SIDNEY — Sidney City Council completed its review of the 2022 budget Monday night, including a look at the Sidney Police and Fire Departments and the goals of the community development department.
Police Chief Will Balling outlined the police department’s numerous goals and objectives for 2022, which includes providing administrative service to support the department, continued long-term leadership training and development of supervisors, continued policy and procedure development for all staff, to maintain compliance standards, restart some community relations programs and continued work to reduce drug use in the community.
Balling said after a pause in 2020, due to the coronavirus, next year the police department intends to continue with the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD), youth RAD and Safety Town programs and the Sidney Addict Assistance Team (SAAT) and encourage community police contacts.
They plan to expand investigations in 2022 on the dark web. Balling said they intend to partner with the Ohio State Highway Patrol in intelligence sharing and joint investigation operations. The department will also provide drug education, execute search warrants, review investigator performance, audit the property room and assist the property room manager.
He said they plan to continue to increase traffic and parking enforcement. They also intend to try to reduce OVI-related crashes and support drug investigations, among other goals.
The department’s budget for next year is about $6.59 million.
Fire Chief Chad Hollinger presented the goals and objectives of the Sidney Department of Fire and Emergency Services for 2022.
Hollinger told council continued training and education is one of the department’s goals for administration, fire operations and fire prevention. He said they are making it a priority to responding to emergency calls in a timely mannerd, by getting the times down under two minuets for firefighters to get out the door, on the truck and on the way to an emergency.
Other fire operation goals are to maintain team proficiency, individual skill knowledge and abilities. Hollinger is looking at ways to save money by using city staff maintenance workers to conduct all possible maintenance on fire equipment apparatus. The department will collaborate with Wilson Health to help fire department members stay in shape and improve quality of life. Hollinger said another goal is to improve develop internal and external relationships through department cultural changes.
From the fire prevention division, the goal is to perform fire safety inspections at all occupancies once every three years, per department inspection schedule; provide fire safety education to children pre-K through the elderly population, and youngsters ordered to participate in the Juvenile Fire Setter education program. Also the department aims to provide citizens with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, workforce education opportunities and enhanced fire safety practices.
The department’s total budget for next year is about $5.66 million.
Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth discussed her department’s goals, which includes planning and zoning, building inspection, code enforcement and city hall. Among goals and objectives for 2022 includes to continue: maintenance of building systems, annual analysis of whether to renovate or replace the City Hall Building, and review building components for potential energy efficient cost reductions.
Legislation on the appropriations ordinance will be up for adoption Nov. 22.
In other business, Council was introduced to two ordinances to levy special assessments for construction of certain sidewalks in Sidney and to amend sections of the codified ordinances relating to water, sewer, stormwater and solid waste collection rates.
Property owners will then be given 60 days to pay the bill for sidewalk repairs or have it placed (assessed) on their property taxes over a five year period through the Shelby County Auditor’s Office.
The utility ordinance would establish utility and sanitation rates. Most users would see about a 3% rate increase. The proposed water, sewer, stormwater & trash pick-up rate changes would increase the low volume user’s bill by $1.66 per month. The average family of four should see an increase of $3.43 per month.
City Council also adopted resolution to authorize the granting of a revocable license to Wellspace Therapeutics for a business sign at 1130 Wapakoneta Ave. to allow it in the right-of-way.
During comments at the end of the meeting, Vice Mayor Mardie Milligan asked for city staff to look at the time set to allow pedestrians to make it across the street on a walk signal downtown.
Mayor Mike Barhorst announced the city will be accepting applications through Nov. 30 for the empty council seat to be appointed.
Also, Sidney’s new City manager Andrew Bowsher attended his first Sidney City Council meeting Monday as the city manager. During city manager comments, he said he was grateful for the opportunity to be in Sidney and commented on the wonderful city staff he will be working with.
He reminded the public trash will not be picked up on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 25, and therefore will be delayed by a day the remainder of the week. Also, Bowsher said the weekly pick up of yard waste by Republic will end on Nov. 30, but will then be picked up by the city of Sidney bimonthly through April.