City Council continues budget review

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — During the continued review of the 2020 budget, Monday night, Sidney City Council heard presentations on the goals of the parks and recreation and finance departments, City Council, city administration and of the law director/prosecutor.

Parks and Recreation Department Director Duane Gaier said his department’s goals and objectives include improving the trail system by adding 0.9 miles to the existing system by collaborating with the Shelby County commissioners to acquire right of way or land ownership to extend the trail eventually to Lockington. From there Miami County will work to continue to connect to the previously paved 350 miles of trail.

Gaier intends to seek grants to further develop the park system; work to increase the number of parks adopted in the Adopt-a-Park program, which helps improve city parks’ appearance and safety; and to provide community recreation services. He also outlined improvements at Graceland Cemetery and the Senior Center of Sidney-Shelby County, as well as goals for the city’s summer programs, the concession stand fund and the Sidney Water Park.

Next year, a multi-year window replacement program at the Senior Center will be finalized, Gaier said. The last 6 windows, out of the 104 total, will be finally be replaced with new, energy efficient glass. Also the multipurpose room and exterior wood shakes on the east side of the Senior Center building will be repainted.

Finance Officer Ginger Adams discussed her department’s budget, which consists of finance-accounting, purchasing, revenue collections and information technology. Among goals for the department are to maintain a high standard of financial reporting and to continue to implement state-mandated changes to the city income tax and access its impact on Sidney.

The IT fund’s goals are to maintain the security and integrity of the city’s data, voice and wireless network infrastructure; maintain the server virtualization technology; and renew shared IT services agreement with Shelby County and the health department. The plan is to add another IT analyst to help with workload, Adams said. Another goal is to design and implement the next generation software solutions to provide an efficient work-flow environment.

Council member Ed Hamaker asked about the IT analyst addition. Adams said there has been significant information technology infrastructure growth at both the county and city. The addition would also help alleviate overtime in the IT department, she said.

Among administration budget goals, presented by City Manager Mark Cundiff, are to keep the city in sound financial condition; expand the tax base by keeping and attracting business, in part by working with the Sidney Shelby Economic Partnership, the Dayton Development Coalition and Jobs Ohio; implement the annual budget and five-year financial plan; and monitor income tax and other revenue sources.

Also outlined were the budgets, goals and objectives for the law director/prosecutor, City Council and other miscellaneous funds, including the community service program fund. Adams said no changes to the 2020 budget are proposed from the five-year 2019-2023 plan that was adopted in September.

Council will complete the budget review at its Nov. 11 meeting. The appropriations ordinance will have its first reading at the Nov. 25 meeting and will be up for adoption Dec. 9.

Cundiff also reviewed the upcoming Zoning Board/Planning Commission Agenda for Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, and reviewed the prospective City Council Agenda items for the next 30 days.

During the comments section at the end of the meeting, Cundiff reminded council the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Shelby County animal shelter on Gearhart Road will be Sunday, Nov. 10. Cundiff also announced he would be participating in the “No Shave November” campaign to try to bring awareness to men’s health issues.

Vice Mayor Mardie Milligan shared her praise of last week’s ribbon cutting ceremony at the Inclusive Play Area at Tawawa Park. All council members who attended agreed.

Mayor Mike Barhorst shared with council, after a discussion with Piqua City Manager Gary Huff, the city of Piqua’s future plans for the Piqua Fire Department includes new fire stations there.

Council member Steve Wagner was absent Monday and was excused by council.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.