Council endorses ODOT projects

By Michael Seffrin -

SIDNEY — State Route 47 on both sides of Sidney will see improvements over the next few years as the Ohio Department of Transportation carries out three projects.

Sidney City Council consented to the projects Monday night, with most of the funding for the work coming from state and federal monies.

Council passed a resolution giving consent to ODOT to complete the microsurfacing of state Route 47 from Eastwood Trail east past Port Haven Subdivision, a portion of this route being within the city. City Engineering Manager Randy Magoto told council the project is scheduled for bid letting in 2019. He said federal aid and state funding will be used; no city funds.

Another project deals with state Route 47 east from the Tawawa Creek bridge to Eastwood Trail. Council passed a resolution giving consent to ODOT to overlay that section of road with smooth seal. The project is scheduled for bidding in 2020. No city funds will be used.

The final resolution passed by council authorizes ODOT to proceed with the Urban Paving Program on state Route 47 on the west side of town. Magoto said the city enacted preliminary legislation with ODOT on Feb. 9 to cooperate with the milling and filling of existing pavement on state Route 47 between Vandemark Road and the Interstate 75 overpass and between Fourth Avenue and Ohio Avenue. The total estimated cost is $747,872. The city will pay $113,360; the city already has deposited $84,864. ODOT will open bids Nov. 5 and will require a project completion date of July 30, 2016.

Also Monday night, council passed a resolution authorizing the city manager to execute a collective bargaining agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police, Ohio Labor Council Inc.-Public Safety Communicators. The previous agreement expired June 30; the new one will expire June 30, 2018.

City Manager Mark Cundiff said the new agreement provides a 1 percent wage increase each year of the contract. Other features of the agreement are:

• Job title change from dispatchers to public safety telecommunicators.

• Increase from minimum of two hours to three hours court time.

• $2,500 bonus for removal of longevity.

• Two-week notice for vacation payout.

• 30-minute notice prior to start of shift for absences.

Council passed a resolution authorizing payment of a legal obligation. City Finance Officer Ginger Adams told council that in July, in connection with the city’s new water source project, a property appraisal was required to be obtained in an expedited manner. An existing city vendor, RTC GIS Inc., had previously rendered other appraisal services in connection with this project and was familiar with the subject land and available to perform the required appraisal within the city’s time constraints. Prior to the rendering of these services, the funds required to pay for them were not encumbered by the city. That’s why council authorization for payment of this debt is required. The payment is $11,527.58.

In voting on the resolution, Councilman Darryl Thurber voted no and Vice Mayor Mardie Milligan abstained.

In other business:

• Council introduced an ordinance that would amend the city income tax ordinance to incorporate changes required by House Bill 5 that the Ohio General Assembly enacted in December 2014.

• Council introduced an ordinance that would establish additional handicap parking as requested by the First Baptist Church and Holy Angels Catholic Church. First Baptist Church wants an additional “Sunday only 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.” parking space on North Miami Avenue. The space requested is the next space south of the current regular handicap space. In addition, the existing three Sunday-only handicap spaces would be converted to “Sunday only 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.” and the remainder of the week would become 48-hour regular parking. At Holy Angels, the church is requesting two additional handicap parking spaces on South Main Avenue. The additional spaces would be the fifth and sixth spaces north of Water Street along the west side of Main. The four parking spaces would be designated for handicap parking only on Saturday between 5 and 7 p.m. and Sunday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m.

• Mayor Mike Barhorst presented a proclamation recognizing October as Community Planning Month to Barbara Dulworth, community services director. Dulworth said it is appropriate that the importance of planning is highlighted this month as the city is beginning work to update its comprehensive plan.

• Councilman Steve Wagner commented on his attendance last week at the Snowplow and Transit Roadeo. He said he was “amazed at the skill levels” of the city’s drivers.

• Police Chief Will Balling reported he will be a panelist at Bridge Builders 2015 at Fort Piqua Plaza Thursday, Oct. 15. The program is a discussion on race, protection and community development. He also discussed Coffee with a Cop, a program that will be held at the Sidney First Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, Oct. 21, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. He will meet with community members to discuss ways people can work with police to strengthen and improve the community. Any community member is welcome to attend and is encouraged to bring a brown bag lunch. Balling said the program may be held at other sites in the future.

• Barhorst welcomed two high school students who attended the meeting for class credit.

• Council went into an executive session to prepare for negotiations or bargaining sessions with public employees, to consider the purchase of property for public purposes, to discuss the employment of a public official, and to discuss pending litigation.

By Michael Seffrin

The writer may be contacted at 937-538-4823 and on Twitter @MikeSeffrinSDN.

The writer may be contacted at 937-538-4823 and on Twitter @MikeSeffrinSDN.