DORA officially established downtown

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — A designated outdoor refreshment area (DORA) was officially established, by Sidney City Council Monday night. Also, the downtown parking amnesty program within a nine-block area was extended until March 31, 2021.

Sidney City Council passed the ordinance to create the DORA during its hybrid-style meeting. The legislation also established requirements for ensuring public health and safety within the DORA. Council received the application to create a DORA in downtown Sidney on June 22.

This DORA would be a slight modification of the downtown nine block area, with residential properties and a church not included in the DORA. The DORA is 34.46 acres in size, and is primarily zoned B-5, courtsquare business, with a small area of B-1, local business. The hours of operation are Thursday and Friday, from 4 p.m. to midnight; Saturday, from noon to midnight; and Sunday, from noon to 10 p.m.

Also Monday, council adopted a resolution to extend the downtown parking amnesty program.

The two-hour parking restriction will not be enforced on two-hour spaces on streets within the nine-block area bordered by West Avenue, North Street, Miami Avenue and South Street. City Manager Mark Cundiff said the amnesty does not include the metered spaces in front of the Post Office or overnight parking in these on-street spaces. The resolution, adopted on the Jan. 27, that extended the program beyond the holiday season ended on July 31.

In other business, aside from legislation establishing the DORA, council also adopted five other 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 retirement of Gary Clough, who held both positions, and city council’s March 23 decision 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.

• 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 Monday’s 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 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.

At the end of the meeting during council member comments, Darryl Thurber asked Cundiff for another update on the Ohio Building. Mayor Mike Barhorst also said he recently was contacted by an interested party about the building and wondered if the marketing brochure city staff has been working on is ready yet. Cundiff reported the brochure on the Ohio Building is in the works and should be available for Barhorst to hand out very soon.

Council member Steven Klinger shared of a complaint he received about a trash dumpster at Papa John’s being an eye sore and possibly a traffic hazard. He was told by city staff they would look into it.

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

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

By Sheryl Roadcap