Downtown parking amnesty program extended

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — The downtown parking amnesty program was extended through Dec. 31 by the Sidney City Council during its Monday evening teleconference meeting.

A resolution was passed extending the suspension of the enforcement of violations of “designated two-hour free parking 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. It extends the previous amnesty resolution passed on Aug. 24, 2020, that was set to expire on March 31.

In other business, Finance Officer Ginger S. Adams led a discussion on the Miami Valley Risk Management Association (MVRMA) bylaw amendments.

Since 1993, Adams said, the city of Sidney has participated in a joint insurance pool, MVRMA, for its business insurance needs. MVRMA consists of 21-member cities that pool together their risks for property, crime, liability, boiler and machinery, and public officials’ liability. Each member city is represented on MVRMA’s Board of Trustees.

Recently, the board unanimously approved a small number of modifications, which clarify the operation of the association and give the board more flexibility in conducting operations. Changes to MVRMA’s bylaws must be approved by the legislative bodies of at least 2/3 of the member cities.

Adams was instructed to bring back the issue for further consideration at a future meeting. City Manager Mark Cundiff said he will inform council if the 2/3 approval was already met by other member cities before city staff needs to come back to council with legislation.

During comments at the end of the meeting, Mayor Mike Barhorst shared that a bow string bridge has been donated to the city of Sidney by a California resident he has been working with for some months. The goal is for the bridge, constructed in 1874, to be restored and relocated to the east side of Tawawa Lake and replace an over 60-year-old cast iron foot bridge.

Cundiff also shared:

• There will be an Irish Stroll St. Patrick’s Bar Crawl in Sidney’s downtown DORA during March 11 through 13. The event is sponsored by Sidney Alive. He also thanked City Council for approving outdoor dining for Murphy’s Craftbar + Kitchen as it helps to activate the downtown.

• The recent natural gas aggregation price increase he heard some residents recently received is due to a pass through of a cost increase coming from the city’s natural gas supplier. He learned the change had been in the works for some time and had nothing to do with Texas’ weather disaster a few weeks ago.

• Clocks go forward an hour for daylight saving time at 2 a.m. Sunday. Cundiff also noted it is a good time to check all smoke detector batteries.

In final business, Council member Steven Klinger’s absence Monday was excused by City Council.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.