Council authorizes Shelby Public Transit contracts

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — Shelby Public Transit contracts for federal and state grant funding and the Elderly and Disabled Fare Assistance Program were authorized Monday evening during Sidney City Council’s teleconference meeting.

Details of the two resolutions pertaining to the Shelby Public Transit include the following:

• The authorization of the annual application to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for 2022 operating and capital grant funding, and also to authorize City Manager Mark Cundiff to execute a contract with ODOT upon the approval of the grant application. A federal operating grant of $475,270, and a state operating grant $115,000 is being requested. In capital spending, the total grant request is $237,500. This is for federal and state maintenance and two vehicle replacements.

• To enter into a contract with the ODOT for the 2021 Elderly and Disabled Fare Assistance Program. This program reimburses the city of Sidney for half of the $2.50 general public rate for non-contract trips provided to passengers over the age of 65 and those with a disability who have certifications on file in the transit’s office.

In 2021, ODOT awarded the Shelby Public Transit $51,444 to offset the fare box loss incurred during calendar year 2020 as a result of offering a reduced fare to elderly and disabled passengers, said Ron Schalow, manager of Shelby County Transit.

Five other resolutions were also adopted Monday, and they are:

• To accept the recommendations of the Tax Incentive Review Council.

• To reappoint Greg Bonnoront, Tim Gleason and Vice Mayor Mardie Milligan to new three-year terms on the Downtown Design Review Board. These reappointments will expire May 1,2024. Bonnoront and Milligan have served on this board since its inception on May 12, 1997. Gleason has served on this board since Nov. 27, 2017.

• The reappointments of Ann Asher and Rick Steenrod each to a new three-year term on the Sidney Tree Board. Each term will expire April 30, 2024. Asher has served on the Tree Board since 2007 and Steenrod has served since March 12, 2018.

• To authorize Cundiff to execute an air quality facility Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) Agreement.

Cargill plans to expand its Sidney Facility by acquiring, constructing and installing Air Quality Facilities, as defined in the Ohio Revised Code, Cundiff said. To finance the expansion, Cargill requested the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority issue $75 million of Ohio Air Quality Development Authority State of Ohio Exempt Facilities Revenue Bonds.

Under applicable Ohio law, projects financed by the issuance of such bonds are exempt from payment of property taxes. Notwithstanding this exemption, Cundiff said, Cargill has agreed to make payments in lieu of taxes with respect to this project equal to those taxes that would have been owed to the city of Sidney, but for this exemption. In essence, Cargill has agreed to hold the city (as well as the county and the local school district) harmless from the loss of the exempted taxes through the execution of a PILOT Agreement.

• To authorize the submittal of a grant application to ODOT, Office of Aviation, for Ohio Airport Grant funds to rehabilitate taxiway A and provide lighting improvements at the Sidney City Airport.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.