SIDNEY — Sidney’s new code enforcement officer, James Vagnone, was introduced to the Sidney City Council Monday.
Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth told council Vagnone joined Sidney city staff July 16.
Vagnone has extensive experience with code enforcement, having been a code enforcement officer, building inspector, plans examiner and interim building official in Lake County, California for several years, Dulworth said. Vagnone graduated from Springfield East and Clark County JVS, and also studied the Spanish language in Lakeport, California. He also maintains several certifications from the International Code Council.
When asked if he wanted to say anything, Vagnone told council, “It’s nice to be here in Sidney providing help to keep the community nice, as it is,” and that working with Dulworth has been nice as she has provided a lot of help.
In other business, council adopted two ordinances to levy a special assessment for street lighting improvements and to assess the cost of repairs of dangerous buildings.
The special assessment for the cost of the abatement of dangerous building conditions, which were not corrected by the owners, are located at 701 Taft St. and 114 N. Ohio Ave.
On Nov. 27, 2017, the city demolished a detached garage at the Taft Street property due to structural decay. The garage roof and walls were severely damaged and the building was in danger of collapsing into the alley way, Dulworth said. The total cost to the city for the demolition was $2,500.
The owner of the dangerous building on North Ohio Avenue, resulting from a fire in April 2017, replaced the damaged roof, but failed to replace the broken windows. Shortly after the fire, Dulworth said, a property owner representative indicated their intent to complete the repairs, but after several unsuccessful subsequent contact attempts, the city boarded the building’s upper story windows and replaced the street level-windows in early 2018. The total cost to the city of Sidney was $2,796.39.
In both cases, Dulworth said on Monday, the owners were invoiced twice, but no payment has been received by the city.
Wagner ask if there has been any communication from the owners, to which Dulworth said there had not been. Council member Joe Ratermann asked what happens if the owners refuse to pay. Dulworth said the amounts owed will be assessed with their property taxes, but if the property owners refuse to pay, the properties could be susceptible to tax foreclosures.
Council also adopted three resolutions to accept a plat titled “right of way dedication plat,” to authorize City Manager Mark Cundiff to enter into an cooperative agreement with the Dayton-Montgomery County Port Authority (DMCPA) and Cargill Inc. for economic development opportunities, and to authorize Cundiff to advertise for bids for the Ruth Street Stormwater improvements.
• The “right of way dedication plat” was requested by Loves Travel Stops & Country Stores Inc. for the approval of the dedication of 0.333 acres of right of way for Vandemark Road, south of Fair Road, to ensure Vandemark Road has the required width for constructing the street and utilities for Loves’ development.
Dulworth said the right-of-way will have a total width of 85 feet, which is adequate width for a secondary thoroughfare. She said the street improvements on Vandemark Road will ensure the street is adequately sized and engineered to handle the Love’s expected truck traffic.
• Cundiff said the DMCPA is statutorily empowered to provide economic development support in ways unavailable to the Sidney. However, he said, to provide this support outside of Montgomery County, there must be a cooperative agreement between the Sidney, the DMCPA, and the business who will receive the support, which in this case is Cargill.
During the public comments portion of the meeting, Sidney resident Kathy Danzig spoke on her mother’s behalf asking council if anything can be done about the dilapidated, abandoned homes and trash/junk around those building on her mother’s street on Brooklyn Avenue. She told council her mother is struggling to sell her home, which Danzig said is very well maintained, because of the environment where her home is located.
Dulworth noted some of the issues brought forth would be addressed by the impending vacant property registration program that council and city staff has been working to implement.
Vice Mayor Mardie Milligan, who conducted Monday’s meeting in Mayor Mike Barhorst’s absence, asked for Danzig’s contact information and said they would follow up with her.
During the city manager’s remarks, Cundiff announced that Sidney’s finance department has earned the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award again this year. He and council congratulated Finance Officer Ginger Adams and her department for their good work in receiving the award. He said city staff is also working on the financial quarterly, mid-year review and reviewing the city’s five year budget plan since adjustments need to be made.
Cundiff also shared that during the annual clean sweep of 6.5 miles of the Great Miami River last week, 1.5 tons of trash was removed.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.