Council discusses school parking issue

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — Northwood Intermediate School parking issues were discussed at Sidney City Council’s Monday night meeting.

City Manager Mark Cundiff led the discussion on a solution to the parking problem around Northwood School, and sought direction from city staff on how to proceed. He noted that since the beginning of the school year, there have been issues with parents picking up their children from Northwood School. Vehicles have been blocking business driveways on Wapakoneta Avenue and parking on neighboring streets south of the school and in residential yards.

City staff and school officials have come up with a solution, Cundiff said, by creating another access into the school property from Russell Road. The school district will pay two-thirds of the cost and the city of Sidney will pay one-third. The city’s share is estimated to be $16,484.82.

Cundiff noted Brookburn Street does not have a curb and gutter and that there is approximately 15-feet of unpaved right of way on each side of the pavement. When people park on the street, he said, they stay partially on the paved area and this narrows the travel lane; therefore emergency vehicles are unable to get down the street. Brookburn is not marked as “No Parking” on the traffic control map.

City staff proposed marking the area as No Parking from 2-4 p.m., while school is in session, on a temporary basis, until the new access is constructed, or on a permanent basis if the new access doesn’t alleviate the problem.

Two Brookburn residents voiced their concern with the parking situation on Brookburn Street and for children’s safety due to the crowding of vehicles.

Helen Snider first spoke up to ask council to consider moving the 20 mph speed limit sign to the south of Brookburn Street because she said vehicles on state Route 29 speed around the corner. She expressed concern about children’s safety in that area as well as on her street. She told council she worries children could get hit by a car. She also said the number of vehicles that park on her street for picking up Northwood students would likely prevent EMS vehicles from getting to her home in the case of an emergency, as she, her husband and some neighbors are disabled.

Chad Patterson also voiced concern with the number of cars on Brookburn and asked for parking to be prohibited there. He noted several cars park in yards or in front of the fire hydrant, leave trash on the street and that often children walk through residential yards to get to the parked cars. He suggested making one of the lanes in front of the school a pick up lane just dismissal time.

Council members discussed the issues and safety concerns of students and residents who would possibly need first responders to get to their homes. In the end, the general consensus was to consider legislation prohibiting parking on Brookburn Street from 2-4 p.m. on school days during council’s upcoming Oct. 28 meeting. The Sidney Police Department was also asked to increase their presence in the area during school dismissal hours. Cundiff was directed to advise Sidney City Schools to move forward with the cost-sharing agreement for development of the access drive.

In other business, council adopted five resolutions, and they are:

• To confirm the reappointment of Kent Craver, Patricia Hamberg and Herman Thompson Jr. to the Citizens Peer Review Board. Each of their terms will expire Dec. 31, 2022. Craver has served on this board since 2011. Hamberg has served on the board since 2016. Thompson has served on the board since 2002.

• To confirm the reappointment of Robert Baird to the Local Board of Tax Review. This term will expire Dec. 31, 2021. Baird has served on this board since it was created in 2015.

• To authorize Cundiff to enter into fire protection contracts and contracts for emergency ambulance service with various townships. The following townships will pay the following amounts: Clinton: EMS, $27,975, and fire, $38,379; Orange: EMS, $7,636, and fire, $10,602; Franklin: fire, $9,991; Washington, EMS, $1.

Except for Washington Township, the dollar values reflect a 3 percent increase over the 2019 contracts. In Washington Township, Sidney covers a section of Interstate 75 that is less than a mile long. The only access to the section in Shelby County is from Sidney.

• To authorize Cundiff to enter into a Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) tax abatement agreement with Industrial Recyclers LLC and BBS Charities for investing in real property improvements. The total new project investment is estimated at $3,500,000 for the addition, new construction, equipment and machinery.

The CRA Advisory Council, which met on Sept. 23, recommended a front-loaded abatement with 100 percent abatement for years one through five, 75 percent abatement years six through 10, and 50 percent abatement years 11 through 15. Total abatement, based upon investments, is estimated to be $308,720.00 over the 15-year period.

• To authorize the payment of $44,374 due to be paid to Eck Refrigeration Inc. for the replacement of City Hall boilers. Finance Manager Ginger Adams told council the replacement work began prior to the encumbrance of appropriations and since the purchase order is greater than $10,000, Sidney’s purchasing manual requires Council approval for payment.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.