Council congratulates runners, new police officer

Marianne Gillespie
The Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists recently released its DUI survey for 2013, which highlights officers making DUI arrests. Receiving awards from the Chillicothe Police Department are, from left, Sgt. Nick Bridges and Officers Doug Hahn and Carl Brown Jr.

A full house at the Chillicothe City Council meeting Aug. 11 included both Chillicothe St. Jude runners and police officers and their families.

Mayor Doug Crew first recognized the Chillicothe to Peoria St. Jude satellite runners, who raised a record $328,000, following only behind the Chicago runners at $364,000 and the Memphis runners at $1 million. Crew’s proclamation also congratulated not only the runners but community members who assisted the team in raising the funds.

Run coordinator Rick Lingenfelter, his family and runner Cari Horack accepted the proclamation on behalf of the team. Lingenfelter told the group that both the runners and community members are “devoted.”

In other items, the council:

• Approved two sidewalk program applications for Mike Connor of 1014 Hushaw St. for $711 and Shane Jeszek of 829 Hushaw St. for $814. The balance left in the program, which assists homeowners in either building new or replacing sidewalks, is $16,434. Applications can be picked up at City Hall.

• Approved paying Engbrecht Concrete $1,750 to remove concrete and replace with a handicap accessible ramp at Town Theatre. The improvement is being made using Tax Increment Financing funds.

• Authorized City Engineer Ken Coulter to prepare plans for the upgrade of the water main in conjunction with the Walnut Street project. A bid letting will be later in the fall for the project, which includes upgrading the 4-inch water main between Fifth Street and Santa Fe Avenue to a 6-inch main.  To fund the project, both local and federal funds will be used, according to the city engineer’s report. Coulter told the council the plan is for the work to be done next spring ahead of the road work to be completed in that area.

• Approved a request by the American Legion Post 9 to have live entertainment in its outdoor pavilion Sept. 27 and to extend the noise ordinance from 11 p.m. until midnight.

• Directed City Attorney Mike Seghetti to draft an agreement between the city and Ducks Unlimited to use and maintain city property. As Crew explained, the area is known as the Chillicothe Bottoms adjacent to city property near Moffitt Nature Park. The move will allow Ducks Unlimited direct access to the property.

• Approved paying $4,867 to Security Electronics Integration Co. to replace two doors and add an auto lock/unlock feature on the bathrooms at Cutright Park. Superintendent of Public Works Josh Cooper said the locks would be similar to what the park district uses at the bathrooms at Santa Fe Park.

“This is going to take away the element of locking and unlocking each day,” Cooper said.

That will not take away the need for monitoring, as Alderman Mel Witte pointed out as some people put a stick in the door to keep the bathrooms open. The janitor will still check them each morning, Cooper said.

• Approved hiring Kerry Weir as a part-time dispatcher effective Aug. 13, subject to pre-employment testing.

• Accepted a letter from the Board of Police Commissioners Chairman Rich Underwood that Tim Podobinski was appointed to fill the position of probationary patrolman effective Aug. 12. City Clerk Maggie Hurd swore in Podobinski in front of the council and his family.

• Adopted a resolution approving a lease agreement with Imagination Products Corp. for a portion of the city-owned building at 227 W. Cedar St. The lease begins now and ends Feb. 28, 2015, with rent set at $500.

• Heard Alderwoman Trish Westerman-Connor say information was moving forward on River Sweep activities Sept. 20 with a group or two interested in helping clean up the riverfront.

• Heard from Harry Burdick about problems at the Chillicothe Skate Park. As a neighborhood resident, he said with the parking lot being installed, the park has become a hangout place for as many as 18 to 25 vehicles. Additionally, there are garbage problems, foul language used and people riding on top of vehicles up and down the streets. The police have been there numerous times, he said. Police Chief Scott Mettille said he had contacted park district officials and they are going to work on resolving the problems. Mettille also suggested they could meet with the neighbors to address the problems.

• Recognized Sgt. Nick Bridges for his leadership award through the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police.

• Recognized Bridges and Officers Doug Hahn and Carl Brown Jr. for their award through the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists. AAIM named them “top cops” from the award Alderman Mike Hughes read in making driving under the influence arrests during AAIM’s DUI survey for 2013. Bridges led the arrests with 13, and Hahn and Brown each had nine.