SIDNEY — Sidney City Council got a look at what the public, business, local students, and some city staff have learned recently about protection and defense options in an active shooter situation during its meeting Monday night.
Sidney Officer Mike McRill shared suggestions on how to best protect and defend one’s self should an active shooter situation occur during a public meeting in the council chambers.
“I’m sorry we even have to talk about this. I wish we lived in a world where this was completely unnecessary, and even though with all we see in the news, it’s still statistically rare,” McRill said.
He said citizens shouldn’t wait for something to happen close by before learning these options, just like practicing fire drills.
McRill explained the common responses of either fighting, fleeing or freezing in situations like this. He said the active shooter training builds on these three responses.
He showed the council statistics from the Virginia Tech shooting and explained what each of the classrooms did and how it lead to a high or low body count.
McRill advised council that one of the best responses in an active shooter situation in council chambers would be for everyone to split up and run out the different doors. “If you have to, damage city property. Using the computer to break the window may save your life,” McRill said.
They could also throw whatever is available at the shooter because when you have something coming at your face, it’s hard to focus on what you’re shooting at. The more ability you have to distract them, the better, he said, all you need is for them to flinch.
McRill also explained an option of rushing the shooter and having as many people jump on top of them as possible in an attempt to incapacitate them. He stressed the difficulty of committing to this, but still gave it as an option.
He also warned concealed carry permit holders. “If the police run in and see you holding a gun, they’re not going to think twice. They’re going to make you put your hands up and get down on the floor. All we know is that we got a call about a white male with a gun,” he said.
“But in the end, the worst thing you can do is nothing,” McRill said. He encouraged the council to attend the next full training to be held in April.
Also at the workshop session meeting Monday, council was updated about the city of Sidney and ODOT District 7 upcoming projects. The two have been partnering resources in the completion of capital improvement projects involving various funding amounts and sources.
Sidney Engineering Manager Randy Magoto explained the upcoming significant projects.
The 2016 Sidewalk Program is in the works. Property owner notices were mailed in January and will need to have the repairs made by July 1. Sidewalks not finished will be turned over to the company that wins the bid, which will be opened on April 22, to finish the sidewalk repairs.
Magoto updated the council on the Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion, well field project and raw water transmission line. The second two are approximately 10 percent complete.
The Port Jefferson Road Construction, Russell Road to Wells Drive, only has a few cosmetic items remaining to be completed. Including, a final life of asphalt, utility adjustments and final restoration of yards.
The Michigan Street bridge replacement over Starrett Run was delayed by the work at the hospital, but the city is now accepting bids and the total estimated construction cost of $184,789. An Ohio Public Works Commission grant for $147,831 has been awarded to the city for this project.
A little further up the road, where Michigan Street goes over CSX Railroad, a replacement project is in the works. The existing bridge is load rated and in poor condition, Magoto said. ODOT Municipal Bridge Funds are in place to assist in funding 80 percent of the construction costs. Eagle Bridge Co. has been awarded the project for $868,544.35. Utility relocation is underway now and the bridge is scheduled to be closed for 90 days after construction begins.
The city is also gearing up for the 2016 street paving program. They currently have a little over 9 miles of street they’re planning on fixing. Magoto said they will have extra money to fix any problem areas that are found during the project.
There will several projects involving various sections of Vandemark Road. A traffic signal will be put in at Vandemark Road and Industrial Drive. The work will commence as soon as ordered materials are received and is scheduled to be completed in September. The construction cost is $203,000. At Michigan Street and Vandemark, a new traffic signal will be installed, as well as alignment of the left turn lanes.
Safety improvements on state Route 47 will soon move into phase two. This will include replacing the traffic signal at Michigan Street and Folkerth Avenue/Wayfarer Court. They are also planning on relocating Wayfarer Court further west so it aligns with Folkerth Avenue. The estimated construction cost of all of this is $904,000, of which 90 percent is covered through ODOT Safety Improvement funds. The contract date of completing is July 31, 2016.
An addition to Graceland Cemetery is being planned. This year sections G and H will be built. The estimated project cost is $265,502. No dates have been scheduled with bidding or construction yet.
Magoto also updated council on some traffic safety statistics from 2015, and how they compared to 2014. He noted the highest accident areas in the city. The highest, with 40 accidents, is Michigan Street at the Interstate 75 southbound ramp. Including some of the above mentioned safety projects, some improvements on Court Street will take place in 2017, and reconstruction of Russell Road, including a new signal and left turn lane at Wapakoneta Avenue in 2019, if the grant is awarded.
Sidney Code Enforcement Officer Kirby King reviewed some statistics and positive effects with council regarding the new junk ordinance that was adopted in 2013. He also discussed aspects of the current property maintenance ordinance.
After going over some examples of what King sees and deals with every day, he heard questions from council. They asked if lowering the grass/weed height requirements is necessary. King said he would look to see what other cities and villages have and get back to them.
Also at the meeting Monday night, council gave the go ahead to install pedestrian walk/don’t walk signals at the Broadway Avenue/Port Jefferson Road Intersection. Although this is not budgeted they are confident they will see cost savings in other projects to cover the cost of the new signals.
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