City’s snow plan shared at council meeting

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — Information about the city’s snow plan was presented to the Sidney City Council during its Monday evening hybrid-style teleconference meeting.

Street Manager Brian Green spoke to council members about the city’s snow removal policy for the upcoming winter season. He said due to the mild winters over the last several years, the city has used less than average amounts of salt. The city’s salt dome is full, and plow trucks and equipment are ready for winter weather, he said.

Prices have come down each year from their peak price in 2015, Green said. This year, although Sidney’s salt dome has approximately 2,000 tons on tons of salt on site, the city of Sidney is under contract with Cargill for additional inventory at $47.33 a ton. The price of salt was higher in 2019 at $99.58 per ton.

Sidney has about 21 winter events per season, Green said, of which the salt/grit mixture is needed to be applied to city streets. The city’s average annual salt usage is 1,081 tons over the last 10 years with an average cost of $71.77 per ton, Green said. Snow plows go out when there is 4 inches of snow on the main roadways, hills, hill alleys, curves and bridges. The snow policy is to minimally apply salt to parking lots, except hills; residential and alley areas; some sidewalks and in the cemetery.

The street department has 10, 5-ton dump trucks with snowplows; five, 1-ton dump trucks with snowplows; nine, three-fourth-ton pickup trucks with snowplows; two front-end loaders; three backhoes; a skid-steer tractor; and two sidewalk tractors with snowplows or snow-blowers with salt spreaders.

All snow trucks are equipped with automated vehicle locators, Green said, which gives city staff the ability to accurately locate and identify where trucks are, and if they have been plowing or spreading salt at a location. The 5-ton trucks have toggle sensors that also gives the plow position and whether the trucks are spreading salt.

He told council this year’s annual Snow Plow and Transit Roadeo, which helps give drivers a refresher before the winter season begins, has been canceled. Council member Steve Wagner expressed his disappointment with the cancellation of the roadeo but shared his amazement of the drivers’ abilities.

In other business, Utilities Director Bill Blakely presented council members with proposed modifications to a chapter of the city’s codified ordinances pertaining to sanitary sewers. Blakely said the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency recommended amendments to the chapter to bring it into compliance with Ohio EPA laws and regulations as found the Ohio Revised Code, a chapter of the Ohio Administrative Code and the terms and conditions related to the implementation of the pretreatment program found in the city’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. Blakely said these recommendations were made after a 2019 pretreatment audit inspection and subsequent notice of violation to correct the ordinance deficiencies.

Wagner asked if the changes would have an effect on the city’s corporate wastewater users. There would be minimal impact to operations or corporate users, Blakely said. He was directed to bring back legislation for consideration during the Oct. 12 regular meeting.

Also Monday, a review of the upcoming Zoning Board/Planning Commission Agenda for Monday, Oct. 19, was shared. City Manager Mark Cundiff also reviewed the prospective city council agenda items for the next 30 days.

Cundiff then asked council members for feedback on the September presentation given on the proposed new Sidney logo. Most council members expressed ambivalence about the logo. They also collectively expressed concern about multiple organizations using the proposed logo which could create confusion with individuals believing the message was official city business, when it was not. Members thought keeping the existing “Flying S” would provide the differentiation for official city business with both logos existing side by side for the present. The new logo, members said, would best be suited for marketing campaigns to promote the city for tourism and visitor purposes.

During council comments at the end of the meeting, Jenny VanMatre thanked Sidney Police for speed enforcement near the Sidney High School. Darryl Thurber thanked and praised Sidney Police and Fire Department members for their commitment and fine work. Steven Klingler asked for an update on the dumpster issue at Papa John’s Pizza, which was causing safety issues for traffic. Cundiff said city staff had marked the placement for the right of way area and will continue to monitor the situation.

Vice Mayor Mardie Milligan asked for a copy of the Ohio Building marketing brochure. She also questioned the action to be taken on the recent commendation of the multi-family property at 314 N. Ohio Ave. Cundiff said it was still early in the process, and staff was working with the property owner.

Mayor Mike Barhorst reminded all trick-or-treat will take place on Saturday, Oct. 31, from 4 to 6 p.m. Barhorst also said the bicentennial tree planting ceremony is set for Saturday, Oct. 10, at 10 a.m. on the court square, and the Zenas King Bridge Dedication Ceremony is on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 2:30 p.m. in Tawawa Park.

In final business, City Council went into an executive session to consider the employment of a public employee. No action was taken by council when members emerged from the session.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.