SIDNEY — An ordinance dealing with a rezoning request of a parcel of land on Wapakoneta Avenue failed during Monday evening’s Sidney City Council meeting because no council member made a second motion which would have brought the ordinance up for vote.
The rezoning request of Sunset Development, on behalf of Russell Road Church, was for a parcel of land located on Wapakoneta Avenue, south of Hoewisher Road. Sunset Development had sought to change the zoning from an R-2, single- and two-family residential district to an R-3, multi-family residential district.
The request had been topic of contention among area residents. Sunset hoped to build multi-family residential housing on the land. The majority of the members of the public who spoke at the Jan. 15 City Council and December Planning Commission meetings voiced opposition to the rezoning request.
Again on Monday, two area residents spoke out against the request prior to council’s vote on the matter.
North Broadway resident Amy Dearwester asked why the rezoning was recommended (by city staff) when no report or research was completed on the need. Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth, who presented the item to the Planning Commission and the ordinance to City Council, responded saying the request was not for any specific kind of housing, it was just a request for the rezoning.
After Dulworth’s comment, East Hoewisher Road resident Daniel Rader said it wasn’t just a matter of rezoning because the developer said he already planned to develop low income housing on the land.
Council member Janet Born moved when Mayor Mike Barhorst said he would entertain a motion, but no member of council seconded the motion, causing the ordinance to fail.
In other business, council adopted an ordinance amending sections of a codified ordinance regarding “parks and beauty areas.” Council also adopted six resolutions, and they are:
• To accept the plate of two lots of the Eagle Glen subdivision. Michael Heintz requested a replat to create two new lots from a single lot located on the south side of a Hoewisher Road in the R-1, single family residence district. The land is located between Wapakoneta Avenue and Parkwood Street. The property is currently undeveloped, except for a storm detention basin.
Dulworth explained Heintz proposed a re-design of the detention basin which will move the location, but will not change the storage volume in the basin. She said the Sidney’s public works department reviewed and approved the engineering plans for the relocation.
Because of the new configuration, Dulworth said, the existing easement will be vacated, with a new easement established at the rear of both lots, starting 80 feet back from the front lot line. A new 7.5 foot easement is also located on either side of the new lot line separating the properties. All other existing utility easements will remain.
• To authorize City Manager Mark Cundiff to enter into a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (BPOA) public safety telecommunicators’ union. The new CBA will expire on June 30, 2021. It will provide a 2.25 percent wage increase each year of the contract, and a one time $25 increase in uniform allowance.
• To authorize Cundiff to enter into a CBA with the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (OPBS) patrol officers. The new CBA will expire on June 30, 2021. It will provide a 2.25 percent wage increase each year of the contract, and a one time $55 increase in uniform allowance.
• To confirm the reappointment of John Frantz to the Stormwater Appeals Board for a five-year term that will expire on Jan. 28, 2024. Frantz has served on this board since 2002.
• To authorize Cundiff to enter into a cooperative agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for the replacement work of a bridge of CSX Railroad on Park Street. Assistant City Manager/Public Works Director Gary Clough said through Municipal Bridge and Toll Revenue Credit funds, ODOT awarded Sidney with 80 percent funding and currently estimates the city’s share to be $139,205. This amount could be revised once bids are opened on March 7. The project is anticipated to be completed by Aug. 31, 2019.
• To authorize placing a continuing 0.3 percent income tax levy on the May 7, 2019, ballot. Cundiff said the five-year 0.25 percent increase to local income tax rate, approved by voters in 2014, for street repair will expire at the end of 2019.
The proceeds from this tax, Cundiff said, would be split 50 percent for the construction, reconstruction, resurfacing and maintenance of streets, alleys, bridges, related curbs and gutters and paying debt service for such purposes within the city. He said the other 50 percent is for the purposes of fire department operations and capital improvements and equipment, maintenance and repair of the same, and paying debt service for such purposes.
During city staff comments, Clough gave council an update on the ongoing problems with the solid waste being collected in the city. He said Republic Services has been struggling with employee and truck issues. Between those issues and excessive weather, Clough said, last week was probably the worst week of service Sidney has had since the city signed a contract with Republic about 5 years ago. He said there were hundreds of homes that did not get trash collected, but that all were collected by Monday morning.
Clough told council he had a meeting Monday afternoon with Republic and was assured they intended to commit additional drivers and resources to fix the problem. Clough said with the exception of the forecasted sub-zero temperatures for Wednesday, Jan. 30, when collections will be suspended for the day, Sidney should not experience these same problems going forward. Because of the suspension, collections will be delayed one day for the remainder of the week.
Council member Steve Wagner asked if they could revisit the contract, given Republic’s “non-performance.” Clough said Republic is the only company to respond to the bid and would probably be the only business to bid again, given they are the only company nearby with a landfill. Clough also said Sidney is only going into year five of their 10-year contract.
In response to complaints about snow being piled up on residential streets, Cundiff said snow has to be pushed somewhere and the low-staffed city workers are doing the best they can. He asked for residents to please be patient.
Cundiff also spoke briefly about Tom Given, who recently passed away, and his great contribution to Sidney. Barhorst shared a story Given told him about needing to borrow a hammer to begin work at the Ferguson Construction Company and ended up owing the company.
“If that’s not an American success story, I don’t know what is,” Barhorst said about Given’s success.
Finally, council went into an executive session for the dismissal of a public official. No action was taken when council emerged from the session.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.