SIDNEY — Updates on capital improvements within the city of Sidney were presented to Sidney City Council during Monday evening’s workshop session.
First presenters of the “virtual tour” were Sidney Police Chief Will Balling and Sgt. Robert Jameson who spoke about the police department’s Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) program and drone DJI Inspire 1 that was purchased last November. They said the drone cost the city $3,308, of which about $1,000 was donated toward the purchase. Jameson said the 7-pound drone can fly 45 mph, and per Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) limitations, may capture photos/videos up to 400-feet in the air.
Jameson said the drone will help the police department with surveillance operations, but may also be used for other city departments as needed. Currently, the police department has four officers licensed to operate it through the FAA.
It was questioned about the drone’s noise level. Jameson assured council the noise will not cause a disturbance and that blends-in with other background noises once in the air.
Next, Fire Chief Brad Jones presented information about several of the fire department’s improvements, including MARCS (Multi-Agency Radio Communication System), the replacement of nine automated external defibrillator (AED), extrication tools, the kitchen renovation of Station 1, department lighting upgrades and replacement of the chief’s 15-year-old vehicle by one similar to the police department’s SUVs.
Jones said once the MARCS replacement tower currently being installed is complete, the goal for implementation is set for the mid-July.
He said every fire vehicle now contains an AED. This brings the department’s number of AEDs to 12.
Jones said the battery life of tools have improved greatly and acting on a committee recommendation the department began replacing their extrication tools with battery operated tools.
He displayed after pictures of their two-year kitchen renovation project in Station 1. Jones said the kitchen has been used by six to eight people 24 hours a day for last 20 years. The kitchen look changed completely with new cabinets, faucets and paint, but the the commercial refrigerator and stove remained.
Another project he described was the replacement of every light bulb with LED bulbs over a three year period. Jones said the upgrade includes a feature that automatically turn lights off when not needed. He said the investment was expensive up front, costing a little over $13,000 over the three years, but it will pay for itself after about 34 months. Jones told council the department’s electric bill for the month of March before the project began compared to a bill in March after completion resulted in a $400 reduction.
Information about the city’s street and water projects was presented by Sidney’s Engineering Manager Randy Magoto. He said sidewalk repairs have been awarded to A to Z Property Maintenance, of Troy. Magoto said property owners were notified of necessary repairs the first of February and have until June 30 to complete the work themselves.
North Street improvements, he said, begin this week and should be complete by Aug. 18. Tom’s Construction, of St. Henry is performing the work. He also displayed a detailed map and list of the street resurfacing plan. They are available on the city’s website within the city council’s agenda packet.
Magoto said the water main replacements on Parkwood Street, Robinwood Street and Sixth Avenue are completed and the roads are ready to be resurfaced. Also the new well field is finished and is waiting on the transmission line, which is 98 percent installed.
The 8-inch, 30-feet deep sanitary sewer replacement on Maple Street, from St. Marys Avenue to Oak Avenue, is set for completion on June 30, Magoto said. He explained that phase one of the wastewater treatment plant expansion is 95 percent complete and is expected to be finished this week. Phase two will be a continuation of phase one for reliability and energy savings to remain in compliance with the city’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.
Parks and Recreation Director Duane Guier gave an update of the addition of sections G and H to Graceland Cemetery. Tom’s Construction is completing the work of the 5.7 acres, at the cost of $182,337. The two sections will add 3,222 grave sites to the cemetery.
Gaier also showed progress of the new basketball court at the Robert O. New park on Vandemark Road. He said the Buehler Asphalt Paving recently laid the asphalt. Next, the parks staff will install the goals, back-fill and seed the perimeter of the court.
Council members Ed Hamaker and Darryl Thurber praised Gaier and his department for their grooming maintenance at the cemetery and city parks.
Finally, information about the recently acquired Ohio Building on North Ohio Avenue was presented by Community Services Director Barbara Dulworth. She displayed pictures of the deteriorating third and fifth floor roof and interior. She said water is running directly into the building. Some places inside the building, greenery and fungus are growing, and floors are buckling.
Dulworth said the plan is to remove the existing roofing down to the building structure and get it “completely water tight” by fall.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.