Council considers Tawawa Park holiday light display

By Sheryl Roadcap - [email protected]

SIDNEY — A possible holiday light display in Tawawa Park was discussed during Sidney City Council’s meeting Monday night.

Parks and Recreation Director Duane Gaier introduced the light display idea as the exploratory committee, assembled by Lehman Catholic High School Music Boosters, sought Sidney City Council’s blessing.

The projected driving route, Gaier said, would enter through the main gate, travel to Wagner Glade, past the Ross Covered Bridge, the Kaser Dell and Ferguson Circle areas and exit in the area behind Geib Pavilion and out past the Lodge Soccer Fields and onto Tawawa Drive.

Gaier said the event would be similar to what is held in held in Middletown each year and last year in Troy at the Lost Creek Reserve. The display would be held at Tawawa Park during the time the park is closed to vehicular traffic, and would require city council’s approval to allow traffic in the park. Changing the hours of operation is not unlike the closing of Tawawa Park for the Civil War re-enactment, he said.

Emily O’Leary and Jenny Beezy, members of the music boosters exploratory committee, said although the plan is for a drive-thru light display, they are open to other ideas, when asked if the event would also include food trucks or concert music.

Some brief discussion ensued about how much of the city’s resources would be involved to facilitate the event. Gaier said usually any city costs are charged back to the organization conducting the event. Mayor Mike Barhorst said he doesn’t like the idea of putting salt down in the park area. He asked if they anticipated closing display in the event of bad weather. Gaier said he could foresee times when it would have to be closed due to weather.

The consensus among council members was to move forward with the planning and bring back more information for further consideration.

In the other business, council was introduced to two ordinances, for making supplemental appropriations for 2020 and to amend an ordinance pertaining to private or public utility “pavement cuts” within the right of way.

Assistant City Manager/Public Works Director Gary Clough said the proposed changes to the ordinance are:

• Add: “All repairs shall be satisfactorily completed within 21 days of the pavement cut”

• Delete: “exceeding 25 square feet or 25 linear feet in the direction of travel, deletes within six (6) months, and add: “by October 15 of the year” for the time period to complete the pavement repair and, delete “25” feet, and add: “15” feet to the length of the repair.

Also Monday, A public meeting was held in conjunction with the introduction of an ordinance for a zoning code amendment. William Wolfe requested to add “trade or business school; photographic studio; dancing studio; radio or television broadcasting studio” as a permitted use in the B-1, local business district. No member of the public spoke.

Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth said the uses for “trade or business school; photographic studio; dancing studio; radio or television broadcasting studio” are currently listed as permitted uses in the B-2, community business district.

Dulworth told council members the Planning Commission agreed to recommend for Sidney City Council to approve amending the zoning code by adding “photographic studio and dance studio” only to the list of principally permitted uses in a section of the B-1 district chapter. The other uses, trade or business school and radio or television broadcasting studio, have the potential to negatively affect adjacent residential neighborhoods due to traffic, noise, or transmittal towers, she said.

Vice Mayor Mardie Milligan mentioned that dance studios can get quite loud, but she didn’t have problem with the change. She also suggested looking at adding businesses producing podcast or uploading videos to the zoning code in the future. Dulworth said they are currently in the process of rewriting the zoning code.

The ordinances will return for further consideration at the Feb. 24 meeting.

City Council also adopted a resolution declaring the necessity of the construction and repair of certain sidewalks in Sidney and requiring for abutting property owners to repair the same.

Randy Magoto, engineering manager, told council a “resolution of necessity” is the first step of the 2020 sidewalks program that will require property owners to make the repairs. He said courtesy letters have been sent to each of these property owners of the properties in need of repair to alert them of the pending sidewalk repairs.

Cundiff reminded the public city offices will be closed on Monday, Feb. 17, in observation of President’s Day. Trash pickup will not be delayed.

Several Boy Scouts from Troop 66 were in attendance and introduced themselves at the end Monday’s meeting as a step to earn a merit badge.

In final business, City Council held an executive session to consider pending litigation, preparing for negotiations or bargaining sessions with public employees, and to consider the purchase of property for public purposes. Council did not take action when they came out of the session.

By Sheryl Roadcap

[email protected]

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.