SIDNEY — A fire department promotion and appropriations and annexation ordinances were all part of the Sidney City Council meeting Monday night.
Firefighter Tony McLain was promoted to lieutenant, effective Monday, because of an opening on the Department of Fire & Emergency Services.
Fire Chief Brad Jones said McLain started with the department on March 1, 1999. He is a firefighter/paramedic, as well as a fire instructor, and has been a member of the Training Committee, the EMS supply officer and a CPR instructor. He was Firefighter of the Year in 2008.
Tony and his wife, Bridget, live in Sidney and have four boys: Alex, Austin, Andrew and Adam.
Council and the audience, which included McLain’s family and fellow firefighters, applauded the new lieutenant on his promotion.
Council adopted an ordinance making supplemental appropriations for various projects for the 2016 budget year. The ordinance would increase the 2016 appropriations by $3,188,048, according to Finance Officer Ginger Adams.
The largest appropriation is in the water reserve fund, which will see an increase of $2,800,935. These funds will now be available for expenditures of the new water source not paid for by the Ohio Water Development Association loan proceeds.
The stormwater improvement fund would increase by $104,000. This is for the stormwater improvements to Starrett Run on Water Street.
The capital improvement fund would increase by $287,663, which includes facilities improvements at city hall and Municipal Court; streets, traffic and bridge improvements; parks improvement; and other projects.
One new capital project request was added to the supplemental appropriations. The Ross Covered Bridge needs to be re-roofed with wood shingles. The estimated cost is $27,500. Three bids will be received for the project.
Funds were reduced in indigent driver interlock and alcohol monitoring fund; indigent driver alcohol treatment-surplus fund; and E-share federal forfeitures fund.
Also adopted was an ordinance making supplemental appropriations in the Convention and Visitors Bureau fund. The Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, which is the acting agent for the bureau, requested an additional $7,000 to be added to its 2016 budget.
Council adopted an ordinance annexing 25.249 acres on the north side of Fair and Schenk roads. The request was made by attorney Trent Snavley on behalf of Charles Cole.
Council also adopted an ordinance establishing I-2 general industrial district zoning for the Cole annexation.
Community Services Director Barbara Dulworth said at the Feb. 8 meeting when the annexation ordinance was introduced that she was unaware of any immediate development plans involving this parcel. It currently is used for farming.
Vice Mayor Mardie Milligan voted “no” on the annexation ordinance Monday night. She explained after the meeting that she is not opposed to annexation per se, but is concerned about adding roadway for the city to maintain when there currently is no designated purpose for the land. She said she hopes the area “becomes a site for manufacturing or business soon.”
In other business, council directed the city staff to formulate changes to the right of way ordinance.
Assistant City Manager/Public Works Director Gary Clough presented the proposed changes to council. He said the new ordinance follows a model right of way ordinance used by over 20 cities in Ohio.
Clough provided a 14-point list outlining the major features of the proposed ordinance. They include a requirement that anyone who occupies or uses a portion of the right of way must obtain a certificate of registration, with the exception of an entity who owns any part of a system within the right of way.
Another requirement is that all future entities who want to occupy any portion of the right of way must have a certificate of registration and obtain a right of way or a minor maintenance permit prior to commencing work.
Mayor Mike Barhorst asked if residents or contractors would be most affected by the ordinance, and if it would cover tree replacement in instances where a tree in the right of way has died.
“I don’t anticipate seeing many residential permits,” Clough said. He said a property owner would need a minor permit for work such as putting a driveway in the right of way or putting a sign in the right of way downtown.
Clough said the ordinance would not pertain to replacement of trees in the right of way that die. He said a contractor might be required to plant trees elsewhere in the city if work in a right of way damaged trees.
Councilman Joe Ratermann asked that a section of the proposed ordinance that deals with “landscape restoration” be amended to reflect Barhorst’s concerns about tree replacement.
In the “council comments” portion of the meeting, Councilman Steve Wagner said “the new trash cans were really blowing around” during recent high winds. He asked who is responsible for looking after the cans when that happens.
“Ultimately it’s the property owner’s responsibility,” said Clough, who added he hoped city personnel, as they were working throughout the community, also would get the cans out of the street. Police Chief Will Balling said one of his officers while on patrol had helped with the containers.
Wagner also commented on the recent “active-shooter training” program presented by Police Officer Mike McRill. The program deals with how to react if a shooter enters a business or other public place. City Manager Mark Cundiff said McRill will discuss with council what to do if a shooter were to show up at a public meeting.
In the “staff comments” portion of the meeting, Clough presented plans to make the drainage ditch through Harmon Park safer. Council had earlier voiced concerns that children, playing in the area after heavy rains, might be pulled into the ditch by rushing water. The plan includes grating to prevent that. The work will cost about $36,000.
Clough also announced the city will hire Tim Ray, of Troy, as a contract employee through Strategic Communications Consulting, until someone is found to fill the water treatment plant superintendent vacancy. Ray has extensive experience in the water treatment field.
Balling said the police department has a new K-9. The dog currently is undergoing training and will be officially presented to the public later.
In other business, council:
• Passed a resolution appointing Ross A. Moore III to fill the remaining unexpired portion of Marcia Osborne’s three-year term on the Tree Board. This term will expire April 30, 2016.
• Sang “Happy Birthday” to Cundiff, who recently turned 56.
• Welcomed a Sidney High School student who was attending the meeting as a class requirement.
• Went into an executive session to discuss preparing for negotiations or bargaining sessions with public employees, employment of a public official, to consider the purchase of property for public purposes, and pending or imminent court action.