City Council continues budget review

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — During the continued review of the 2022 budget, Monday night, Sidney City Council heard presentations on the goals of the Sidney Municipal Court, and of the city’s public works department.

Among projects planned in the Municipal Court next year is to strategically improve court operations with use of technology, Clerk Tony Kremer said.

Goals for the court include:

• Implement E-ticket with local law enforcement agencies, eFiling for civil cases in court and the FivePoint credit card payment system in CourtView. Utilizing technology will make things easier, tickets and cases filed will appear to the court quicker and tickets transcribed more accurately, Kremer said.

• Update the local court rules as policies and procedure change;

• Update the court website with new forms and relevant information;

• Ensure compliance with Supreme Court of Ohio guidelines for case disposition and for cases to be resolved in a timely and efficient manner;

• Retain court records in accordance with retention schedule;

• Effectively collect debt owed to the court and monitor applicable legislative changes;

• Review security protocols and safety procedures on a regular basis and train staff.

Within the court’s special projects fund, Kremer said the additional court fees levied acquire and pay for special court projects. The fees are used to pay for the project coordinator, to pay for deputy clerk services in 2019 and 2020, and to fund portions of the building’s maintenance and the replacement of video conferencing and door lock systems.

The goals of the Justice Reinvestment Incentive Grant (JRIG) fund, (estimated at $240,000) which works to reduce recidivism and change probationers’ cognizant behavior, are:

• Commit 10% fewer probation violators to jail;

• Refer at least 20 opiate addicted offenders to transitional house program at the Shelby County Jail;

• Maintain 80% success rate in the medically assisted treatment/intensive outpatient programs;

• Reduce the number of offenders incarcerated on bond and pretrial status by 10%.

The JRIG fund pays for three full-time employees: a probation officer, pretrial services officer and clerical aide; and one part-time employee: a peer support specialist.

The Community Corrections Act grant fund’s goals were also discussed. Kremer said it pays the program costs of full-time chief probation officer. The state of Ohio grant, estimated at $77,000, will provide case management for offenders determined to be moderate or high risk. Other plans for the fund are to develop supervision plans and use the evidence based practices to reduce the number of probation violations, and to improve and expand programs offered by community providers for offenders.

Public Works Director Jon Crusey reviewed the goals and objectives for the many divisions that fall under public works: including street lighting, engineering, urban forestry, streets, winter maintenance, water, underground utilities, sewer, stormwater, public transit, airport, service center, garage/fleet, and solid waste.

Crusey said in the engineering department, a goal is to coordinate capital project scheduling with departments for timing and budget, to continue staff education and to convert archival paper documents to digital format, as well as enforce document submission standards for developers and consultants.

Goals for street lighting is to manage infrastructure to provide well maintained and cost effective street lighting, and to ensure contractors respond quickly to outages.

In the street administration, a goal, Crusey said, is to update the Pavement Condition Index (PCI) as needed, and strive to maintain a minimum 70% PCI rating. He also said the city will supervise street maintenance, traffic, winter maintenance and urban forestry divisions and maintain clean, swept roadways with same 2021 target of three cycles per year.

Crusey reviewed the numerous ongoing goals for the city’s water and the treatment plants. Goal are to supply potable water in sufficient quantity to meet demand or exceed the required water quality, encourage staff to obtain Ohio EPA Class III certification, provide annual training to meet contact hour requirements to maintain staff licensure, and identify treatment processes and chemicals that may need to change since transferring to ground water source. Another goal is to retain the option to utilize surface water from Miami River, and Tawawa Creek intakes.

For underground utilities, among other goals, the city aims maintain the integrity of water distribution system and replace five fire hydrants per year. Another goal is to replace old water meters and associated equipment to ensure quick accurate readings. The goal is to upgrade 300 to 400 meters to E-coder meters in 2022.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.