Task force begins steps for incorporation

By Melanie Speicher - mspeicher@aimmedianetwork.com

SIDNEY — The first steps to incorporate a non-profit group to help to revitalize downtown Sidney were taken Wednesday when the City of Sidney Downtown Revitalization Task Force met at The Bridge.

Mike Dodds, who is on the strategic planning committee, said the group talked about filing with the state of Ohio for incorporation to “establish ourselves as an entity.”

And one of the first things that needed to be decided, said Dodds, is the name of the organization. His committee came up with three names: Sidney Alive!, Downtown Sidney Alive! and Historic Sidney Alive!

“Alive was picked because it would overlap all activities,” said Scott Barr.

After a short discussion, the group decided Sidney Alive would be the name submitted for incorporation.

Dodds said the committee thought the new group should be made up of nine to 15 people. Three of those would be standing board members and include one commissioner, one city council member and the city manager.

“The composition of this group would form the initial board,” said Dodds. There are 15 people on the roster for the task force.

Sidney City Manager Mark Cundiff said a possibility would be to designate the other seats on the board as three business owners, three property owners and three others.

“I’m not sure we want to mandate the 3, 3, 3,” said Barr.

Cundiff said when he worked for the city years ago, the same type of revitalization was attempted. One thing that they heard was that there were no business owners involved.

“We have no strong feelings on the rest of the board makeup,” said Dodds. “They would rotate on and off the board with term limits.”

“You need to have types of people on the board, not names of people,” said Jeff Amrick, law director for the city of Sidney.

It was also discussed that the DBA would be the oversight organization for the new board.

“Jeff (Raible, Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce) is away of this and more discussion is needed,” said Amy Breinrich, who is the director of the DBA.

The strategic planning committee will continue to work through the process of filing for incorporation and creating the bylaws.

Three maps of what the boundaries of the historic district could be were received. He said the first map is the original map which was presented at the August meeting. The second map shows the suggestion to have the east side of the boundary be the banks of the Great Miami River. The third option includes Custenborder Field in the configuration.

Dodds said once a district is established, grants for projects could be applied for. Breinrich said possible grants could be for entertainment or revitalization.

“These would be set on top of the existing zoning districts for the city,” said Amrick.

The final decision on the district map will be determined by Sidney City Council. Amy Zorn will present a report to council in the future on the task force’s recommendations.

Amrick talked about the process of filing for a 501 (c3). He said this will be done after the articles of incorporation are filed with the state of Ohio.

Discussion was held about the existing Community Improvement Corp. which the city and unincorporated areas in the county already belong to.

The task force’s next meeting will be Wednesday, Oct. 28, at noon at The Bridge.

By Melanie Speicher


Reach the writer at 937-538-4822; follow her on Twitter @MelSpeicherSDN. Follow the SDN on Facebook, www.facebook.com/SidneyDailyNews.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822; follow her on Twitter @MelSpeicherSDN. Follow the SDN on Facebook, www.facebook.com/SidneyDailyNews.