Council authorizes sale of Ohio Building


SIDNEY — A resolution authorizing the sale of the Ohio Building and an ordinance assessing costs for demolishing a dangerous structure were both approved Monday, June 27, during the Sidney City Council meeting.

Woodward Development requested the purchase agreement so the company could apply for the Transformational Mixed-Used Development (TUMD) program, which has $100 million in state support for various projects throughout the state. A signed purchase agreement is a requirement of the TMUD application.

Earlier in the spring, the city signed an agreement with Woodward Development to investigate the potential redevelopment of the Ohio Building, 113 N. Ohio Ave., which is 54,900-square-foot historic structure located in downtown Sidney. The company is looking to develop it into a mixed-use retail and residential unit property. The mixed-use redevelopment plan outlines commercial/retail space on the ground floor with 30-40 housing units on the upper floors. The housing units are expected to be one- and two-bedroom apartments.

“I can’t wait to vote yes,” said Steve Wagner, vice mayor. “This has been a long time coming.”

Mayor Mardie Milligan said this is just the beginning of the process for the building’s redevelopment.

“I’d like to commend Mike Barhorst for his work on the project,” said Milligan.

A total cost of $38,511.14 to demolish and its associated costs of a multi-family structure at 314 N. Ohio Ave. will be assessed to property owner Stephen E. Zweisler. Costs involved include asbestos survey and abatement, $9,745; bed bug infestation and treatment, $589; removal of personal property from the building including a notice in the newspaper to former tenants, $582.14; board-up of several windows that were removed by unknown parties, $600; and demolition, $26,995.

The associated costs occurred between July and December 2021.

The situation began in 2020 when it was noted the rear addition of the structure was in danger of collapse. When Zwiesler failed to take action, the city hired a contractor to raze the rear addition in February 2021.

At that time, the owner was notified of actions required for the remaining structure to stabilize and make it safe. In April 2021, the building inspector noted signs of structural failure on the front facade and deemed the structure in danger of collapse. The owner was notified and he failed to take the required action to make the structure safe.

The first reading of an ordinance which will levy street lighting assessments was held. The ordinance will return to council’s July 11 meeting.

The ordinance will levy a special assessment for the cost of street lighting against each lot or parcel of land in the city. The proposed rates will remain at 33 cents per lineal foot for standard lights and $1.13 per lineal for for “decorative” street lighting for 2022 and 2023.

Once the ordinance is adopted it will be submitted to the county auditor for placement on property taxes.

In other business, council:

• Heard from Boy Scout Wyatt Biddle who has built a Gaga Ball pit in Tawawa Park near the new pavilion at Big Rock. This is his Eagle Scout project.

• Reappointed Kenneth Jensen to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a five-year term ending June 30, 2027. He was first appointed to ZBA in January 2021.

• Reappointed Tom Burns to the Revolving Loan Committee for a three-year term which will expire July 1, 2025. He has served on the committee since 1997.

• Discussed joining the city of Cincinnati in defending legislation that was passed during the COVID-19 pandemic that allowed the continued collection of municipal income taxes from quarantined off-site workers. The legislation has been challenged in multiple jurisdiction across the state and the Cincinnati case will be held before the Ohio Supreme Court. The city will sign on the defense as a “friend of the court.”

• Went into executive session to discuss discipline of a public employee and pending court action. No action was taken on either issue.

In the absence of City Manager Andrew Bowsher, Milligan asked Clerk Kari Egbert to read the comments he had prepared for the meeting.

Egbert shared solid waste collection would be delayed one day next week due to the Independence Day holiday. She added city offices would also be closed on Monday for the holiday.

She urged those in attendance to attend the annual fireworks display and then thanked Wilson Health, Emerson Climate Technologies, Buckeye Ford, NK Telco, Cargill, Ferguson Construction, Goffena Furniture, Mutual Federal Savings Bank and S&S Hospitality Management for again sponsoring the annual display.

She added staff had begun treating for mosquitoes two weeks prior. Earlier in the year the city was awarded a Mosquito Control Grant from the Ohio Environment Protection Agency (OEPA) in the amount of $22,000, a portion of which has been used to purchase supplies to combat mosquito growth and development.

Egbert also shared the recent announcement from Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted about grant funding for the cleanup and remediation of the former Wagner Manufacturing Facility (440 Fair Road). She noted multiple funding sources have been committed by the state, county and city for the long awaited project.

Egbert also reported on the recycling survey and education outreach program currently underway. She shared that by volume, the largest category of unacceptable materials observed during the audit was No. 3-No. 7 plastics which are not acceptable in the curbside recycling program. By weight, the largest contaminant was ordinary trash. A smaller portion of the contamination was plastic bags. Residents are urged to refrain from using plastic bags in the recycling program.

By Melanie Speicher

[email protected]

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

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