City Council introduced to ordinance regarding mowing and junk

By Charlotte Caldwell - [email protected]

SIDNEY — The Sidney City Council was introduced to an ordinance assessing the cost of weed mowing or junk removal during its Monday meeting.

The ordinance is for property owners that failed to comply with weed mowing and/or junk removal, causing the city to perform the work. According to Finance Officer Renee DuLaney, who presented the ordinance, the invoiced amount for junk removal violations is the actual cost of removal plus 20%. The invoiced amount for weed mowing violations is the actual cost of mowing plus $75 for the first weed cutting, $150 for the second time and $250 for every time after that. This ordinance covers invoices through Dec. 9, 2022, and includes 52 properties with a total of $12,636.12 for weed mowing and 48 properties with a total of $10,904.80 for junk removal. The ordinance will be considered further at the Jan. 23 council meeting.

Another ordinance introduced involved authorizing the finance officer to make declarations of official intent for the city to reimburse itself from future bond proceeds. This pertains to the construction of the new City Hall and two fire stations. The city’s bond counsel, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, advised that the city can preserve its ability to reimburse itself by passing an ordinance prior to incurring project costs. The ordinance will be considered further at the Jan. 23 council meeting.

Council also approved the November 2022 summary financial report and excused Councilmember Mike Barhorst who was not in attendance.

During discussions, the council approved a change requiring petitioners to pay associated recording costs for annexations, dedications and/or vacations of public right-of-ways or public utility easements. Before, the city would pay the recording costs.

Discussions also included reviewing council rules and possibly changing the time of meetings to 6 p.m. rather than 6:30 p.m.; reviewing potential amendments to the city charter (of which a full list starts on page 112 of the City Council agenda packet); and reviewing the city’s revised vision statement and priorities. A suggestion was made at the last strategic planning session – where the vision statement and priorities were developed – to hold future planning sessions at intervals longer than every two years to give staff more time to implement priorities, and Councilmember Jenny VanMatre and Vice Mayor Steve Wagner agreed that three years would be reasonable so any new employees can adjust.

During staff comments, Fire Chief Chad Hollinger said the city was awarded a $41,723.78, 2023 Multi-Agency Radio Communication System (MARCS) grant from the Ohio Department of Commerce, State Fire Marshal. The city will buy 11 new radios with it, and they will be put in service on July 1, 2023. The fire department is also finishing its SAFER grant application, and if awarded, it would help to add six new positions to the department. A new firefighter, Terrence Vaughan, will start on Jan. 23 and there will be an oath ceremony at Station 1 at 4 p.m. The department bought a 14-foot, inflatable, swift-water rescue boat which is specifically designed for waterways around Sidney for $31,566 and will receive it soon.

The next City Council meeting will be held on Jan. 23 at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall’s council chambers.

By Charlotte Caldwell

[email protected]

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.