Council OKs 5-year-plan, tax sharing agreement

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — Sidney City Council adopted several pieces of legislation Monday evening, including the city’s-five year financial plan and an income tax sharing agreement with the Sidney schools to help compensate for lost property taxes due to a recently approved property tax abatement.

Other than the resolution adopting the five-year financial plan for years 2020-2024, City Council authorized City Manager Mark Cundiff to enter into an income sharing agreement with the Sidney City School District regarding the real property tax abatement granted to HomeTown Investments, LTD.

The Sidney City Schools Board of Education adopted a resolution on Sept. 16, 2019, approving the income tax sharing agreement.

Finance Officer Ginger S. Adams told council Hometown Investments plans to renovate and expand the property located at 101 S. Ohio Ave., with a projected investment of $1,735,000. Once renovation is complete and the space is occupied, she said the creation of new jobs is anticipated.

To provide economic development incentive in Sidney, Adams said, council approved a 15-year, 100 percent Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) property tax abatement on the property on Sept. 9.

Since the schools are the primary beneficiary of property taxes, they are most impacted by the CRA. The resolution authorizes the agreement to compensate the school for property taxes foregone as a result of the CRA abatement, Adams noted.

The income tax sharing agreement will compensate the school annually the lesser of either property taxes foregone by the school as a result of the CRA abatement, or 75 percent of the income tax (1.5 percent permanent portion only) received by the city of Sidney on the new jobs at the new business.

Council also adopted two other resolutions, and they are:

• To confirm the appointment of Robert Guillozet and Jake Lochard to the Sidney Energy Special Improvement District (ESID) Board of Directors. This resolution previously came before council for a vote on Sept. 9, but was later discovered it wasn’t officially adopted because the voting procedure was not conducted properly.

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. Mayor Mike Barhorst is also a member of the ESID Board of Directors.

• To confirm the reappointment of Ralph F. Keister III to the Income Tax Board of Appeals (PRE-2016) and the Local Board of Tax Review.

Council also adopted three ordinances, 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.

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 notices of payment due will be sent to residents two weeks after Monday’s adoption of the ordinance. 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 approve the request of Bruce and Karen Dickman 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.

Barbara Dulworth, community development director, 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.

Bruce Dickman told council they have been unsuccessful to sell the property zoned as an O-1 district but has had interest in the property as a home if it could be changed back to a residential district.

Also Monday, before approving the city of Sidney summary financial reports for August 2019 at the top of the meeting, Council member Janet Born and Mayor Mike Barhorst both inquired about the airport fund. Born asked why expenditures are under budget. Adams said she is not sure but the amount of gallons of fuel sold are down (compared to 2018). Assistant City Manager/Public Director Gary Clough said it could be because of all the rain earlier in the year when planes were probably not flying as much.

During council member comments, Steve Wagner thanked everyone from Sidney and the county who helped set the record during the Shelby County Bicentennial Guinness World Record attempt of opening a drink can simultaneously on Sept. 18. He also gave a special thanks to Shelby County schools’ superintendents who allowed their sixth- through 12th-grade students to take the morning off to join in the event. Barhorst then thanked Wagner on behalf of City Council for handling the event.

Police Chief Will Balling announced the police department recently obtained a $25,000 grant to continue the SAAT (Sidney Addict Assistance Team) program, which combats the opioid epidemic and drug abuse. The grant will allow for the ability to bring back retired Officer Mike McRill, Sidney’s former community resource officer, on a part time basis. Balling told council McRill has continued to work with the police department by volunteering his time. McRill’s first day back with Sidney Police was Monday, Sept. 23.

During the city manager’s remarks, Cundiff announced:

• Sidney’s finance department earned the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award again this year. He congratulated Finance Officer Ginger Adams, her department and senior directors for their good work to receive the award.

• A reminder about the ground breaking of TownPlace Suites by Marriott on Folkerth Avenue Thursday morning, Sept. 26.

• The United Way’s fundraising campaign has kicked off and that pledge cards are out.

• The lodging tax committee has about $140,000 more in requests than is available to give out. He told council members/lodging tax board members Darryl Thurber, Ed Hamaker and Wagner, they all, including himself, will have a lot to consider at the upcoming meeting on Oct. 1.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer 937-538-4823.