Sidney police officers, citizens honored for life-saving efforts


By Charlotte Caldwell
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SIDNEY – Four police officers and two citizens received Life Saver Awards for their efforts at a house fire in July at a City Council meeting on Sept. 11.

Sidney Police Chief Mark McDonough and Deputy Chief Aaron Rode presented police officers Aaron Swiger, Virginia Helton, Grace Ruhenkamp and James Luana with the city’s Life Saver Award for saving an elderly citizen and a dog from a garage at a residential structure fire at 1624 Holly Place on July 13, 2023.

“Our officers showed remarkable courage and quick thinking while under great duress to assist a community member in a dire circumstance,” McDonough said.

Citizens Krysta Beekman and Orlando Johnson also received Life Saver Awards for trying to save the elderly citizen before first responders arrived and for helping once they arrived. They were unable to attend the meeting.

“Krysta and Orlando’s actions align seamlessly with the criteria for the Life Saver Award. Their intervention, determination, and compassion were instrumental in ensuring the safety and well-being of another individual. In the face of danger, Krysta and Orlando demonstrated an extraordinary level of care and selflessness that is truly commendable,” Sidney Fire Chief Chad Hollinger said.

Also at the beginning of the meeting, Mayor Mardie Milligan read a proclamation proclaiming Sept. 11, 2023, as September 11 Remembrance Day.

The council was introduced to an ordinance amending the city’s traffic control map to establish three parallel handicap parking spaces in front of the Upper Room Christian Center at 1106 N. Main Ave. to be voted on at the Sept. 25 meeting.

Three resolutions were adopted and included the following:

• Accepted the County Budget Commission’s estimate of the city share of the property tax levy inside the 10-mill limitation. The operating mills are estimated to be 3.20 mills which results in an annual operating estimate of $1,354,891;

• Accepted the 2024-2028 five-year financial plan, which was discussed at length at the Sept. 5 workshop meeting;

• Authorized the city to submit an application to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for State Fiscal Year 2025 funding from the Rural Transit Operating and Capital Grant programs and to execute a contract with ODOT upon grant application approval. Shelby Public Transit is requesting federal and state grant funding of $581,140 in operating funds and $63,700 in capital funds.

During staff comments, City Manager Andrew Bowsher mentioned Codified Ordinance Section 509.08 Unnecessary Noises; Prohibited Acts could be used to address the concerns about excessive noise from ATV and dirt bike use, specifically in the vicinity of North Wagner Avenue, as was discussed at a previous council meeting. This ordinance would only apply to locations inside of the corporation; any issues outside of city limits should be reported to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

The next city council meeting will be held on Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. in City Hall’s council chambers.

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