SIDNEY — The downtown parking amnesty program has been extended by Sidney City Council during its Monday evening meeting.
The two-hour parking restriction will continue to not be enforced within the nine-block area bordered by West Avenue, North Street, Miami Avenue and South Street. The amnesty does not include metered spaces in front of the post office. However, vehicles are prohibited from parking overnight in these on-street spaces.
During the 2019 holiday season, City Council temporarily removed the two-hour parking time limits downtown to help businesses through Dec. 31. After no negative feedback was received from the downtown community, council voted to extend the parking amnesty in 2020 and then extended it again in March 2021 through Dec. 31, 2021.
City staff recently conferred with Sidney Alive Executive Director Amy Breinich to discuss the effectiveness of the program and if it has helped downtown businesses. She thought the program was effective, and recommended council to extend the amnesty program for another additional year.
Monday City Council passed a resolution to continue the program and scheduled it to be reviewed in November 2022 to determine if it should continue into 2023.
City council also adopted three other resolutions, and they are:
• To confirm the reappointment of Donald Jay (D Jay) Baird to the Sidney-Shelby Economic Partnership (SSEP) Council. This reappointment will be Baird’s final three-year-appointment to the SSEP Council, as appointees may only serve a maximum of two consecutive terms.
• To approve waiver of water/sewer fees. Jeff Wood, on behalf of Tawawa Street LLC, requested utility fees in the amount of $1,823.33 be waived for the single family residence at 524 S. Main Ave.
Wood purchased the property in April 2021, and unpaid utility fees were carried forward from the previous owner. The property and rehabilitation of the residence has followed the guidelines of the newly-created “Renovate, Invest, Energize” (REVIVE) program, said Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth. City Council adopted legislation for REVIVE is designed to incentivize the purchase and renovation of existing single family homes in October 2021.
Because the authorizing legislation included an effective date of Jan. 1, 2022, the utility fees cannot be waived directly through the REVIVE program. Wood has applied for all necessary building permits, completed all inspections, and a certificate of occupancy has been issued, Dulworth said. All utility bills have been paid from April 2021 when Wood took ownership; the property is compliant with the Inflow and Infiltration (I&I) program; and all property taxes have been paid up-to-date, she said.
The actions taken, Dulworth said, and the final product are examples of the goals and results that the REVIVE program is intended to encourage, and as such, staff recommends that the utility bills be waived for this property.
• To confirm the reappointment of Patricia Miller to the Shelby County Regional Planning Commission. Her current term will expire on Dec. 31, 2021, and the new term will expire Dec. 31, 2024.
In other business, City Council held a special meeting Wednesday evening to go into an executive session to discuss the appointment of a public official. City Council member Ed Hamaker, whose term expired on Nov. 30, 2021, but agreed to serve until his replacement was appointed by council, submitted his official letter of resignation. No action will be taken to accept his resignation, according to City Clerk Kari Egbert, until his replacement is appointed, which likely will be during a special council meeting scheduled prior to its workshop session on Jan. 3, 2022.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.