SIDNEY — Sidney received the Auditor of State Award with Distinction for a “clean” financial audit report at Monday evening’s city council meeting.
Western Regional Liaison Joe Braden from the Ohio Auditor of State’s office presented Sidney’s Financial Officer Ginger Adams with the Auditor of State Award for the audit of the year ending Dec. 31, 2015.
Entities that receive the award meet the following criteria of a “clean” audit report:
• The entity must file timely financial reports with the Auditor of State’s office in accordance with GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles)
• The audit report does not contain any findings for recovery, material citations, material weaknesses, significant deficiencies, Single Audit findings or questioned costs
• The entity’s management letter contains no comments related to:
• Ethics referrals
• Questioned costs less than $10,000
• Lack of timely report submission
• Failure to obtain a timely Single Audit
• Findings for recovery less than $100
• Public meetings or public records
• No other financial or other concerns exist that involve eligible entity.
A full copy of each report is available online. The city has received this award consecutively since 2004.
In other business, council was introduced to two ordinances Monday evening for the assessment on the cost of weed cutting or removal of litter or junk and for an amendment to the traffic control map.
If the ordinance for the assessment of litter and junk removal is passed, council would charge certain property owners for the cost of junk removal or weed cutting. Each property owner was notified that their property was not in compliance with the city code and was given time to remove the junk or cut the weeds. When property owners failed to comply, the work was done by the city and owners were billed for the cost of service plus 20 percent for junk removal; for weed cutting, owners were billed the cost of service plus fined $50 for the first violation, $75 for the second, and $100 for each additional weed cutting.
The outstanding invoices within this ordinance are from May 14, through July 31, 2016. Nine properties will be billed a total of $1,129.80 for junk removal and 55 other properties will be billed a total of $11,404.80 for weed cutting.
The traffic control map ordinance is in regard to two petitioned changes to the current map.
One change is for the east-west alley north of Bennett Street, from the west side of Garfield Avenue west to 10-feet west of the first north-south alley west of Garfield Avenue. The change would still allow access to the rear of the drive-through and bank, but would prohibit any eastbound traffic beyond the rear of commercial properties in the residential neighborhood with the installation of a “Do Not Enter” sign.
The second change is for the installation of a four-way stop sign at the intersection of Hoewisher Road and Broadway Avenue. Councilmember Darryl Thurber asked Public Works Director Gary Clough if the intersection warranted a stop light. Clough said no, “it was not even close” of enough traffic to need a light at the location.
Also, council adopted four resolutions:
• Authorization to submit an application to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for 2017 funding from the Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities program and to execute a contract with ODOT upon grant acceptance.
• Adoption of the five-year solid waste plan for the North Central Ohio Solid Waste District.
• Acceptance of rates determined by the Budget Commission, authorization of necessary tax levies to certify them to the county auditor.
• Authorization for the law director to initiate litigation to collect delinquent fees owed to the city for utility services.
Council observed silence, indicating approval, for the request of J R Levering Investment LLC dba Lev’s Brewhouse on South Ohio Avenue to transfer ownership of a D5 liquor permit. A D5 permit allows for consumption of spirituous liquor for on or off premises in original, sealed containers until 2:30 a.m. A background check was performed by the Sidney Police Department and nothing of concern was found to deny the permit.
Council had no further questions during Monday’s meeting on the proposed five-year financial plan that was introduced at council’s workshop session on Sept. 6. Additional discussion time is scheduled for the Sept. 12 meeting and a resolution to adopt the plan is set for the Sept. 26 council meeting.
Clough gave an update on paving operations and explained why some of Sidney’s roads were microsurfaced versus the “milling and filling” method of repair.
Clough said microsurfacing is a cheaper maintenance tool used on roads that are in “a little better condition.” It will extend the life of the road by an additional five to seven years in cases when the “mill and fill” method is not warranted. He said microsurfacing is not as smooth as asphalt, but it is “a major tool they use to make (levy) money last and stretch as far as they can.” Clough said the mill and fill process will “typically get 10 to 15 years” of life, but is much more costly.
Mayor Mike Barhorst reminded this weekend is Sidney’s Civil War Living History Weekend at Tawawa Park on Sept. 17 and 18. Admission is free and more information about it can be found at www.sidneycivilwar.org.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.