Council votes to place 2 levies on Nov. ballot

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — Sidney City Council officially voted Monday night to separate the income tax levy for a new fire department and street repairs into two levies for the Nov. 5 ballot.

“One issue would be a permanent, 0.15 percent increase for the purposes of fire department operations and capital improvements and equipment, maintenance and repair, and paying debt service,” City Manager Mark Cundiff said. “The second issue would be a temporary, five-year, 0.15 percent increase for the purpose of funding the construction, reconstruction, resurfacing, and maintenance of streets, alleys, bridges, curbs and gutters.”

He noted the difference between the street levy appearing on this November’s ballot and the street levy that appeared on the 2014 ballot is the change in the ability to use the word “permanent or temporary.” The fire levy, he said, will be referred to as continuing.

Council adopted two resolutions to approve each levy separately. The street levy resolution passed 5 to 2, with Vice Mayor Mardie Milligan and Council member Darryl Thurber both voting “no.” Milligan and Thurber both said they voted no because they wanted to see the street levy be permanent (or continuing) instead of only for a five-year period. The fire levy resolution passed unanimously.

In other business, council also adopted a resolution reappointing Tom Burns to the Revolving Loan Committee. His term will expire July 1, 2022. Burns has served on this committee since 1997.

During Monday’s meeting council also adopted three ordinances, and they are:

• To assess the cost of weed cutting or the removal of junk or litter for outstanding invoices through May 13, which remain outstanding as of June 17. For junk removal violations, the invoiced amount is the actual cost of the junk removal plus 20 percent. A total of 28 properties will be assessed a total of $7,343.40 for junk removal and two properties will be assessed $286.60 for weed cutting.

• To amend the ordinance on the city’s purchasing card policy by adding the position of concession stand manager to the list of positions eligible for a purchasing card. The pre-set credit limit on the card will be $1,000.

• To enact a supplement for the codification of local and state ordinances passed over the last year to be put in the proper sequence in the City Code Book.

Later in the meeting, council posed no objection to a D5 liquor permit ownership transfer from Titas Mexican Restaurant, LLC dba Las Tapatias Mexican Restaurant to El Lienzo, LLC, dba Las Tapatias Mexican Restaurant at 1306 Wapakoneta Ave. A D5 permit allows for the consumption of beer, wine and mixed beverages on premises only, or off premises in original, sealed containers until 2:30 a.m.

Also Monday, after a brief discussion about the condition of the board fence along the east side of Graceland Cemetery, Parks and Recreation Director Duane Gaier was directed to remove the fence due to its unsightly appearance. Despite various cleaning attempts, Gaier shared with council the inability to keep the white fence looking nice. He approached council about the removal idea after hearing multiple people’s concerns about the fence’s appearance.

Gaier displayed several pictures of the stained, uneven, white fence and trenched grass near County Road 25A, which is the result of continuous mowing in the same direction. The iron gated entrance will remain intact, he confirmed. No fence will replace the white board fence. Council members discussed installing landscaping, planting memorial trees, or another fence in the future possibly.

During council member’s comments, At-large member Janet Born shared she heard positive feedback about the city’s Fourth of July fireworks display. Born said many people told her they enjoyed the fireworks, and only heard a couple of people say they wished it had lasted longer.

Mayor Mike Barhorst thanked sponsors of the fireworks, including Wilson Health, Emerson Climate Technologies, Buckeye Ford, NKTelco, Cargill, Ferguson Construction, Goffena Furniture, Mutual Federal and S&S Hospitality & Management. He also thanked the Sidney Fire Department for donating time and effort and the Shelby County Amateur Radio for help.

Assistant City Manager/Public Works Director Gary Clough was directed, after he asked council for guidance, about putting window screening on all Sidney Transit’s buses advertising the bicentennial celebrations. Clough said it will cost about $400 to put the window screening on all of the buses. The work will be completed in house, he said, through the city’s street department.

In final business, council went into an executive session to prepare for pending litigation and to consider the purchase of public property for public purposes. No action was taken by council, other than to excuse Milligan from the executive session, when members emerged from the end of the session.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.