer Society Relay For Life 5K run/glow run from 8-8:30 p.m. June 14 and to use City Park from 8 a.m.-noon April 19 for the Downtown Merchants Annual Easter Egg Hunt.

• Approved a request by the Peoria Casting Club to extend the playing of amplified music on its property at 1530 N. Second St. from 11 p.m. until midnight May 17.

• Approved paying Ray O’Herron Co. $1,438 for two police vests. Under the union contract, the city is required to replace the vests every five years.