Programming may resume on public access channel

By Michael Seffrin -

SIDNEY — Programming may resume on a local public access TV channel that currently is dark.

Sidney City Council Monday night directed City Manager Mark Cundiff to pursue a proposal by the Western Ohio TV Consortium (WOTVC) to provide programming on Channel 5, the local public access channel of Time-Warner Cable.

Cundiff said this channel had been bringing Sidney programming from Troy (including Troy City Council meetings). However, when the city of Troy stopped funding its local cable access station, Channel 5 went dark in Sidney. Piqua City Manager Gary Huff approached Cundiff and asked him if Sidney would be interested in WOTVC (Piqua’s public access station) providing programming on Channel 5. Cundiff met Huff at the WOTVC studio at Edison Community College and was given a tour by the staff.

There is no cost for WOTVC to provide its programming to Sidney residents; however, there would be opportunities for businesses and organizations to sponsor programs. For instance, a business or organization might want to sponsor a show or event taking place in Sidney for broadcast, Cundiff said.

Additionally, if Sidney agrees to have WOTVC provide programming, WOTVC offered to provide the city with a seat on the WOTVC Board of Directors as an at-large member. There is no financial commitment with having a Sidney representative on the board.

In other business, council passed a resolution approving a replat of two lots to create one new lot at the Marathon gas station/convenience store at 402 W. Hoewisher Road. In December, the Sidney Planning Commission reviewed the proposal and recommended that council approve it.

Choice One Engineering, on behalf of Karoc Ltd., requested the replat. This property is located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Wapakoneta Avenue and Hoewisher Road.

The replat will result in one lot of 2.853 acres. The property is located in the B-2, community business district, and will have frontage on Hoewisher Road, Wapakoneta Avenue and Addy Avenue, with one interior lot line to the north.

The purpose of the replat is to allow for the construction of a storage building. Because the proposed lot is adjacent to residential properties to the west, a buffer and transition plan, approved by the Planning Commission, will be required prior to approval of any additional development on the lot.

Responding to questions from council, Community Services Director Barbara Dulworth said there are various options for a buffer, including a concrete wall or plantings. The property owner is required to maintain the buffer, so if trees or shrubs die, they must be replaced, she said.

Council passed a resolution authorizing the law director to initiate litigation stemming from a hazardous-materials spill.

On July 28, a motor vehicle operated by a representative of Rawans Trucking caused a spill, which was cleaned up by the city’s Fire & Emergency Services personnel. Rawans has been billed $1,889.87 for the cleanup; however, the company has failed to pay, Law Director Jeff Amick said.

Council also:

• Passed a resolution to resubmit a request to the Ohio State Auditor to establish a 27th pay fund. Council originally approved the new fund in September and the city submitted it to the state auditor. The auditor requested some language changes in the resolution. This special revenue fund will account for the collection of resources to pay the 27th pay period, which occurs every 11 years or so, due to having a biweekly pay schedule.

• Agreed with a proposal by Police Chief Will Balling that the ordinance governing solicitor permits be modified. The changes would standardize the size of photo IDs that solicitors must submit and would require that applications be submitted at least 14 days in advance to allow staff time for background checks. The current time period is 48 hours. This matter will come back to council in ordinance form.

• Passed a resolution designating the clerk of council to attend training on public records and sunshine laws. The Ohio Revised Code requires that all elected officials or their appropriate designees attend such training.

• Passed a resolution reappointing Patricia Miller as one of the three city representatives to the Shelby County Regional Planning Commission.

• Heard Mayor Mike Barhorst report that during three nights recently at the warming shelter at the First United Methodist Church, only one person was using the facility. “There doesn’t appear to be a need for a homeless shelter for 50 people,” he said.

• Heard Parks and Recreation Director Duane Gaier report that Dr. Lisa Alvetro has once again agreed to sponsor recreation programs — Movie Day at the Senior Citizens Center for children, purchase of awards for the Fishing Derby, and a $1,500 pledge toward one week of swimming lessons at the municipal pool. “The citizens of Sidney are very fortunate to have community-minded leaders like Dr. Alvetro and her staff. Because of this kindness, the recreation programs provided by the city continue to grow and are able to provide educational and fun activities for local children,” Gaier said after the meeting.

• Went into an executive session to consider the purchase of property for public purposes.

By Michael Seffrin

The writer may be contacted at 937-538-4823.

The writer may be contacted at 937-538-4823.