City Administrator Give 2019 State of the City Address
CT 03 22 19
During the Chillicothe Area Chamber of
Commerce's March luncheon, Mayor Reed Dupy and City Administrator Darin Chappell gave the annual State of the City address.
Chappell, who has been Chillicothe's city administrator for 18 months, updated the crowd on the status of various city departments. He
said that in his time here the police department alone has seen major changes and advancements.
City Administrator. CT PHOTO/ANGIE TALKEN
Recalling a standoff incident in August 2017 where shots were exchanged, Chappell said police officers inside the
home (including now Police Chief Jon Maples) had to yell out of a window because the
department's communication system did not allow them to be able to speak with other law enforcement or dispatch.
"It was a scary situation," Chappell recalled.
"Because of the antiquated communications system, we literally had officers inside the home who
were unable to communicate with dispatchers and other law enforcement who were right outside the same home. It was
unacceptable." Soon after, the city council approved the purchase of a $250,000 digital communication system, which was purchased last year.
Chappell noted the police officers have new uniforms and have increased their
non-policing involvement and interaction within the community under the leadership of Chief Maples. Maples has also been able to secure numerous
grants which have increase safety for police officers and aided in purchasing new the uniforms, among other items and allowed for additional training.
The fire department, Chappell said,
is a shining star in the city's departments. "Chief (Darrell) Wright
doesn't just think about how to increase safety today - he is looking years
ahead," Chappell said. In the next year, the city is planning to purchase a new ladder truck, and by doing so the
city's ISO rating will decrease. An ISO is a rating calculated on how well-equipped fire departments are to put out fires in their community and is a number that
insurance companies use to, in part, set homeowners insurance rates. Currently, Chappell said Chillicothe has an
ISO rating of a four. With the purchase of the new ladder truck, he and Wright expect the
city's rating to decrease to a three. When the fire department's ISO goes down, it can save taxpayers
The parks department is continuing to provide area residents with a variety of
activities and safe places to take part in those activities. Chappell noted that Chilli Bay will open at the end of May for the season.
"Our parks department has done a great job running and maintaining Chilli
Bay," he said. "It has become a great place for groups outside of our
county even to come and enjoy."
During the 2019 Chillicothe
Mudcat season, Chappell said the field at Shaffer Park will be named in honor of former
Mayor Chuck Haney.
Due to issues with funding availability from the FFA,
the new 5,000 foot runway at Chillicothe's airport is on hold. While the city has saved its $400,000 share of the runway costs, Chappell said the FFA has put projects on hold.
"We have been told May 1, 2020, but we are still not sure that is going to happen with the FFA putting new projects
on hold due to national debt," he said. The project is slated to cost $4
million; however, Chillicothe is only responsible for $400,000 of that.
Chillicothe has 160 miles of roadway for which the street department is responsible. Chappell said it is important to note, as he and other city officials have done countless times this winter, that Washington Street, or Highway 65, as it is also called is maintained by the Missouri Department of Transportation.
"MoDOT does not permit our street department to do any work on their
roadways," he said. "Our street department is a very hardworking group of people who have determination and drive,
and they do everything they can for our city streets and they do a good
job." Dupy noted the street department worked long hard hours this winter to plow the roads and then fill potholes as they could. The pothole repair work is ongoing on side streets and alleys.
"Considering the revenue, amount of work, and the integrity of the people who work for the city
- in all departments - I could not be prouder of the city government and the employees of this
city," Chappell said.