Parking changes near Sidney Middle School considered

By Sheryl Roadcap - [email protected]

SIDNEY — Sidney City Council, Monday night, considered prohibiting parking on certain roadways near Sidney Middle School between 2 to 4 p.m. on school days to alleviate parking issues.

An ordinance was introduced at the City Council meeting by Public Works Director Jon Crusey to alleviate issues of vehicles waiting to pick children up from school. If adopted, parking would be prohibited from 2 to 4 p.m. on school days on Cherry Street between Fair Road and Center Avenue, and the southeast alley parallel to Fair Road, between Chase Avenue and Cherry Street.

A section of an existing city ordinance, Crusey said, prohibits any vehicle from stopping or parking in any alley less than 21 feet in width; therefore, the alley between Lincoln Street and Cherry Street will also be posted as no parking.

Council member Darryl Thurber voiced concern about the parking problem being pushed elsewhere. Council members Steve Wagner and Ed Hamaker thanked city staff for their work to help alleviate the problem. Mayor Mike Barhorst expressed concern about creating a law when another answer to the problem seems available, but noted this may be the best option the city has to alleviate the issue.

Council was also introduced to two other ordinances, and they are:

• To amend the 2021 pay table to increase pay for the chief probation officer per the CCA Grant. The rate of pay would increase to $29.73 per hour, or $61,838.40 annually, from the current rate of $28.12 per hour. Barhorst asked Human Resources Manger Vickie Allen what happens when the grant goes away to pay the salary. He also asked if the grant reimbursed the city for the entire hourly wage and benefit package.

Allen said the grant has been available every year for the past 16 years she has worked for the city. Court Administrator Tony Kremer said the grant pays for the entire wage and benefits, as well as for some equipment used by the probation department. It was also noted it is highly unlikely the grant would not be available.

Judge Gary Carter thanked City Council for their continued support of the Sidney Municipal Court and noted the court operated as “a well-oiled machine.”

• To assess the cost of junk removal for outstanding invoices through May 3, which remain outstanding as of June 7. The invoiced amount is the actual cost of the junk removal plus 20%. A total of 36 properties will be assessed a total of $11,175.42 for junk removal.

In other business, a public hearing was held in conjunction with the introduction of an ordinance on the request of Choice One Engineering, on behalf of MSGA Development, for the rezoning of one parcel of land, located north of Russell Road, west of St. Marys Avenue, and east and south of Interstate 75.

This property was the subject of a rezoning earlier this year in 2021, said Barbara Dulworth, committee service director. Since that time, she said revisions to the subdivision platting and phasing made it necessary for a revision to the zoning districts. The requested revision, if approved by Sidney City Council, would result in:

• The B-2, community business district, on the north side of the property adjacent to St. Marys Avenue increases from 59.97 acres to 62.19 acres.

• The R-3, multi-family residence district, on the east side of the property shifts to the north and increases from 11.53 acres to 15.65 acres. The R-3 district on the south-west side of the property remains unchanged.

• The B-2 district on the south side of the property adjacent to Russell Road is eliminated.

• The R-1, single family residence district increases from 84.86 acres to 91.36 acres.

Dulworth noted the requested revisions do not significantly change the zoning for this property, except for the change from B-2 district to R-1 district adjacent to Russell Road.

The city’s comprehensive plan’s recommends land uses include residential, commercial, office and mixed uses. The proposed rezoning is in compliance with the recommendations for this area.

Because Russell Road is a heavily-traveled thoroughfare, Dulworth said, residential uses would be required to have access only from a street within the subdivision and would require a buffer area between Russell Road and the residential lots as part of the subdivision development.

During a call for questions, Council member Jenny VanMatre asked if the change would result in additional residential housing. Dulworth said 25 additional single family residences is planned to become available.

By Sheryl Roadcap

[email protected]

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.