Council OKs parking lot transition to public parking, other legislation

By Sheryl Roadcap - [email protected]

SIDNEY — Along with numerous other pieces of legislation Monday evening, Sidney City Council approved the transition of a parking lot at the northeast corner of Poplar Street and West Avenue in the former Goodwin Furniture store property into public parking.

City Council OK’d an ordinance which amends a section of the zoning code to officially designate the former Goodwin parking lot, owned by the city, to be available for free public parking. The issue was brought before council on March 28, which drew contention for LRF Properties, the owner of the Canal Place Apartments at 121 W. Poplar St, and the former tenant of the city-owned lot. A concern the LRF Properties asset manager previously noted was the change would force his tenants to potentially have to walk further to get home.

City Manager Andrew Bowsher said, opening up the lot to the public will provide more parking by allowing this lot to connect to the lot behind it and is a “win-win-win for everybody.” He said the city is just trying to do the best thing for the community as a whole.

A second ordinance was also adopted Monday. It amends the pay table to establish a position of deputy chief probation officer and to set the wage, due to the retirement of the chief probation officer.

Also Monday, City Council was introduced to three other ordinances, and they are:

• To amend the traffic control map to officially recognize traffic control devices installed for the new Sidney Crossings and Burr Oak (phase I) subdivisions;

• To assess the cost of the removal of litter or junk or weed cutting for outstanding invoices through March 10, 2022. For weed mowing violations, the invoiced amount is the actual cost of the mowing plus $75 for the first weed cutting, $150 for the second cutting and $250 for each cutting thereafter. For junk removal violations, the invoiced amount is the actual cost of the junk removal plus 20%. A total of four properties will be assessed a total of $1,145 for weed cutting, and another 37 properties will be assessed a total of $10,512.80 for junk removal.

• To amend the Sidney City Charter and Council’s Rules, based upon the recommendations of the Sidney City Council Rules and City Charter Ad Hoc Committee.

Law Director Dave Busick reminded council the committee met three times to review the city charter and council’s rules, and of the several items listed, the committee felt three sections merited consideration by local voters. Recommendations for the city charter include added language to three sections of the home rule powers, member restrictions and vacancies.

Busick then quickly went through proposed changes to council’s rules for abstaining from voting, conflict of interest and to clarifying wording in various places to better articulate meaning. He also provided an red-lined copy of the rules, along with ad hoc meeting minutes for members to review.

In other business, City Council was also adopted five resolutions, and they are:

• To authorize payment for a purchase not encumbered prior to invoice date. Finance Officer Renee DuLaney said the city agreed to pay half the cost for the replacement of the Shelby County Board of Elections west retaining wall. The city was invoiced $59,000 on March 28, 2022, for the its share of the $118,000 total cost of the project.

• To waive the assessment and collection of fees for city owned utilities at 305-305 ½ S. Miami Ave., 1632 Fair Oaks Drive and 201-203 Water St. Currently $763.63 is due to the city for primarily sewer inflow & infiltration (I&I) fees dating back to 2018 for the South Miami Avenue property; $58.85 for the Fair Oaks property and $1,052.52 for the Water Street property.

• To authorize Bowsher to execute an agreement with Downing Community Advisors for technical services to establish and administer a housing coalition for a period of 18 months. The $117,000 contract amount will be split amongst public, non-profit, and private investment dollars. Half of which will be coming from the city, Bowsher said, a quarter from the county, and the rest from local contributions.

• To approve a request of Mark and Lisa Kouse for the replat two lots to create one new lot. The property is located in the R-1, single family residence district, on Spruce Avenue, south of Ridgeway Drive. A single family dwelling is located on one of the two parcels.

The replat will result in one lot with 2.016 acres, said Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth. No new utility easements are included with this replat. The replat includes the vacation of the utility easements adjacent to the shared lot line being vacated. With the vacation of the easement as well as the lot line, there will be no constraints or issues with encroachment for a building or structure being constructed over the vacated lot line and easements.

• To amend the municipal job creation tax credit policy to reflect the current municipal income tax.

By Sheryl Roadcap

[email protected]