Sidney Council views virtual capital tour

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — Sidney City Council watched the annual virtual capital tour which included various city improvements Monday evening during the monthly workshop session.

The PowerPoint presentation was given by members of city staff about several ongoing and upcoming projects with in the city.

Within Sidney Police Department’s report, Sidney Police Chief Will Balling gave council members a look at one the 36 newly purchased external body armor vests now available to Sidney Police officers.

Balling brought along Sidney Police Sgt. Sean Martin to show council members in person how the vests are worn. Balling said about 90 percent of Sidney Police officers have started wearing the external vest, versus the traditional vests worn under officers’ shirts.

He said the department received a grant from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) to cover the majority of the cost. The cost for the 36 vests purchased was $49,816.65. The BWC grant covered $37,362.49; which left the city’s portion at $12,454.16.

Benefits of the external vests, Balling said, include a reduction of weight on officers lower backs and hips, an ability to cool down during extreme temperatures, the ability to quickly remove the vest in a medical emergency and obtain necessary items (such as handcuffs located now on the front) easier. The external vests have a five-year life span, he said.

Martin said the external vest is much cooler and more comfortable than the traditional vest he used to wear under his police uniform shirt.

Fire Chief Brad Jones discussed several updates within the Sidney Department of Fire and Emergency Services. He displayed pictures of the new quint fire ladder truck’s construction that will be completed in July, and video clip showing how the newly installed fire station’s exhaust system works. The system attaches to the fire trucks for cancer prevention. Jones said the department received a $15,000 BWC grant to offset the system’s cost.

Jones showed council members pictures of the oxygen blast test-fill system installed last year at Station 1. The system is currently being installed at Station 2. The system tests firefighters’ oxygen tanks as they are being filled.

The stations’ outdated alarm notification system is being upgraded, Jones said. The new system will send alerts to the specific station intended for the response, instead of all firefighters at both stations. The new system will alert as to whether the alarm is a emergency, non-emergency, and if a medical or fire response necessary. Also, the way firefighters are awaken from sleep is changed. A video clip, presented by Jones, shows how the new system’s alarm wakes responders with soft, gradually brightening LED lights.

Jones said the department needed to wait for the city’s computer-aided dispatch (CAD) emergency response system to be upgraded before the fire department could tie in the new notification system. He noted they are in the process of working to obtain BWC grant funds for the upgrade.

Also Station 1 is in the third and final year of the heat and air conditioning system upgrade, which includes replacement of the air conditioning unit this year. The fire department is also replacing its tech rescue trailer with a new 31-foot trailer. Jones said confined space and trench rescue equipment is kept in the trailer. Finally, Jones said this year Station 1 was power washed and is have sealant between the concrete slabs revamped to make the station’s front ramp last longer.

The update on the Shelby Public Transit, Sidney City Airport, city’s streets and water projects was given by Engineering Manager Randy Magoto.

Shelby Public Transit will purchase two new buses for a total cost $140,460, with Sidney’s share at $28,092; and one new accessible van for a total cost $45,079, with Sidney’s share at $9,016.

Sidney City Airport will have Taxiway A rehabilitated for a total cost $287,066, with Sidney’s share at $14,353.30.

Projects within the city streets, include:

• The sidewalk program is gearing up; property owners received notices and have until June 29 to complete repairs themselves. This year 4,350 linear feet of sidewalk will be repaired.

• 2019 paving. Magoto’s report showed a map of 11 roads or sections of roads equaling approximately 1.82 miles of road which is set to be paved this year. Paving is scheduled to begin in July, Magoto said.

Russell Road reconstruction. The project includes replacing the sanitary sewer, water mains and storm sewers and sidewalk, along with repaving the roadway from Wapakoneta Avenue to Main Avenue on Russell Road. The project will begin the first week of June with a September completion.

Park Street Bridge replacement over CSX Railroad. Magato said the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has scheduled a pre-bridge construction meeting for June with more details about the project to follow.

Fair Road Bridge replacement over CSX Railroad. The project includes the replacement of existing bridge deck, new lighting, curb ramp upgrades at Fair Road and Chase Avenue. It also will include an 8-foot-wide pedestrian walk along the south side, and a 5-foot-wide sidewalk on the north side. Magoto said the contractor is in the process of demolishing the existing deck. to maintain traffic, the plan is to do half of the bridge at a time by shifting traffic during construction. Magoto said construction is scheduled for completion in November.

Park Street improvements. The project will include the installation of a new sanitary sewer, water main, curbs and asphalt. The water main and sanitary sewer is complete; the remainder should be completed in the next couple of weeks, Magoto said.

Helen Court improvements. The project includes the replacement of the existing sanitary sewer, new storm sewer from North Street to the dead end, as well as curbs and roadway grading. The project is complete with the exception of the roadway grading, which is underway.

Court Street/state Route 47 improvements. The project will include the replacement of the existing guardrail with a 4-foot-wide concrete median wall; decorative fencing; an upgraded traffic signal at Court Street and Walnut Avenue; and new street lighting along the entire project length. The project is expected to begin in the spring of 2020 and should be completed in October 2020.

Water improvements include the following:

The water main on Ruth Street from Wapakoneta Avenue to Broadway Avenue has been replaced and tested;

• The water main at Lynhurst Street at Kenwood Drive has been replaced and tested the new curb will be replaced this week.

Magoto said the city is in phase two of the wastewater treatment plant expansion. The improvements are for reliability and energy savings to maintain compliance with the city of Sidney’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) permit. The major items included in this phase are:

• Replacement of three older pumps at the influent pump station;

• Replacement of HVAC equipment;

• Replacement of sludge piping and the transfer pump;

• Expansion of the solids storage pad;

• Rebuild EQ basin pumps;

• Repair the concrete within the plant structures.

Wastewater treatment plant projects outside of phase two include:

• Replacement of administration building gas furnaces The original furnaces were installed in 1989;

• Change out of aeration basin diffusors. The ongoing project changes out two aeration basins annually;

• Centrifuge scroll rebuild. The dewatering equipment was installed in 2001;

• Return activated sludge pump replacement. The pump was installed in 2001, and the last was rebuilt in 2013.

The 2019 stormwater improvements, phase one and two, is in alley ways located downtown surrounding courtsquare and between Ohio Avenue and Main Avenue and will allow roof drains to be connected to reduce the number of drains dumping onto the ground, Magoto said. The project is still in the design stage. Construction is expected to begin during late summer.

The storm sewer along the north and east side of Sidney-Shelby County YMCA needs replaced, as it provides an outlet for the North Main Avenue detention basin. The construction for the YMCA project is currently underway.

Sanitary sewer improvements are planned for 2019 at Hall Avenue at Wagner Avenue and North Street. Both projects including aligning of the sewer and are both expected to be completed in the next couple of weeks, Magoto said.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.