Council adopts increased water park rates

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — Sidney Water Park visitors should expect to pay an increase in admission rates again this year.

Sidney City Council passed the resolution adopting the new rates Monday, which raises the daily passes for adults, seniors and youth to $4.50 from $4.25; daily passes for preschool age children to $3.50 from $3; and individual season passes to $33 from $32 per person.

Parks and Recreation Director Duane Gaier said training rentals will remain $15 per hour per required guard and pool rentals will remain $300 per two-hour rental.

Council also received the first quarterly update of the year from Sidney Alive Executive Director Amy Breinich on completed activities, 2018 events and plans for the next two years.

Breinich said Sidney Alive began working with Dr. Jim Daniels last year to develop a strategic plan, which was approved by its Board of Trustees in January. The non-profit organization’s first order of business, she said, was to revise its vision and mission statements to better align with its future plans.

The new vision statement is, “To strengthen the heart of Sidney and Shelby County as the place to live, work and play.” And the revised mission statement is, “To strengthen the core of our downtown culture by fostering economic development, historic preservation and community events that engages the public through the entrepreneurial spirit of our residents and businesses.”

The organization’s core values, she said, include leadership, integrity, volunteerism, an entrepreneurial spirit, being community-centered and collaborative.

The goal of hiring an administrative assistant was accomplished with Kristin Arnett starting at the end of January. Breinich praised Arnett’s work thus far with Sidney Alive, and touted her as “the next executive director.”

The organization plans to get the quarterly clean-up days scheduled, with the city, civic groups and jail crew, as soon as the snowy weather ends.

Goals over the next two years, in conjunction with Sidney Alive partners, Breinich said, are to improve infrastructure, set an “excellent example” for financial stability and growth, and to promote its vision, mission and core values through programs.

Breinich said the next steps are to review the strategic plan at all committee and regular board meetings, then evaluate and adjust it at the final board meeting in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Council and Mayor Mike Barhorst praised and thanked Breinich and Sidney Alive’s board for their good work.

In other business, council was introduced to three ordinances, and they are to:

• Assess the cost of weed cutting or the removal of litter or junk for outstanding invoices through Jan. 25, which remain outstanding as of March 5. For weed-mowing violations, the invoiced amount is the actual cost of the mowing plus $50 for the first weed cutting, $75 for the second cutting and $100 for each cutting thereafter. For junk-removal violations, the invoiced amount is the actual cost of the junk removal plus 20 percent. A total of 25 properties will be assessed a total of $6,692 for weed cutting and another 12 properties will be assessed a total of $3,874.20 for junk removal.

• Amend a chapter of the codified ordinances pertaining to parades/assemblages/special events and Courthouse Square electrical hookup on public property. The amendment more clearly outlines application submission and event requirements for “special event(s).” The ordinance will return for further consideration on March 26.

• Repeal and amend certain employees’ pay classification plan and pay tables for 2018.

Council also adopted four other resolutions, and they are to:

• Authorize City Manager Mark Cundiff to advertise for bids to replace the city’s service center roof, estimated to cost $95,000. Currently $58,500 has been designated for appropriations for the service center building’s fund. The remaining needed $36,500 of supplemental appropriations for the roof work will be introduced to council on March 26.

• Grant a license to Backwoods Investments, LLC in connection with Lev’s Brewhouse on South Ohio Avenue to install stairs and electrical equipment on city-owned property. The stairs is permissible only for the emergency/fire and is necessary for access to the main floor. The upgrades will brings the building up to code for operating Lev’s Brewhouse.

• Appoint Rick Steenrod to the tree board to fill Brandi Thompson’s term, that expires April 30, and also for a full three-year term to expire April 30, 2021. This is Steenrod’s first city board appointment.

• Authorize Cundiff to enter into an amended 2017 Community Housing Impact and Preservation (CHIP) Program partnership agreement between Sidney and Shelby County. Sidney was awarded the $625,000 grant in November, but because it is less than the amount that was applied for, the partnership agreement with Shelby County had to be amended to adjust for the reduction of activities.

During a call for council members’ comments, Steve Wagner said after further contemplation since last week’s workshop session, he has changed his position on whether council should support the House and Senate bills on prevailing wages.

Barhorst pointed out during the March 5 workshop meeting that although he previously spoke in favor of the legislation last year, council has chosen not to endorse various issues. He said this situation would be no different, so he recommended for council members to write letters of support instead.

After Wagner’s announcement on Monday, Barhorst again asked council members if they would be in favor of council supporting the prevailing wage legislation. Each member asked, except Darryl Thurber, who was absent and was excused by council, said they would be in be in favor of creating a supportive resolution. Barhorst then directed Law Director Jeffrey Amick to draw up legislation for consideration.

During mayor’s comments, Barhorst said he heard from Shelby County United Way Director Scott Barr, that after doing such a great job helping them last year, he wondered if the city would be willing to help again with another project this year. Council agreed to participate.

In addition, council also held an executive session to discuss the discipline of a public employee and the employment of a public official. Council did not take action when members emerged from the session.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.