SIDNEY — Sidney City Council OK’d an ordinance for the vacation of a portion of the north-south alley at Amos Memorial Public Library Monday evening.

The Shelby County Libraries petitioned for the vacation of a portion of the north-south alley, north of North Street between Main and Miami Avenues, which the Planning Commission OK’d at its May 16 meeting. The alley right-of-way is located between the Amos library building and the associated library parking facility in the south half of the block between North Street and Lane Street, Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth explained.

This alley right-of-way is an improved (paved) part of the city’s transportation network, Dulworth said. Generally, she said, city staff does not recommend vacating an improved and used portion of the city’s right-of-way. In this case, the primary users of the alley are library patrons. She noted city staff requested the library provide feedback from adjacent property owners to the north-south alley in the north half of the block, as those properties would be affected more than anyone else in the community if the south half of the alley is vacated. All property owners in the north half have provided their consent.

The commission resolved to recommend for the Sidney City Council to approve the right-of-way vacation petition under the following two conditions:

• If City Council approves the right-of-way vacation, the library must put in place temporary barricades at the entrance to the alley at North Street to gauge the effect of the removal of the southern entrance to the alley/drive aisle.

• Include in the vacation ordinance, that if at any point in the future, the library expands their off-street parking to the south, adjacent to North Street, the existing alley/drive entrance is permanently removed and a new drive entrance is constructed directly into the parking facility.

In other business, City Council adopted an ordinance to assess the cost to demolish a dangerous multi-family structure at 314 N. Ohio Ave.

Dulworth told council this structure was first noted as having a rear addition in danger of collapse in 2020. When the owner failed to take action, the city hired a contractor to raze the rear addition in February 2021. At that time, the owner was also notified of actions required for the remaining structure to stabilize and make safe. In April 2021, the building inspector noted signs of structural failure on the front façade and deemed the structure in danger of collapse. Again, the owner was notified of the requirement to raze or repair and failed to effect the necessary structural repairs.

Because this property was a multi-family use, she said, and had been occupied at the time it was deemed dangerous and unfit for human habitation, the demolition included costs that demolition of an unoccupied single family dwelling would not incur, including:

• An asbestos survey and abatement — $9,745;

• Due to infestation of bed bugs, treatment was required prior to demolition — $589;

• Removal of personal property from the building, including notice in newspaper to former tenants — $582.14;

• Board-up of several windows that were removed by unknown parties — $600;

• Demolition — $26,995.

Dulworth said the above activities were completed between July and December 2021 at a total cost of $38,511.14. The owner has been invoiced twice for the cost of the demolition, but no payments have been made. This ordinance would assess the cost of abating dangerous building conditions which were not corrected by the owner.

This item will return to the Sidney City Council for further consideration at its June 27 meeting.

Also Monday, City Council discussed and determined it necessary to bring forth legislation for preparing to place a public saftey fire/EMS levy and changes to the city charter on a future election ballot.

During comments at the end of the meeting, Mayor Mardie Milligan thanked all who participated in the United Way Day of Action on June 2. She also thanked Council member/former Mayor Mike Barhorst for bringing together a group of mayors from across the state of Ohio for a function she attended, as Barhorst is the president of the Association of Ohio Mayors.

Sidney Police Chief Will Balling shared some information about upcoming programs this summer with the department such as: safety classes for the youth and Coffee with a Cop which will also be with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio State Highway Patrol at the Senior Center of Shelby County in July.

City Manager Andrew Bowsher shared information on the following:

• The Sidney Music and Arts Festival is set for this June 17 and 18;

• GOBA, the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure, comes through this weekend;

• Encouraged residents to sign up for city automatice billing system online;

• The city’s recycling education and outreach program is now ongoing through July 29.

• The first neightborhood pride grant winners have been selected.

He also asked for continued patience with the construction projects in town.

By Sheryl Roadcap

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