Mark and Lisa Kouse were presented with a Neighborhood Beautification Award for work on their property at 1220 Spruce Ave. at a CIty Council meeting on Sept. 25. Pictured are Sidney Community Development Specialist Kyle Havenar, left to right, Lisa Kouse, Mark Kouse, Sidney City Manager Andrew Bowsher and Sidney Mayor Mardie Milligan.

Photo submitted by Sidney City Clerk Kari Egbert

By Charlotte Caldwell
[email protected]

SIDNEY – The 2023 Neighborhood Beautification Awards were presented at the City Council meeting on Sept. 25.

These awards are given to recognize exterior improvements to residences including exterior renovation and rehabilitation, general clean-up, landscaping, or any other activity that improves the property and neighborhood.

The Citizen’s Peer Review Committee unanimously chose Mark and Lisa Kouse at 1220 Spruce Ave. and Todd and Marla Lauth at 238 W. North St. for the awards this year. The Kouse’s improvements included exterior paint, landscaping, new window, new blacktop on the driveway and lighting. The Lauth’s improvements included exterior trim paint, landscaping, flowers, and removal of deteriorated railing.

The council adopted two ordinances and four resolutions, including:

• An ordinance amending the traffic control map to establish three handicap parking spaces in front of the Upper Room Christian Center at 1106 N. Main Ave. as requested by the church. The ordinance was first introduced at the Sept. 11 council meeting;

• An ordinance authorizing supplemental appropriations of $158,750 for 2023 for grant-funded projects. The ordinance was introduced and adopted at the meeting so the projects can commence;

• A resolution confirming the city’s submittal of a grant application to the U.S. Department of Aviation, Federal Aviation Administration, for an Airport Improvement Program grant of $3,985,161 for the construction of a partial parallel taxiway to Runway 10/28 at the Sidney Municipal Airport. The total estimated cost of the project is $4,427,957, so the city’s local share of the project will be $221,398, or 5%;

• A resolution authorizing the city’s submittal of a grant application to the Ohio Department of Transportation, Office of Aviation for an Ohio Airport Improvement Grant to cover the city’s local share of the airport taxiway project;

• A resolution confirming Maggi Williams to a new five-year term on the Sidney Compensation Commission which will expire on Oct. 1, 2028. The commission determines the annual salary of the mayor and members of council;

• A resolution reappointing Nathan Burns to a new three-year term on the Shelby County Regional Planning Commission which will expire on Dec. 31, 2026. The Planning Commission approved this at its Sept. 18 meeting.

They also approved the August summary financial report and excused Councilmember Scott Roddy who was not in attendance.

A discussion was held regarding ATV/dirt bike/golf cart/motorized bicycle operation and safety and/or noise concerns within city limits. Police Chief Mark McDonough and Deputy Chief Aaron Rode presented their findings in the city’s ordinances for this issue and said the issue is mostly due to juveniles. City Manager Andrew Bowsher emphasized people with complaints should call the police department’s non-emergency line when the incident is happening so a police officer can witness it and issue a citation, rather than hours afterward.

“We want to make the difference between some of these powered motorbikes, things with an engine that are loud, and pedal-assisted electric bikes that are bicycles that are being used on our trails and done the right way,” Bowsher said. “We are absolutely a trail community and we want that to continue, and we certainly don’t want to create rules that prohibit individuals from being able to use regular bicycles or pedal-assisted bicycles that have a small electric motor on them that are used very widely up and down.”

The council also questioned if there are speed limits on the trails which will be followed up on.

The charter amendment awareness campaign in regard to the issue that will be on the ballot in November was also discussed. Four options were presented for advertising, and most of the council thought sending a postcard to only registered voters in Sidney would be the best option. An emergency ordinance would need to be adopted at the Oct. 9 meeting to approve money to be spent on the campaign.

The next City Council meeting will be a workshop meeting on Oct. 2 at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall’s council chambers.