Monday evening, Chillicothe Council talked about city facilities in various ways.
In a special council session, one ordinance was given a second reading regarding problems with a contractor's work on the water treatment plant. Pat Patrick explained a contractor didn't finish work on the water treatment plant roof, and allowed material to fall through its garage roof.
Because of that, Patrick says MNE from Franklin County was only partly paid in 2016. But they are suing the city because they were not fully paid, and could not pay their suppliers...and thus allege they have been defamed by the city.
Patrick says the city paid others for repairs and to finish the work.
The deadline for the arbitrated lawsuit is Thursday, but she says the law director is trying to get an extension so the city can get more information. They hope the city's bonding company, which is essentially insurance, will pay for damages.
In his 4th or 5th time before council in his seven months on the job, City Utilities Director Dave Fishel gave an overview of work starting on four facilities: the wastewater treatment plant, water treatment plant, distribution and collection, and billing and administration.
He said it is an aggressive schedule but he has much confidence in it, and is keeping council informed.
The biggest task is the wastewater treatment plant, where the city must comply with upcoming EPA regulations in a plant built in the 1950s and updated, but deteriorating.
Overall, the city is making a big investment. Fishel describes $27,000,000 for engineering, design, and construction, with a two to three-year time span.
Fishel said he had to figure out what he inherited in his job, focus on what to do as the city moves forward, but also leave a good paper trail for his descendants.
Council also continued to assess the major properties the city owns, and what to do with them.
Kevin Coleman regularly reports on Chillicothe & Circleville councils and local culture