SIDNEY — A “No Parking” zone near Northwood Intermediate School was considered at Sidney City Council’s Monday night meeting.
Assistant City Manager/Public Works Director Gary Clough introduced an ordinance to amend the traffic control map establishing a “No Parking” zone on both sides of Brookburn Street between St. Marys and Wapakoneta Avenue 2 to 4 p.m. days Northwood is in session. He also proposed the ordinance to be adopted at the second reading on Nov. 11 as an emergency.
City Council first discussed the topic at the Oct. 14 meeting to seek a solution to the parking problem. At that meeting City Manager Mark Cundiff told council since the beginning of the school year there have been issues with parents picking up their children from the school. Vehicles have been blocking business driveways on Wapakoneta Avenue and parking on neighboring streets south of the school and in residential yards.
Monday Clough said Northwood experienced a change in student population this school year, and this has caused traffic issues.
The school plans to create 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.
Council member Ed Hamaker said he received a call from a Doering Street resident who is concerned to have the same problem on Doering once parking is prohibited on Brookburn. Clough acknowledged it will be a problem in the area until a solution is found. He went on to say he fears the new road being constructed may not fix the issue as he believes the current Wapakoneta Avenue access to the school will be changed to only allow bus parking.
Vice Mayor Mardie Milligan said she does have a concern for residents who need to have EMS access their home, but she questioned where the cars picking up children will go. She also asked how the parking enforcement is going in the area. Police Captain Bill Shoemaker, who was sitting in for Police Chief Will Balling, said they haven’t issued too many tickets so far but have had a presence in the area when manpower allows for it.
Council members discussed whether to amend the ordinance and bring it back to include other area roads. Mayor Mike Barhorst said he thinks they need to talk to area homeowners, but could amend it later after the ordinance is adopted, if necessary. Council member Steve Wagner agreed, saying he would rather adopt the presented ordinance first and amend it later if need be.
At the end of the council meeting, during council member comments, Milligan returned to the topic, saying she is not in favor of passing the ordinance as an emergency. Barhorst replied that the city would not be able to enforce the no parking for 90 days. She said police are already enforcing no parking in front of fire hydrants or driveways, which is an ongoing problem.
In other business, council adopted three resolutions, and they are:
• To authorize Cundiff to enter into an income sharing agreement with Sidney City School District regarding real property abatement granted to BBS Charities LLC, and Industrial Recyclers LLC. to help compensate for lost property taxes. Based on the projected payroll, the tax sharing would provide the school district with about $90,037 over the life of the abatement.
Finance Manager Ginger Adams told council the Sidney City Schools Board of Education is expected to adopt a resolution approving the income tax sharing agreement.
Industrial Recyclers plans to spend $1.5 million to expand their facility, she said, and another $2 million to purchase machinery and equipment. They plan to add five full-time employees in the first year, with another five added during the second year and another five during the third year. Payroll for the 15 new full-time employees is estimated at $468,000 annually, at the property located at 2640 Campbell Road.
To provide economic development incentive in Sidney, Adams said, council approved a 10-year Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) property tax abatement on the property on Oct. 14. It is a 100 percent abatement, years one through five; 75 percent, years six through 10; and 50 percent, years 11 through 15.
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 property.
• To confirm the reappointment of Karl Bemus to a new three-year term on the Personnel Board of Appeals. The new term will expire Dec. 31, 2022. He has served on this board since 1980.
• To temporarily eliminate the two-hour parking time limits downtown during upcoming the holiday shopping season to help businesses from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31.
The two-hour parking restriction will not be enforced within the nine-block area bordered by West Avenue, North Street, Miami Avenue, and South Street. It will not include the metered spaces in front of the post office. Vehicles will prohibited from parking overnight in these on-street spaces, Cundiff said.
At the end of the meeting, Barhorst shared he received a couple of calls from parents wondering if Trick or Treat would be rescheduled if it rains Thursday. Cundiff said they only changed the day recently in the past when it rained when there was also high, dangerous winds on the planned day. The consensus among council was to leave Trick or Treat scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 31.
Council also held an executive session to consider the appointment of a public official and dismissal of a public employee and pending or imminent court action. No action was taken when council members emerged from the session.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.