City Council hears street levy progress

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — Sidney City Council heard an update on the street levy’s progress during its Monday evening meeting.

Information on the 0.15 percent earned income tax street levy, that became effective Jan. 1, 2020, was presented by Public Works Director Jon Crusey. The previous 0.25% street levy expired Dec. 31, 2019. The new street levy expires Dec. 31, 2024.

Collected funds may only used for streets, alleys, curbs and gutter construction, which began in 2015 after the first 0.25% street levy was approved in the November 2014 election.

The first street projects were completed during the summer 2015. During his update, Crusey gave an overview of completed street projects accomplished over the last six years. He said the total revenue from the 0.25% levy received through 2020 was $12,871,390.

The projected revenue from the 0.15% levy through 2024 is $8.1 million, with the amount received in 2020 at $1,218,000.

The presentation also included comparison maps, charts and an overview of projected projects to be completed through 2025.

A total of $24.6 million is needed over the next five years for streets’, bridge and traffic signal work, less the $10.2 million in anticipated grants. Aside from the $8.1 million of anticipated revenue to be received through 2024, Crusey’s report projects an additional gas tax revenue of $405,407 to be collected for the street projects through 2026.

In other business, City Council also adopted the following six resolutions:

• To authorize a payment for a purchase not encumbered prior to invoice date, in the amount of $10,707.50, for services from Crawford, Murphy & Tilly Inc.;

• To authorize the city manager to enter into 2022 fire protection contracts and contracts for emergency ambulance service with various townships. After city staff conducted research into a fair amount to be charged for services, with the exception of Washington Township, townships will be charged a 10% increase over the 2021 contracts.

Fire Chief Chad Hollinger first presented the idea of looking into raising the historical 3% annual increase charged to townships for EMS and fire protection during City Council’s Oct. 4 meeting. He noted the typical 3% does not cover all costs, direct and indirect, Sidney Fire incurs for its service. Hollinger also had said he heard the city had made a promise to continue the 3% increase for the life of the townships’ current levies. City Council directed city staff to continue to research a fair increase amount and bring it back for further consideration. Hollinger reported Monday to council he had been told by the “previous administration” no such promise was made to the townships. Hollinger also said he had not been able to confirm with the townships that promise had been made either.

Monday evening, council adopted Hollinger’s recommendation for the townships to pay the following amounts: Clinton: EMS, $31,695, and fire, $43,483; Orange: EMS, $11,702, and fire, $12,013; Franklin: fire, $11,320; Washington, EMS, $1.

In Washington Township, Sidney covers a section of Interstate 75 that is less than a mile long. The only access to the section in Shelby County is from Sidney.

• To confirm the appointment of Ed Thomas to fill the unexpired term of Todd Ratermann on the Sidney Recreation Board, to expire April 1, 2023. Ratermann recently resigned from the board.

• To reappoint Robert Baird and Ralph “Rudy” F. Keister III to the Local Board of Tax Review, to expire Dec. 31, 2023.

• To reappoint Terry Bateman and Wesley Branscum to the Citizens Peer Review Committee, to expire Dec. 31, 2024.

• To reappoint Deb Windsor to the Personnel Board of Appeals, to expire Dec. 31, 2024.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.