SIDNEY — Homeowners Haley and Frankie White, of 524 Wilson Ave., were presented with Sidney’s 2016 Neighborhood Beautification Award at the Sidney City Council meeting on Monday evening.
Code Enforcement Officer Kirby King presented the award to the Whites after they were unanimously voted as the winner. The decision came when the Citizens Peer Review Committee met to review nominations on Sept. 15.This year, the city received only one nomination for the award.
The Whites replaced all of the home’s exterior features, such as the siding, roof, landscaping and fence and completely tore down an old garage that was located in the back yard.
In other business, council adopted two ordinances for the assessment of the cost of weed cutting and/or the removal of litter or junk and the amendment of the traffic control map.
The ordinance for the assessment of litter and junk removal authorizes the city to charge certain property owners for the cost of junk removal or weed cutting. Each property owner was notified their property was not in compliance with city code and was given time to remove junk or cut the weeds. When property owners failed to comply, the work was done by the city and owners were billed for the cost of service plus 20 percent for junk removal; for weed cutting, owners were billed the cost of service plus fined $50 for the first violation, $75 for the second, and $100 for each additional weed cutting.
The outstanding invoices within this ordinance are from May 14, through July 31, 2016. Nine properties will be billed a total of $1,129.80 for junk removal and 55 other properties will be billed a total of $11,404.80 for weed cutting.
Based on citizens’ requests, the traffic control map ordinance will make two changes to the current map.
One change is for the east-west alley north of Bennett Street, from the west side of Garfield Avenue west to 10-feet west of the first north-south alley west of Garfield Avenue. The change will still allow access to the rear of the drive-through and bank, but will prohibit any eastbound traffic beyond the rear of commercial properties in the residential neighborhood with the installation of a “Do Not Enter” sign.
The second change is for the installation of a four-way stop sign at the intersection of Hoewisher Road and Broadway Avenue.
There also was a public hearing and introduction of an ordinance to adopt a new zone map for Sidney. No citizens attended to participate in the public hearing. The current zoning map was adopted on July 7, 2014, and since then there has been an annexation and two rezoning changes.
Council also adopted three resolutions for the Five Year Financial Plan for years 2017-2021, the reappointment of Daniel Heitmeyer to the Compensation Commission, and the reappointment of David Gross and Steven Klingler to the Sidney Planning Commission.
The Sidney Compensation Commission determines the annual salary of the mayor and city council members. Members are appointed by the mayor with council’s confirmation. Heitmeyer was reappointed to a new five-year term. He has served on the Compensation Commission since December 2011.
The Sidney Planning Commission advises city council on planning, zoning and platting matters, and prepare and revise the Comprehensive Plan. Klingler and Gross were reappointed for a period of six years. Gross has served on the Planning Commission since August 1992 and Klingler has served since January 2014.
Near the end of the meeting, a citizen voiced his concern about several street lights he said have remained un-replaced for quiet some time, even after he said he called to report about them being out. Mayor Mike Barhorst told him they have his location list and they would “see if they can get them fixed.”
Councilmember Steve Wagner asked about potential placement of political signs in the front grass section between the street and sidewalk. He said citizens used to put them there prior to the late ’90s, at which point the city began to crack down and remove them, and wondered if they would ever be allowed to be placed there again. Barhorst and City Manager Mark Cundiff both reminded Wagner that the area is a known right of way zone and that although citizens maintain it, signs are prohibited and will be removed. Cundiff said if signs are removed by city officials, citizens may contact the city to retrieve them.
Cundiff went on to reiterate why the city choose to microsurface versus “mill and fill” certain city roads as being based upon pavement condition studies and the cost involved. He said microsurfacing is a cheaper method to extend the life of the roads that are not bad enough yet to need the mill and fill method of repair.
Councilmember Darryl Thurber and Barhorst both commented on the unsatisfactory paving work done on part of Pomeroy Avenue. Thurber asked for the city engineer to take a look at the lower part of the hill on the street to possibly fix it.
Cundiff also thanked everyone, including city staff and volunteers, who worked hard on Sidney’s Civil War Living History Weekend. He said 2018’s second biennial event will be even “bigger and better.” Barhorst echoed Cundiff’s thank yous and said they had people participate from nine states (Ohio, included), which “exposed Sidney to a larger group of people.”
Council went into an executive session to consider the purchase of property for public purposes, pending or imminent court action and the discipline of a public employee. No official action was taken when council came out of the executive session.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.