SIDNEY — A committee has been assembled to study the issue of whether golf carts and other non-traditional vehicles will be allowed on Sidney city streets. Mayor Mike Barhorst made the announcement during Sidney City Council’s teleconference meeting Monday evening.
The decision to reconsider the prohibition of non-traditional vehicles on city roadways came after numerous council members shared they had received several comments/inquiries from city residents on the topic.
Anyone who would like to contribute on the issue is asked to email Randy Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org to express their opinion. Barhorst said Rose requested no phone calls, but rather to email him with input.
The committee’s members include Chairman Randy Rose, Vice Mayor Mardie Milligan, Justin River, Law Director Jeff Amick, Karl Bemus and Council members Jenny VanMatre and Ed Hamaker. Parks Director Duane Gaier and Police Chief Will Balling will also sit on the committee.
After Barhorst had made the committee study announcement, Westover Drive resident Joe Sturm, who spoke as a representative of the Moose Lodge, said the Moose has a vested interest in the golf cart issue. He asked if they were going to be allowed to continue driving on roadways until council “puts together some sort of an amendment.” Balling informed him currently, golf carts on city streets are against the law. He said police will be issuing warnings until May 1.
Sturm further asked if once the committee puts together a resolution, will carts be then be allowed on streets. Barhorst reminded Sturm the committee had only just been formed that day, on Monday, had not met yet, and therefore he was uncertain as to what the study would determine. He directed Sturm to send his comments to Rose.
Next Marilyn Drive resident David Fleming spoke, with a small group of unidentified concerned citizens on the teleconference call with him. Fleming thanked Barhorst for creating the committee to study the non-traditional vehicle issue. He asked if a public meeting was going to be held on the topic, or if people were only to email comments to Rose. Barhorst said he believes at this time comments are only to be forwarded to Rose and he is unaware as to whether a public meeting will be held. Fleming said he wanted an open meeting if possible. No other members of Fleming’s group spoke.
In other business, City Council was introduced to following three ordinances:
• To amend a section of the codified ordinances regarding wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) charges for excessive loads from industrial users. Current rates are $0.52/lb. for total suspended solids (TSS) and $0.188/lb. for chemical oxygen demand (COD). Based on operating costs and loadings at the WWTP, the proposed rates beginning July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2023 are $0.587 for TSS and $0.22 for COD.
• To name the Heritage Manor subdivision park “Heritage Manor Park” and amend a codified ordinance sub-section to include the newly dedicated park property.
• To amend a chapter of the codified ordinances of the city of Sidney by enacting a section pertaining to seasonal outdoor dining on downtown public sidewalks.
These ordinance will return to council for further consideration on April 26.
Council also adopted the following two resolutions:
• To authorize City Manager Mark Cundiff to enter into multi-year professional service agreements for labor, equipment and supplies for the maintenance of Sidney’s water storage tanks located at 1235 Fourth Ave. and 415 S. Vandemark Road.
• To authorize the granting of a revocable license to Dallas Davis and Bridget Davis for use in connection with the installation and use of a private swimming pool at 1156 St. Clair Drive.
During city manager comments at the end of the meeting, Cundiff said the cost to repair leaks in Sidney Waterpark’s large pool will cost $42,575, and if the repairs are not completed, the pool will not be able to open for the summer. He told council although it cost more than expected, he authorized the work to begin. Cundiff said some of the cost can be covered from incoming ARPA money.
He also shared he learned AGE will be refunding some of the excessive fees charged to customers for natural gas in February. The passing on of higher fees from its provider was not supposed to happen, Cundiff said. More information on it will be coming soon.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.