SIDNEY — Sidney City Council was introduced to Jim Hill, the new executive director of Sidney-Shelby Economic Partnership, (SSEP) during Monday evening’s meeting.
Hill’s first day in his new role was Monday, April 23. He will be shadowing Executive Director Mike Dodds until he retires on May 11.
Previously, Hill served as economic development director in Miami and Darke Counties, and as business incubation manager at The Entrepreneurs Center in Dayton.
City Manager Mark Cundiff told council most recently Hill had “successfully led the Sinclair Community College launch of Ohio TechNet, which is a collaborative effort to create and deliver a new innovative competency-based model for advanced manufacturing.”
Also on Monday, the city of Sidney received a commendation for being recognized by Site Selection Magazine as one of 10 communities to tie for 18th place among the top 100 micropolitans in the nation in 2017. Elaine Herrick, regional liaison for the Ohio Secretary of State, presented the honor to Mayor Mike Barhorst and Dodds.
Dodds, who was attending his last City Council meeting Monday as executive director of SSEP, thanked council for the experience over the last 11 years of working with Sidney’s city staff and council.
Barhorst thanked Dodds for his good work and welcomed Hill.
In other business, council was introduced to and adopted an ordinance as an emergency to establish general procedures and standards for the underground or overhead siting, construction, placement, collocation, or modification, of small cell facilities and/or wireless support structures within Sidney.
The city of Sidney recently joined 42 other Ohio communities in a lawsuit declaring a senate bill that removes the cities’ authority to regulate and control the placement of cell phone towers within the public right-of-way unconstitutional.
Gary Clough, assistant city manager/public works director, told council the ordinance is required to protect the city’s interests with passage of a house bill pertaining to the placement and operation of small cell towers within municipalities. He said the ordinance must be in effect at least 90 days prior to the submittal of a small cell tower application for the standards to be applicable.
The ordinance was adopted as an emergency because it must be in effect before the House and Senate bills, yet to be signed by the governor, becomes effective. Gov. John Kasich is expected to sign the bills before the end of the month; the legislation will then will become effective 90 days afterward, Clough said.
Council also adopted eight resolutions, and they are:
• To reappoint Ann Asher to the tree board to a new three-year term that will expire on April 30, 2021. Barhorst noted that she has served on the board for some time (since 2007) and does a “perfect job.”
• To reappoint Mardie Milligan and Gregory Bonnoront to the downtown design review board for new three-year terms that will expire on May 1, 2021. Both members have served on the board since its inception on May 12, 1997.
• To authorize Cundiff to enter into a special event agreement with Sidney Alive in connection with the Kentucky Derby Affair on the Courthouse Square on Saturday, May 5, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The event will feature a foot race along city sidewalks. During the event, Cundiff said there will also be a bourbon tasting within the confines of the Courthouse Square, which is county property. For this purpose, a liquor permit has been filed with the county.
• To adopt the following goals council set during the biennial retreat: continuing to develop an underground water source; continuing to pursue enhanced recreational opportunities by developing recreational trails; focusing on downtown revitalization; find ways to revitalize neighborhoods, including the downtown; and to effectively communicate the need for permanent tax levy funding to provide for improved public safety services and the need for permanent tax levy funding to provide for an ongoing aggressive street maintenance program.
• To accept a waterline easement for the operation, maintenance and replacement of waterlines from Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores Inc. on the southeast corner of South Vandemark and and Fair Road.
• To accept the recommendations from the Tax Incentive Review Council regarding enterprise zone, community reinvestment area, and tax increment financing agreements.
Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth said all of the companies are in compliance with their agreement except for Edgewell Personal Care, which is 14 employees below the number it committed to employ. She said difficulty recruiting new employees and the automation of existing production lines to make room for a new production line are their two primary issues.
Dulworth responded to Council member Ed Hamaker’s question of whether a new production line would to bring up the number of employees, by saying that the business hopes but is not 100 percent certain they will get a new production line.
She said the Tax Incentive Review Council determined, due to the factors related to Edgewell’s investment and job commitments, allowing the business to continue with another year under review is appropriate.
• To authorize Cundiff to enter into a community investment area (CRA) tax abatement agreement with Sunrise Hospitality Inc. It is for a proposed 79-guest extended stay hotel development to be located on a county parcel to the south of Holiday Inn Express on Folkerth Avenue. The CRA recommended a 10-year, 90 percent abatement based on the amount of the investment and benefit to the community.
The total investment for which tax abatement is requested is estimated at $6,800,000. The business is expected to create eight full-time and 12 part-time positions.
• To accept the repat of the undeveloped lot at the southeast intersection of Michigan Street and Lester Avenue in the community business district. The replat will result in one 1.805 acre lot and one 0.599 acre lot. The city is currently reviewing a site plan for a Verizon Wireless store on the smaller lot.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.