City Council continues budget review

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — During the continued review of the 2021 budget, Monday night, Sidney City Council heard presentations on the goals of the Sidney Municipal Court, and of the city’s public works department.

Among projects planned in the Municipal Court next year is to ensure compliance with Supreme Court of Ohio guidelines for case disposition and for cases to be resolved in a timely and efficient manner. Clerk Tony Kremer said they review security protocols and safety procedures on a regular basis and train staff. Another goal is to continue working to implement E-ticket with local law enforcement agencies. The Ohio State Highway Patrol implemented E-tickets in 2020, but some issues are still being worked through.

Within the court’s special projects fund, Kremer said the additional court fees levied acquire and pay for special court projects. The fees are used to pay for the project coordinator, who began in 2019 and assists with coordinating technology projects; to pay for deputy clerk services in 2019 and 2020; to fund portions of the building’s maintenance and the replacement of radios and video conferencing system.

The goals of the Justice Reinvestment Incentive Grant (JRIG) fund, which works to reduce recidivism and change probationers’ cognizant behavior, are:

• Commit 10% fewer probation violators to jail;

• Refer at least 20 opiate addicted offenders to transitional house program at the Shelby County Jail;

• Maintain 80% success rate in the medically assisted treatment/intensive outpatient programs;

• Reduce the number of offenders incarcerated on bond and pretrial status by 10%.

The JRIG fund pays for three full-time employees: a probation officer, pretrial services officer and clerical aide; and one part-time employee: a peer support specialist.

The probation grant fund’s goals were also discussed. Kremer said it pays the program costs of full-time chief probation officer. A state of Ohio grant, estimated at $77,000, will provide case management for offenders determined to be moderate or high risk. Other plans for the fund are to develop supervision plans and use the evidence based practices to reduce the number of probation violations, and to improve and expand programs offered by community providers for offenders.

Public Works Director Jon Crusey reviewed the goals and objectives for the many divisions that fall under public works: including street lighting, engineering, urban forestry, streets, winter maintenance, water, underground utilities, sewer, stormwater, public transit, airport, service center, garage/fleet, and solid waste.

Crusey said in the engineering department, a goal is to coordinate capital project scheduling with departments for timing and budget, to continue staff education and to convert archival paper documents to digital format, as well as enforce document submission standards for developers and consultants.

Goals for street lighting is to manage infrastructure to provide well maintained and cost effective street lighting, and to ensure contractors respond quickly to outages.

In the street administration, a goal, Crusey said, is to update the Pavement Condition Index (PCI) as needed, and strive to maintain a minimum 70% PCI rating.

For street maintenance, Crusey also said the city staff will work to improve the overall rating of Sidney’s roadways by annually completing the PCI survey, aggressive pothole patching and street crack sealing and rejuvenation of the roads. A goal is also to maintain clean, swept roadways with three cycles per year target for 2021.

In the street traffic division, the city will continue with the traffic sign retro-reflective requirement by replacing 300 traffic signs next year. Also, traffic lights will be replaced with new LED traffic heads and the annual traffic pavement striping will continue, he said.

Crusey reviewed the numerous ongoing goals for the city’s water and the treatment plants. Goal are to supply potable water in sufficient quantity to meet demand or exceed the required water quality, encourage staff to obtain Ohio EPA Class III certification, provide annual training to meet contact hour requirements to maintain staff licensure, and identify treatment processes and chemicals that may need to change since transferring to ground water source. Another goal is to retain the option to utilize surface water from Miami River, and Tawawa Creek intakes.

For underground utilities, among other goals, the city aims maintain the integrity of water distribution system and replace five fire hydrants per year. Another goal is to replace old water meters and associated equipment to ensure quick accurate readings. The goal is to upgrade 300 to 400 meters to E-coder meters in 2021.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.