SIDNEY — The Sidney City Council caught up on buisness Monday evening after meetings were canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Because city offices have been closed to the public to help prevent the spread of the virus, Monday’s meeting was conducted by electronic means.
Council was introduced to an ordinance for the vacation of a portion of the first north-south alley, west of Highland Avenue and south of Campbell Road.
Shelby County Commissioners requested the vacation on behalf of adjacent property owners. Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth said the affected portion of the alley is from the southern terminus of the alley, north ,approximately 180 feet. This portion of the alley is not improved, does not contain any city utilities, and is not useful as an alley, so staff recommends for the alley to be vacated. As standard practice, she said, the city includes a utility easement on the vacated alley, prohibiting the placement of any structure.
The issue will return for further consideration on May 11.
City Council also adopted the following seven resolutions:
• To reappoint Kevin Behr to the Downtown Design Review Board;
• To reappoint Michael Jannides to the city Tree Board;
• To reappoint Kent Craver to the Board of Building Code Appeals;
• To reappoint Gary Heitmeyer to the Airport Advisory Committee;
• To declare it necessary to improve streets, avenues, public highways, and public places in the city of Sidney by lighting the same with electricity.
Gary Clough, assistant city manager/public works director, said the “resolution of necessity” is the first step required by City Council to establish 2020 and 2021 rates.
• To accept the request of Choice One Engineering, on behalf of Cargill, for the replat of nine parcels to create one new lot. It is located on South Vandemark Road and Industrial Drive in the I-2, general industrial district.
The property is a combination of lots owned and developed by Cargill and lots previously owned and developed by Trupointe Co-Op, Dulworth said. The replat will result in lot with 83.592 acres. The property includes multiple easements through and across the land. This replat does not vacate any of the existing utility easements. Cargill may request vacation of unnecessary easements at a later date.
The lot fronts on both Industrial Drive and Vandemark Road, but is not a corner lot as defined by the zoning code because the property does not sit at the intersection of two streets. The lot is an unusual shape, but does meet the minimum lot size, width, and lot width to depth requirements of the zoning code and subdivision regulations
• To accept the request of the city of Sidney for the approval of a replat of two lots to create one new lot at the intersection of Apache Drive and Sherri Ann Avenue in the R-2, single and two-family residence district. A public hearing was held on the issue. No questions or concerns were submitted by any member of the public.
The currently undeveloped property was recently acquired by the city of Sidney to develop a park for the Heritage Manor and Stewart subdivisions. The replat will result in lot with 22,477-square-feet, or 0.516 acres.
• To authorize the placement of the Helman Farm in an agricultural district, subject to a livestock limitation. The zoning code requires the owner to renew their application every five years.
The property is zoned R-1, and as there are no municipal plans for the area, Dulworth said renewal of the “agricultural district” certification is appropriate, with the condition the property is to be used for raising crops, not livestock.
In final business, council members showed no opposition to renew all of the numerous existing liquor permits for those establishments within the city of Sidney that are required to annually file a renewal application. Sidney Police found no reason for the city oppose the permits, after background checks was completed.
At the end of the meeting, during council member comments, Vice Mayor Mardie Milligan asked about future remote meetings and thanked city staff members for their leadership and diligent work amid the COVID-19 pandemic; the rest of council agreed with her and echoed her thoughts.
Council member Ed Hamaker said he received a call about a constantly overflowing dumpster on Spruce Street and asked city staff to look into it.
Council member Steven Klinger said with the city pool being closed this summer, there will likely be more pools put up at residences. He recommended putting out information to remind residents about the city ordinance regarding pools.
Mayor Mike Barhorst shared information he learned from the Shelby County Land Reutilization Corp. (Land Bank) Director Doug Ahlers about being contacted by a company that cleans up old service station sites. The old service station under the Big Four Bridge was flagged as a site that has never been cleaned up, the company told Ahlers. He asked Barhorst if the city would be interested in the land if it was cleaned up and then the Land Bank then took possession to complete the demolition of the building on the property. Barhorst said he was not seeking an answer from council Monday, but wanted to inform members about it. He also thanked council members and City Clerk Kari Egbert for the good work of conducting the meeting virtually.
City Manager Mark Cundiff said he will issue a press release with information about pools. He also highlighted the good work of the various members of the Sidney city staff from utilities workers to distribution and collection staff members who have continued to work non-stop to keep the city going. Cundiff also agreed the meeting went well and felt they could continue to conduct meetings electronically if necessary.
Council member Darryl Thurber was absent Monday and was excused by City Council.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.