Council hears recap of live-fire experiments

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — Sidney Fire Chief Brad Jones presented Sidney City Council Monday with a recap of Sidney Fire Department’s recent partnership with Underwriter Laboratories Firefighter Safety Research Institute (UL FSRI) on their live-fire experiments.

At the top of the meeting, Jones displayed videos and pictures of the 10 experiments conducted from May 31 through June 12 at four locations in Sidney. He reminded council that UL FSRI advances fire research knowledge and develops cutting edge, practical fire service education. The Illinois Fire Service Institute Research (IFSI) also participated in the experiments which studied how water application and ventilation impacted the fire’s behavior and occupants in a burning home. He said they utilized no more than 35 gallons of water during the experiments.

Jones noted that 12 regional fire departments participated and the attending members of the UL’s technical and advisory board came from 14 cities spanning from across the country.

Council praised Jones and his department on the two-week event. Council member Ed Hamaker commented that the live fire experiments “ranked at the top” of the events he has been to in Sidney and said watching the event was “fantastic.”

“What we have done at a national level, for the fire service and for ‘Mrs. Smith,’ for the tactics we are going to apply and use five years from now, they will forever talk about this as the ‘Sidney Experiments’ that happened in Sidney, Ohio. And that’s very cool,” Jones said after admitting he was about to become teary-eyed when recalling the two-week event, which he said was in the “top two or three, or even one” of his 25-year career.

Mayor Mike Barhorst concurred with Jones and shared what a UL FSRI member said to him that “this will forever be remembered as the ‘Sidney, Ohio Experiments.’ He also said it will be translated into 25 different languages and be distributed across 90-some different countries. So that to me is pretty remarkable. If we didn’t have an international reputation before, we will now.”

In other business, council adopted an ordinance to proceed street lighting improvements. Gary Clough, assistant city manager/public works director recommended an increase in rates by 1 cent. The “standard” lights rates will increase to 32 cents per lineal foot, up from 31 cents; and “decorative” street lights will increase to $1.12 per lineal foot, up from $1.11, after the certified assessed ordinance is submitted to the Shelby County Auditor’s Office to be placed on property taxes. Council will be introduced to the ordinance for the assessment on July 9.

Council was also introduced an ordinances to assess the cost of the removal of litter or junk.

Finance Officer Ginger Adams told council the assessed cost of the junk removal is for outstanding invoices through May 8, which remain outstanding as of June 15. The invoiced amount is the actual cost of the junk removal plus 20 percent. Six properties will be assessed a total of $663.60. The ordinance will return to council for further consideration on July 9.

Two resolutions were also adopted by council to reappoint David Fogt and Don Goettemoeller to the Revolving Loan Committee and to accept the plat titled “Shiflett replat.”

City Manager Mark Cundiff said Fogt and Goettemoeller have agreed to serve new three-year terms which will expire July 1, 2021. Fogt has served on this committee since 1992 and Goettemoeller has served since 1996.

After the Planning Commission’s June meeting, it recommend for council to approve the request of Britt Havenar, on behalf of Kathleen Shiflett, for a replat to create new one lot from two lots at 743 Chestnut Ave. in the single family residential district. Community Services Director Barbara Dulworth said the purpose of the replat is to create one lot on which a single family residence and accessory buildings are built.

Parks and Recreation Director Duane Gaier reminded the public about the 70th anniversary celebration of Tawawa Park this Saturday, June 30, which is being hosted by Sidney Parks and Recreation Department and the Shelby County Historical Society.

Council member Steve Wagner asked Clough if the entrance of Tawawa Park will be paved before the weekend festivities? Gaier shared that he asked for the paving work to be delayed due to heavy traffic in the area due to ongoing swimming lessons at the Sidney Municipal Pool.

Barhorst said Shelby County United Way Director Scott Barr thanked everyone for helping on the Day of Action at the New Choices building. Through Barhorst, Barr named and thanked each city staff and council member, and family members, and said the location never looked better.

Police Chief Will Balling announced the police department and fire department will be conducting an active shooter drill at Sidney Christian Academy School on Friday morning, June 29.

Cundiff reminded council members the July 2 workshop meeting is canceled. Council’s next meeting will be on July 9. He also announced the city’s submitted Small Cities Grant application for the Russell Road reconstruction project was not funded; therefore, staff will review the five-year financial plan to adjust project schedules.

Upon researching legal ad fees, Cundiff shared the cost to advertise for the Downtown Revitalization District application is estimated to be $120. He recommended waiving the one-time program application fee for businesses that will be located in the district. Council members were in agreement with his recommendation.

Finally, Cundiff also shared there is a YouTube video posted of trespassers in the Wagner building on Fair Road. He said police are investigating and charges will be filed if the individuals can be identified.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.