Council discusses Civil War Living History requests

By Sheryl Roadcap - [email protected]

SIDNEY — The Sidney City Council discussed requests on the upcoming September Civil War Living History Weekend during its meeting Monday evening.

Parks and Recreation Director Duane Gaier led a discussion and sought direction from City Council after the Shelby County Historical Society asked for consideration to suspend the discharge of firearms and noise ordinances for the upcoming event. The noise and firearm discharge ordinance suspension would only apply to those associated with the event, Gaier noted. The event is scheduled to be held at Tawawa Park on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 17 and 18, 2022.

The Sidney Recreation Board and Parks staff are aware of this request, Gaier said, and support the temporary suspension of the noise and firearm discharge codified ordinances. At its June 6, 2022, meeting, the Sidney Recreation Board approved to suspend park open hours beginning Friday, Sept. 16, through Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. Normal operating hours, allowing vehicular traffic, will resume on Monday, Sept. 19, 2022, at 10 a.m., he said.

Throughout both days, Union and Confederate troops will be skirmishing (or fighting) throughout the park, Gaier said. Visitors will be reminded to stay clear of troops who are so engaged. During the staged battles, he said visitors will be asked to stay behind the caution tape for their protection and that of the re-enactors.

Visitors are welcome to stop by the encampments of both Union and Confederate re-enactors, Gaier said, and talk with them about the life of the common soldier during the War Between the States.

“Visitors should feel free to ask about the food they are eating, the weapons being used, drill, camp life and even tactics. There will be presentations on period medical procedures and an infantry band concert, along with live cannon fire and an opportunity to meet published authors and purchase their books,” Gaier said.

When asked for how late the sounds of firearms being discharged may go into the evening, Gaier said he wasn’t quite sure, as the schedule is not complete yet, but he did believe at least one battle may take place in the evening. He told council members he would know more as it got closer to the event, and likely by the time any legislation would be brought back for consideration.

Council was in agreement to allow the requests to go forward and directed Gaier to work on preparing an ordinance to bring back to a future City Council meeting.

In other business during public comments at the end of the meeting, North Buckeye Avenue resident Rev. James E. King returned again to City Council about the past nuisance of noise coming that came from a nearby property on North Wagner Avenue. King again reiterated previously being unable even enjoy watching TV programs in the home due to the noise and had called the police about the issue. He praised Police Chief Will Balling for helping to deal with the situation and get it under control after coming to City Council for help, but questioned why over the previous year and a half he was told by the police department there wasn’t anything they could do. King said he was previously informed as long as the activity happens during within the allowed noise ordinance hours, on their private property, nothing could be done. He thanked Balling but also asked if a law could be passed to help prevent this issue from occurring again or happening to someone elsewhere in the city. Mayor Mardie Milligan said city staff would be continuing to review the details to see if anything could happen.

During other end of meeting comments, Council member Steven Klinger shared that he was approached with the idea of saving the water tower at the Wagner Building that is due to be demolished for a city land mark. Council members Mike Barhorst and Steve Wagner spoke up to say although it is a romantic notion, it would be extremely costly to the city, as that tower has not received attention in years.

Public Works Director Jon Crusey said state Route 47 road construction should be finished up within the next couple of weeks after they stripe the road.

By Sheryl Roadcap

[email protected]