Council adopts 5-year plan

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — The city of Sidney’s new five-year plan for years 2019 through 2023 was adopted by Sidney City Council Monday evening.

Assistant City Manager/Public Works Director, Gary Clough, who was sitting in for the absence of City Manager Mark Cundiff, and Finance Officer Ginger Adams presented council with the resolution for the five-year financial plan.

They responded to council’s previously expressed concern of the “steady upward creep of (city staff) employment over the previous few years” with a breakdown by department of examples of the increased workload in almost every department over the last 10 years.

Clough also told council the proposed staffing additions calls for 13.78 additional full-time employees (FTE) over the life of the five-year plan. Seven of these positions, he said, are full-time fire personnel to staff the proposed third fire station, and are dependent upon passage of a permanent income tax increase.

He also noted with all of those additions, the proposed staffing level by 2023 will still be 2 percent lower than 2008 FTE staffing levels. Without the additional fire personnel needed to staff the new third fire station, the proposed staffing levels by 2023 would be 5 percent below 2008 FTE staffing levels.

Mayor Mike Barhorst, Vice Mayor Mardie Milligan and Council members Steve Wagner and Darryl Thurber thanked city staff members for presenting the information and praised them for the good job done with more work despite the lower number of employees over the last 10 years. However, although they still expressed some concern about increasing staff levels, they felt the increase is needed. After a brief discussion, council voted to approve the five-year plan.

Council was introduced to an ordinance to amend a chapter regarding abatement orders for dangerous buildings. Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth told council changing the words from the building inspector to a certified building inspector will improve the city’s ability to respond to dangerous buildings. She explained that the change would give more than one inspector the ability to post orders if the person who typically responds to dangerous buildings would be unavailable. The ordinance will return for further deliberation at council’s Oct. 8 meeting.

Council also adopted two ordinances assessing the cost of the removal of litter or junk or weed cutting and levy special assessments for the construction and replacement of certain curb and gutters in the city.

The ordinance for assessing the cost of weed cutting or the removal of junk is for outstanding invoices through Aug. 1, which remain outstanding as of Sept. 5. For weed mowing violations, the invoiced amount is the actual cost of the mowing plus $50 for the first weed cutting, $75 for the second cutting and $100 for each cutting thereafter. For junk removal violations, the invoiced amount is the actual cost of the junk removal plus 20 percent. A total of 37 properties will be assessed a total of $10,608.75 for weed cutting and another five properties will be assessed a total of $1,101.60 for junk removal.

The ordinance to levy the assessments for the 2018 curb and gutter program are for repairs that were completed by a city contractor. Notices of payment due will be sent to residents two weeks after Monday’s adoption of the ordinance. Property owners will then be given 60 days to pay the bill or have it placed on their property taxes over a five-year period through the Shelby County Auditor’s Office.

Other than the five-year financial plan, council also adopted a resolution to confirm the appointment of Maggi Williams to the Compensation Committee. Williams will replace Jim Daniel who did not wish to be reappointed to a new five-year term. Williams’s term will expire Oct. 1, 2023.

During council member comments, Thurber asked for an status update on the Ohio Building’s roof replacement. Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth told council the architects are about to submit a building permit application and that work is expected to begin in mid to late October. The roof work should be ongoing throughout the winter to be completed.

At the end of the meeting, Clough announced there will be a trash route change, starting on Jan. 1, for areas south of Russell Road and east of Broadway Avenue. Their scheduled trash pickup day will change from Wednesday to Tuesday, due to increased number of new accounts in the Plum Ridge area.

He also shared the city successfully ordered four new police cruisers, reminded all that aggregation contract rates will be going down and gave a brief update on the agreement with Ruth Street residents for their storm drain repairs.

Clough said the residents’ deadline to receive the agreement with the city to pay $300 per residence for necessary storm drain repairs was Monday, Sept. 17. The city only received 12 out of 30 agreements. He said city staff plans to follow up with residents who did not send in an agreement to see if anyone had a last minute change of mind of intent to submit and proceed from there.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.