Council considers lifting downtown parking restrictions

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — Sidney City Council is considering revoking parking restrictions in the downtown for the next six months.

During Monday’s meeting, council members discussed eliminating the parking restrictions currently in place for the downtown area. During the holiday season, City Council temporarily removed the two-hour parking time limits downtown to help businesses from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31.

The two-hour parking restriction was not enforced within the nine-block area bordered by West Avenue, North Street, Miami Avenue and South Street. It did not include metered spaces in front of the post office. Vehicles were prohibited from parking overnight in these on-street spaces.

During the Jan. 6 meeting, Mayor Mike Barhorst said he was surprised he had not received any parking complaints during the parking amnesty during the holiday season.

Monday, City Manager Mark Cundiff said the city nor Sidney Alive, the organization focused upon strengthing the core of downtown culture, received any complaints about parking during the amnesty period. Amy Breinch, executive director of Sidney Alive, and members of council felt the restriants should be lifted for another six months and see if it continues to work out for businesses downtown.

Legislation eliminating the parking restrictions will be brought back for a vote at a future City Council meeting.

In other business, council also adopted six resolutions, and they are:

• To authorize Cundiff to advertise for bids for various items and projects and services throughout 2020 that were included in the city of Sidney’s 2020 budget.

• To declare the necessity for repair/replacement of certain curb and gutters in Sidney and requiring abutting property owners to repair or replace the same.

Magoto told council the “resolution of necessity” is the first step of the 2020 curb and gutter program that will require property owners to make the repairs.

The total estimated curb and gutter needing repaired or replaced is 17,349 of linear feet at an estimated cost of $659,262. This estimated 17,349 linear feet, Magoto said, includes approximately 3,725 linear feet, which is driveway or adjacent to the driveway and therefore the responsibility of approximately 151 property owners.

• To authorize Cundiff to enter into a Downtown Rehab Loan Agreement with Backwoods Investment LLC.

Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth explained that Seth Middleton, on behalf of Backwoods Investments, filed Rehab Loans applications for façade improvements and building code corrections at 107 N. Ohio Ave. and 115 S. Ohio Ave.

The improvements at the North Ohio Avenue location includes also electrical upgrades. The estimated cost for the entire project is $45,230. Middleton is requesting a loan from the Downtown Rehab program for 50 percent of the costs, up to a maximum of $22,615.

The South Ohio Avenue project is estimated to cost $22,400. Middleton is requesting a loan from the Downtown Rehab program for up to 50 percent of the costs, $11,200.

The Downtown Rehab program, Dulworth said, was designed to provide a 50-50 matching loan. Financial assistance is provided in the form of a five-year forgivable loan, at a 0 percent interest rate, and is secured by a mortgage on the property being improved.

• To reappoint Amy Moloney-Klinger to the Shelby County Regional Planning Commission to expire Dec. 31, 2022. Moloney-Klingler has served as one of the three city of Sidney representatives to the Shelby County Regional Planning Commission since 2014.

• To reappoint Jeff Helman to the Airport Advisory Committee as a general aviation representative to fill the unexpired term of Gary J. Carter. Carter resigned after he was elected Sidney Municipal Court judge. Helman will then begin a full term beginning June 1, 2020, and expiring May 31, 2023. This is Helman’s first board appointment.

• To authorize Cundiff to file one or more applications with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for grant funding through the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) and the Clean Ohio Trails Fund (COTF) regarding the construction of the next phase of the Canal Feeder Trail, also known as the Great Miami River Recreational Trail.

The project would consist of a 10-foot-wide asphalt multi-use trail along the corridor of the historic Sidney Feeder Canal. Parks and Recreation Director Duane Gaier said engineers estimate the cost to be $1,306,496 to construct roughly 5,160 feet of path from the trail’s current terminus at the east side of the Interstate 75 bridge, at the Great Miami River, to Kuther Road. He said it would bring Sidney and Shelby County closer to the longest paved trail system in the United States which currently ends at the north end of Piqua. If the trail is paved to Kuther Road, then Shelby County Commissioners will work to connect to it in Lockington.

The COTF is a 75 percent grant with a 25 percent local match. The RTP grant is an 80 percent grant with a 20 percent local match, Gaier said. Local corporations have contributed and pledged a total of $110,000 toward trail development. The trail construction project was submitted for review and was rated in the top 10 on the Dayton Development Coalition’s (DDC), Priority Development and Advocacy Committees project list, he said. This list is shared by the DDC with law makers in Columbus prior to developing the Ohio’s Capital Budget.

If funded, the grant would be awarded in fall of 2020, design would be completed in 2020, with construction in 2021.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.