Council wraps up end of year business

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — Sidney City Council covered a variety of topics as it wrapped up the city’s end of the year business Monday evening.

At the beginning of the meeting, Raise the Roof for the Arts’s new Executive Director Ian Hinz introduced himself to council. He invited everyone to attend the free movie playing Thursday evening, “The Polar Express,” at The Historic Sidney Theatre. Hinz was welcomed to Sidney by Mayor Mike Barhorst and received a round of applause from all in attendance.

Council adopted five ordinances, and they are:

• To authorize appropriations for expenditures for the year 2019;

• To authorize appropriations for expenditures for the year 2018;

• To assess the cost of the removal of litter or junk or weed cutting for outstanding invoices through Oct. 24, which remain outstanding as of Nov. 15. 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 65 properties will be assessed a total of $15,117.40 for weed cutting and another 14 properties will be assessed a total of $3,802.50 for junk removal;

• To amend changes to city employees’ personnel policies, procedures and regulations;

• To amend the pay classification plan and pay tables for city management, confidential and Municipal Court employees, as well as part-time employees by a 2 percent increase. The exceptions are for the city manager, law director and city clerk, which are set by City Council.

Council was introduced to the following two ordinances Monday:

• To assess the cost of construction and repairs of certain sidewalks in Sidney. Randy Magoto, engineering manager said the city made the necessary repairs to certain sidewalks for property owners who did not complete the work on their own during 2018. A notice of assessments was published in the paper for three weeks, and city staff didn’t receive any objections to assessment amounts, Magoto said. Bills would be sent out two weeks after the adoption of the ordinance. Property owners would then have 60 days to pay the bill or have it placed on their property taxes over a five-year period;

• For an amendment of an ordinance on the city’s purchasing card policy to add new language to the city’s current purchasing card policy to come in compliance with House Bill 312.

Council also adopted the following seven resolutions:

• To authorize the city manager to enter into an agreement with the Shelby County Public Defender Commission which provides legal representation for citizens accused of criminal conduct that can result in a loss of freedom. The city annually reviews the public defender’s contract. For 2019, Sidney will pay the commission $55,000 per year, which is the same amount amount as the last several years;

• To authorize the law director to initiate litigation against Sidney property owners who failed to comply with the city’s inflow and infiltration (I&I) program;

• To reappoint Patricia Miller to the Shelby County Regional Planning Commission, which she has served on since 2003. The current term expires on Dec. 31, 2018. The new term will end Dec. 31, 2021;

• To appoint Donald Jay (D Jay) Baird to fill Tony Schroeder’s unexpired term on the SSEP Council. The term expires Dec. 31, 2018. Baird previously served on the West Ohio Development Council Board, but during the re-organization, his seat was eliminated. Baird has agreed to a reappointment for a full three-year term;

• To reappoint Deb Windsor to a new three-year term on the Personnel Board of Appeals, of which she has served since 1999. The new term will expire Dec. 31, 2021;

• To appoint Wesley Branscum to a three-year term on the Citizens Peer Review Committee. The term will expire Dec.31, 2021. Branscum replaces Kris Berlekamp, who did not seek reappointment. This will be Branscum’s first board appointment;

• To authorize the city manager to enter into a Downtown Rehab Loan Agreement with Terry A. Develvis for facade improvements at 111 S. Ohio Ave.

Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth told council a beam above the storefront of the building must be replaced to make the building safe. The estimated cost for this project is $15,078, with an additional $6,055 as an alternate to paint the entire storefront rather than just the repaired area. Dulworth said Develvis is requesting a loan from the Downtown Rehab program for 50 percent of the costs, up to a maximum of $12,000. The program rules limit the total grant for each project to a maximum of $30,000. The current fund balance is $56,976.51.

The Downtown Design Review Board is scheduled to meet to review this project on Dec. 10, Dulworth said. She noted the proposed activities have also been previewed by the Ohio Historic Preservation Office (OHPO), which concluded that, if completed as proposed, the project will satisfy the Secretary of the Interior’s “standards for rehabilitation.” A formal determination from OHPO of “no adverse effect” will be required to satisfy coordination requirements for historic preservation prior to the project commencing, Dulworth said.

During council member’s comments, Steve Wagner, congratulated Barhorst on being named Historian of the Year by the Shelby County Historical Society last week.

Fire Chief Brad Jones thanked City Council and the city of Sidney for the support the Sidney Fire Department following the passing of Fire Lt. Tony McLain.

Gary Clough, assistant city manager/public works director, announced traffic signals associated with Love’s Travel Stops opening at Vandemark Road and Fair Road will be operational on Tuesday or Wednesday this week. The new signal at the Interstate 75 ramp will be flashing this week and be operational next week, he said.

City Manager Mark Cundiff told council the consultants hired to conduct research about putting one or two levies on the ballot for street repairs and a third fire station hopefully will have information to share in January.

Barhorst said citizens will be receiving their city calenders in the mail this year. He also reminded that Love’s Travel Stops is opening this week. The grand opening is scheduled for a couple of weeks in January, Barhorst said.

Council member Janet Born, Cundiff and Barhorst wished everyone a happy holiday, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.