Council honors autism month


By Sheryl Roadcap - sroadcap@aimmediamidwest.com



Mayor Mike Barhorst presents the proclamation of Autism Awareness Month and Day in Sidney to Shane and Jenny Holbrook and their two children during Monday’s City Council meeting. Barhorst proclaimed April to be Autism Awareness Month and April 2, 2018, as World Autism Awareness Day in the city of Sidney.

Mayor Mike Barhorst presents the proclamation of Autism Awareness Month and Day in Sidney to Shane and Jenny Holbrook and their two children during Monday’s City Council meeting. Barhorst proclaimed April to be Autism Awareness Month and April 2, 2018, as World Autism Awareness Day in the city of Sidney.


Sheryl Roadcap | Sidney Daily News

SIDNEY — April is officially Autism Awareness Month in the city of Sidney.

Mayor Mike Barhorst also presented proclamations on Community Development Week and Arbor Day during City Council’s workshop session, Monday.

Along with the Autism Awareness Month proclamation, Barhorst included Monday, April 2, 2018, as World Autism Awareness Day in Sidney. Barhorst presented the proclamation to Sidney residents Shane and Jenny Holbrook and their two children at the beginning of the meeting.

Autism is the fasted growing developmental disability in the United States. Barhorst said the disability affects more than three million people and is an “urgent health crisis that demands a national response.”

He noted that Autism Speaks, an autism advocacy organization that sponsors autism research and conducts awareness and outreach activities, holds their “Light It Up Blue!” campaign on World Autism Awareness Day. The campaign is designed to increase autism awareness by asking participating organizations to turn their lights blue. In accordance, the mayor urged citizens to display blue lights at their homes and businesses, or wear blue, on April 2.

Barhorst also proclaimed April 2-6, 2018, as Community Development Week in Sidney after it was designated so by the National Community Development Association. He presented the proclamation to City Manager Mark Cundiff in front of council Monday to celebrate the Community Development Block Grant Program and the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Programs.

The Community Development Block Grant Program annually provides funding for decent, affordable living and economic opportunities for low and moderate income citizens. In years 2016-2017, the Community Development Block Grant Program assisted 31 local households. Funds in the amount of $357,871 were provided for “housing activities, such as construction, rehabilitation, home buyer assistance, lead-based paint testing and abatement, and code enforcement, among other things,” Barhorst said.

The HOME program provides funding to local communities to create decent, affordable housing opportunities for low income citizens. The HOME program assisted three households within 2016-2017.

The final proclamation Barhorst presented Monday was for Arbor Day to be observed on April 27, 2018, in Sidney. He noted the city has been recognized as a Tree City since 1989 and is also a member of Tree City USA. The proclamation was presented to Tree Board Chair Ann Asher, city Arborist/Street Manager Brian Green, Board member Anne Sharp and city Arborist/Public Works Administrator Joyce Reier.

In other business, Street Manager Brian Green gave council an update on 2018’s Urban Forestry projects and programs. He reported Sidney’s Arbor Day celebration will be on April 28 at Sidney Christian Academy Schools; the time has yet to be determined.

Green reiterated Barhorst that Sidney has been named a tree city for the 29th consecutive year and that the city is a member of Tree City USA.

He also told council the city of Sidney recently received the Arbor Day Foundation’s Growth Award. The award recognizes higher levels of tree care, including education and public relations, partnerships, planning an management and tree planting and maintenance.

The city’s street tree pruning began last week, Green said. He also reported there are approximately 200 remaining ash trees remaining in Sidney. Approximately 1800 street and park trees have been removed since 2011; 90 percent were ash trees, Green said. The city is expected to remove about 50 ash trees in 2018.

Residents who are interested in planting or replacing a tree in the right of way may contact city staff to apply to install another tree, but residents must do the planting work themselves.

Council member Darryl Thurber asked if there was a local, state or national plan to plant more ash trees after hopefully the emerald ash borer beetle, which are killing the ash trees, dies off, and if any progress has been made on getting rid of the beetle. Reier and Green said they are uncertain about a set planting plan and that there has been some work toward ridding the beetle, but that no break through has come along yet.

Green said they have $10,000 budgeted for approximately 28 trees to be planted in Sidney parks and street right of way areas this year. In 2017 they planted 28 trees in right of way areas from the $10,000 budgeted for plantings.

Green also reported the tree board intends to hold a tree sale again this year. Last year’s tree purchase program resulted in 300 trees sold.

Barhorst and Sharp were congratulated by Green on their recent graduation from the Tree Commission Academy. He said they join former graduates, Reier and City Park Ranger Justin Aselage, in completing the two-year program.

Cundiff reviewed City Council’s agenda for the biennial retreat scheduled for April 9, 2018, at 8:45 a.m, at Fire Station 1, the upcoming Zoning Board Agenda for Monday, March 19, 2018, and the prospective City Council Agenda items for the next 30 days. There will be no Planning Commission meeting in March, he said, as nothing is on the agenda to be considered.

In addition, council went into an executive session to discuss the discipline of a public employee, pending or imminent court action and to consider the purchase of property for public purposes. Council took no action was taken after the meeting.

Mayor Mike Barhorst presents the proclamation of Autism Awareness Month and Day in Sidney to Shane and Jenny Holbrook and their two children during Monday’s City Council meeting. Barhorst proclaimed April to be Autism Awareness Month and April 2, 2018, as World Autism Awareness Day in the city of Sidney.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2018/04/web1_autism-awareness-1.jpgMayor Mike Barhorst presents the proclamation of Autism Awareness Month and Day in Sidney to Shane and Jenny Holbrook and their two children during Monday’s City Council meeting. Barhorst proclaimed April to be Autism Awareness Month and April 2, 2018, as World Autism Awareness Day in the city of Sidney. Sheryl Roadcap | Sidney Daily News

By Sheryl Roadcap

sroadcap@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.