Council adopts new water park rates

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — The new Sidney Water Park rates for 2020 were established by Sidney City Council during Monday evening’s meeting.

Council adopted the resolution which Sidney Parks and Recreation Director Duane Gaier presented on the Water Park fees.

The 2020 daily admission for preschool children will increase to $4.50 from $4. The individual-only season pass will also increase to $35 from $34.

The daily admission fee for adults, seniors and youth will remain at $4.50. Training rentals would remain at $15 per hour per guard required. The two-hour pool rental remains at $300, which would cover staffing costs up to $287. Replacement photo season passes will also remain at $15. All active military personnel on leave who show proper identification would continue to be admitted for free.

The city’s goal, Gaier said, is to recover 40 percent of the park’s operating costs. The income tax subsidy will cover the remaining 60 percent of operating costs and 100 percent of capital costs. Taking into consideration the decline in attendance since 2009, budgeted revenue for 2020 will cover approximately 31.2% of the budgeted expenditures.

City Council also adopted two other resolutions, and they are:

• To authorize the consumption of alcohol on public property and authorize City Manager Mark Cundiff to enter into special event use agreements with Sidney Alive for their sponsored events that include alcohol. These 2020 events include: The Great Sidney Farmer’s Market, Kentucky Derby Affair on the Square, Music Festival & Arts Festival, Open Air Dinner, and the Paddle, Pedal and Pints Festival.

• To declare Sidney’s request of the state of Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to reduce the speed limit from 55 to 40 mph along state Route 47 from Stolle Avenue to Lester Avenue.

The city’s engineering department completed a speed study along the corridor and determined a speed reduction is appropriate and warranted per the state of Ohio Traffic Engineering Manual, said Randy Magoto, engineering manager. If approved, the resolution would allow city staff to formally make an application to ODOT for the reduction of the speed limit from 55 and 50 mph to 40 mph.

If the application is accepted and adopted by the State of Ohio, new signs will be erected to reflect the new speed limit along the corridor.

Council was also introduced to the following three ordinances:

• To assess the cost of the removal of litter or junk on private property for outstanding invoices through Feb. 3, 2020, which remain outstanding as of March 4, 2020.

Finance Officer Ginger Adams said a total of six properties will be assessed a total of $7,386 for junk removal.

• Two ordinances that amend sections of the codified ordinances regarding salary increments, overtime compensation and the pay classification plan of public employees for 2020.

Adams also led a discussion on the city’s general obligation debt refinancing. When a city issues general obligation (G.O.) bonds, generally a call provision is included in the terms. A call provision permits the city to retire bonds early, she explained. Often, this is done as part of a refinancing in which the called bonds are replaced with new bonds at a lower interest rate. All bonds currently outstanding for the city of Sidney contain such a call provision.

Included in the city’s statement of financial policies is a provision that periodic reviews of all outstanding debt will be undertaken to evaluate refinancing opportunities. Refinancing is to be considered when there is a net economic benefit of doing so. In general, refinancing is recommended when a net present value savings of at least 2% percent of the refunded debt can be achieved.

There are three G.O. bond issues that are both able to be refinanced and would likely financially benefit the city to refinance.

Based on estimated rates as of March 2 (prior to the Federal Reserve’s most recent rate reduction), Adams said, refinancing these bonds was estimated to result in savings of about $79,000 per year. This corresponds to net present value savings of about 15%, which is well above the 2% recommended by city policy. Given interest rate volatility, the city’s bond financial advisor had requested city staff to ask City Council to waive the 14-day referendum period, so that the finance department may move as quickly as possible to take advantage of lower interest rates.

If approved, Adams anticipates competitively bidding the bonds on April 23, 2020. The law firm of Peck, Shaffer and Williams will be bond counsel and Sudsina & Associates will serve as financial advisor for this bond refinancing.

Upon hearing the information, council directed Adams to move forward with the proposed refinancing and to prepare the necessary ordinances authorizing the refinancing, including emergency language waiving the 14-day referendum period, so it will be effective on April 13.

There was also a discussion to transfer a C1 and C2 liquor permit at at Marathon Gas station on East North Street from Enterprises Inc. to Darnal Inc.

Cundiff noted the police department conducted a background report for the ownership change and it indicated there was no known reason to oppose the change. Council members voiced no opposition to the permit transfer.

Council members Steve Wagner and Steven Klinger were both absent Monday and were excused by council.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.