Council considers extending parking amnesty downtown

By Sheryl Roadcap - [email protected]

SIDNEY — Sidney City Council discussed extending the downtown parking amnesty program through March 2021 during its Monday evening hybrid-style meeting.

City Manager Mark Cundiff reminded council members City Council passed a resolution on Jan. 27 to extend the program in which the two-hour parking restriction would not be enforced within the nine-block area bordered by West Avenue, North Street, Miami Avenue and South Street. The amnesty does not include the metered spaces in front of the Post Office or overnight parking in these on-street spaces. The extension ended on July 31.

Mayor Mike Barhorst noted being surprised they have not received any parking complaints from business owners in the downtown. Sidney Alive Executive Director Amy Breinich said Sidney Alive has not received any parking complaints either.

After a brief conversation on the issue, council directed city staff to draw up legislation to bring back for further consideration to extend the program until the end of March 2021.

Council also was introduced to six ordinances, and they are:

• To amend a sub-section of the zoning code to reflect the abolition of the position of assistant city manager/public works director. Human Resource Manager Vickie Allen said the assistant city manager/public works director position is being abolished due to the upcoming retirement of Gary Clough and City Council’s decision on March 23 to split up the two positions.

• To amend schedule d of pay table ii, to reflect the abolition of the position of assistant city manager/public works director. Barhorst asked if one of the positions was being cut. Cundiff confirmed that especially due to the city being affected amid the coronavirus pandemic, the assistant city manage position has been unfunded and remains unfunded in the city’s budget.

• To levy special assessments for the construction and replacement of certain described curb and gutters in the city of Sidney. Randy Magoto, engineering manager, said a city contractor completed the work for property owners who did not complete their own curb and gutter replacement during 2020. The city engineering department itemized these assessments and gave a list of property owners to the clerk of council on June 26. He told council notices of payment due will be sent to residents two weeks after the adoption of the ordinance. Property owners then will be given 60 days to pay the bill or have it placed on their property taxes over a five-year period through the Shelby County Auditor’s Office.

• To create and designate an outdoor refreshment area (DORA) within the city of Sidney and establishing requirements to ensure public health and safety within the DORA. Cundiff said on June 22 City Council received the application to create a DORA in downtown Sidney. The adoption of this ordinance would officially establish the DORA in downtown Sidney

• To assess the cost of demolishing two dangerous buildings, at 102 N. Wilkinson Ave. and 117 Beech St., which were not taken care of by the owners.

Barbara Dulworth, community development director, said the city became aware of property maintenance issues with loose and falling bricks and rotting window structures in August 2018 and then notified the owner of the need to make repairs. After no action was taken and an inspection the following April revealed concern the structure could collapse, the city took action. The cost to the city to complete the demolition totaled $54,713 and was completed February 2020 with final grade and seed completed in May 2020.

The Beech Street property was damaged as a result of a fire on March 27. The owner was notified of the necessity to secure the building but failed to do so. During an inspection on May 1, it was found due to the fire damage and subsequent rain and wind, the residence was leaning and was in danger of collapse. When the owner did not take the required action, the city’s contractor completed the demolition of the residence in May 2020, costing $12,655.

• To enact and adopt a supplement to the code of ordinances for the city of Sidney. Codification means to place the ordinances in proper sequence in the City Code Book.

Council also adopted two resolutions, and they are:

• To authorize a cash advance from the general fund, if needed, up to a maximum of $25,000, to the law enforcement Diversion Program Grant Fund of the city of Sidney.

• To accept the plat titled TCFC investments replat of two lots to create two new lots in the R-1, single family residence district, with a Planned Unit Development overlay at the intersection of Summer Field Trail and Arthur Court. The reason for the replat is to turn the orientation of the two lots 90 degrees, from an east-west division to a north-south division.

Council also went into an executive session to discuss the employment of a public employee. No action was taken after members came out of the executive session.

By Sheryl Roadcap

[email protected]

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.