Council OKs more ESID developments, vacation of land

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — Sidney City Council approved the vacation of a portion of Montrose Avenue and two other ordinances related to the creation of the energy special improvement district (ESID).

The vacation is for a 36-foot-portion of a right of way at the southern terminus on Montrose Avenue that will eliminate a pinch-point adjacent to the Shelby County Fairgrounds.

Barbara Dulworth, community development director, said this section of street right of way extends into the Shelby County Fairgrounds, and includes a small cul-de-sac. In order to ensure a turn-around is available for residents and city services on Montrose Avenue, Dulworth said, a new hammerhead turnaround will be constructed to replace the current circular turnaround with an adequate size for large vehicles, such as garbage trucks, snow plows and fire apparatus to use.

The ESID ordinances allows the city to proceed with the acquisition, construction and improvement of public improvements in conjunction with a project to replace some existing lighting in City Hall with more energy efficient LED lighting. The second ordinance will levy a special assessment for the project replacing existing lighting with LED lighting.

The ESID was created on Aug. 26, 2019, to administer a local Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing (PACE) program. PACE financing is a tool that allows property owners to finance the costs of energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements through special assessments on their real property tax bills.

Council also adopted an ordinance to authorize increasing 2019 supplemental appropriations in the water reserve fund by $1,250,000 for the purchase of the property for a new water source. The city of Sidney is working on a contract to purchase 113.392 acres of land to secure a new water source for an additional water well field for Sidney.

Also Monday, three ordinances were introduced to City Council, and they are:

• To assess the cost of weed cutting and removal of litter or junk or maintenance or removal of dead, dangerous or diseased trees on private property. The assessment is for outstanding invoices through Aug. 9, 2019, which remain outstanding as of Sept. 3, 2019.

For junk removal violations, the invoiced amount is the actual cost of the junk removal plus 20 percent. 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 and $100 for each cutting thereafter. For tree maintenance or removal, there is no additional fee; the cost the city paid the outside vendor is invoiced.

A total of 16 properties will be assessed a total of $12,285 for junk removal, 88 properties will be assessed $29,240.10 for weed cutting and one property will be assessed $1,360.71 to remove a dangerous tree.

• To levy special assessments for the construction and replacement of certain described curb and gutters that were completed by a city contractor in Sidney.

Randy Magoto, engineering manager, told council staff received one written objection and found the existing curb did not meet engineering standards as it was poured as part of a drive approach rather than a separated curb. Since the appearance of the existing curb was acceptable it is recommended by staff the location be removed from the assessment process.

Notices of payment due will be sent to residents two weeks after the ordinance is adopted. Property owners will then be given 60 days to pay the bill or have it placed on their property taxes over a five-year period through the Shelby County Auditor’s Office.

• To rezone three parcels of land located at 1610 Wapakoneta Ave. from an O-1, office district to a R-1, single family residence district. Bruce and Karen Dickman are requesting to rezone the land. A public hearing was held during the introduction of the ordinance. No member of the public spoke during the hearing.

Dulworth said the property was used as a residence until 2007, when it was rezoned to the O-1 district and used as a business office.

The comprehensive plan identifies this property in policy area nine, she said, which is the Wapakoneta Avenue corridor. The recommendations for this area include continued maintenance of residential areas. Preferred land uses include both residential and commercial uses. The proposed rezoning aligns with the preferred land uses and the recommendations for this policy area.

The Dickmans intend to sell the property and want the land changed back to a residential district to do so.

Each of the newly introduced ordinances will return to City Council for further deliberation on Sept. 23.

During the council member comments portion of the meeting, Ed Hamaker shared a complaint he received about an eye sore at an equipment rental place on Wapakoneta Avenue. Dulworth said the city followed up on a complaint regarding outdoor storage a couple of years ago and will have code enforcement look into the situation again.

He also expressed a safety concern for children leaving Northwood Elementary School with all of the parents parking on Wapakoneta Avenue. Council members agreed it has been an ongoing issue for a number of years. City Manager Mark Cundiff said city staff is working with the school to find a solution.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.