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T h i r d o f F o u r S e c t i o n s • F r i d a y, F e b r u a r y 2 2 , 2 0 1 3


COURTS • EMERGENCY SERVICES • GOVERNMENT

Editorial index City of Sidney Community Serivces Department .......16 Department of Fire & Emergency Services............................................27 Finance ..................................................18 Mayor.......................................................3 Municipal Court ....................................30 Parks and Recreation............................19 Police Department ................................26 Public Works Department ....................20 Utility Department ...............................21 Shelby County Auditor...................................................10 Clerk of Courts ......................................11 Commissioners ........................................2 Common Pleas Court ............................28 Job & Family Services ..........................13 Juvenile Court.......................................31 Probate Court ........................................29 Recorder.................................................14 Regional Planning Commission ...........15 Sheriff's Office..................................24-25 Treasurer ...............................................14 Victim Services.......................................15

Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Townships Perry ........................................................8 Salem .......................................................9 Turtle Creek ............................................8 Villages Botkins.....................................................5 Kettlersville.............................................6 Quincy......................................................7

Advertising index A & B Machine .........................................31 Agrana Fruit US, Inc .................................5 Apple Farm Services ................................25 Barker Insurance Agency ........................29 Broker's Real Estate Inc. ..................3 & 12 Buckeye Ford............................................19 Clancy’s.....................................................14 Dorothy Love Retirement Community 97 Dr. Lee's Stoves & Saddles ......................26 Edison State Community College .............4 Emerson Wagner Realty .................22 & 23 Fair Haven Shelby County Home ...........20 Father Hubbard’s Cupboard......................8 Ferguson Construction ............................18 Francis Furniture ....................................11 Fultz Warehouse Carpets ........................30 Gateway Arts Council ..............................28 Greve Drywall & Painting .......................21

Page 2

Greve Electrical & Plumbing ..................10 Hampton Inn Sidney..................................5 Helman Brothers Body Shop...................14 Honda of America, Mfg ............................17 HR Associates Personnel Service ............13 Lochard’s Inc. ...........................................29 Mutual Federal Savings Bank ..................6 New Knoxville Supply ...............................3 Osgood State Bank...................................15 People’s Federal Savings & Loan ............30 Perry Pro Tech..........................................28 Primecare Physicians of West Central Ohio.................................24 S & H Products.........................................21 Schmiesing Refrigeration ........................24 Shelby County Library ............................10 Shreves Construction...............................13 Sidney Body Carstar................................27 Sidney Electric Co. .....................................9 Sidney Inn ................................................19 The Pavilion Care Center ..........................9 The Spot of Sidney .....................................6 Upper Valley Career Center ......................8 Valentine Vision (Dr. Phillip Valentine) 25 .....................25 Westaff ........................................................3 Western Ohio Cut Stone ............................7 Wilson Memorial Hospital.......................32 Wissman Door Sales ................................16

Commissioners prepare for future In the Commissioner’s Office, 2012 was a year of preparing for the future. “Last summer, Commissioners held public hearings and prepared a resolution that would change the allocation for a portion of the County’s sales tax proceeds,” said Commissioner Julie Ehemann. “Currently, a Ehemann one-half percent sales tax is collected and dedicated to our county roads and bridges.” Her report continues: Starting April 1, the revenues will be split with half of the monies still going to roads and bridges. The other half will be used for Capital

Improvements, and will help to make needed improvements and updates to the jail, courthouse and Shelby County Annex. Throughout the year the Commissioners and other elected officials worked to discuss local concerns with our State elected officials. At the top of our list was the cuts made to a state funding source called Local Government Funds (LGF). While we understood the State’s need to balance their budget, it was imperative that we communicated how these cuts made it difficult for us to provide necessary and often state-mandated services. In September, the Commissioners met directly with Governor Kasich to address our concerns. The Governor’s office followed up with

locally held meetings to explore cost-savings measures. We are hopeful that the meetings will have resulted in no further cuts to LGF and will give us ideas for cutting costs. In August, a letter was issued to the residents of Kettlersville informing them that the project to bring sewer lines to the village was complete and residents could begin the process of tying into the system. At this time, only a few residents remain that have not yet tied in and some minor touch-up work will remain for this spring. Other wastewater issues remain at Arrowhead subdivision where monies are being secured to address issues with stormwater infiltration, and at Newport where we have signed an agreement with the EPA

to develop plans to bring wastewater service to that community. These projects will move forward as grant monies and other funding can be secured. After Tim Sell was elected to become Shelby County’s new prosecutor, the Commissioner’s office became involved in preparations to house both the public defender’s office and the prosecutor’s office. These offices were previously part of private law firms but have now moved into county-owned space. With technical assistance from Joel Glass and County Engineer, Bob Geuy, the Prosecutor’s office is now located on the first floor of the courthouse and the Public Defender’s office is located in the basement of the Annex. See FUTURE/Page 9


COURTS • EMERGENCY SERVICES • GOVERNMENT

Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Page 3

Sidney strives to provide quality services with less state funding the state budget cut the Local Government Fund 25 percent for the July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012, period, and initiated an additional 25 percent cut for the July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2013, period. Statewide, these cuts amounted to $5 billion, about the same amount the state budget increased over the same two-year period. The Local Government Fund became a part of the state budget during the Great Depression with the initiation of Ohio’s first sales tax. Part of the original purpose of the 3 percent sales tax was to provide revenue sharing with local governments on essential services. This revenue sharing has been a part of every local government’s budgeting process in the three quarters of a century since. Despite the decline in revenue from the State of Ohio, the local income tax has begun to recover, in part because of the lower unemployment

rate. Fueled by the recovery of the manufacturing sector of the economy (Sidney has more manufacturing jobs per capita than any other city in the State of Ohio), we collected just over $13 million in municipal income tax revenue for the first time since 2007. The city of Sidney has been able to maintain essential services in large part because of a budgeting process that not only works well in the real world, but continues to earn high praise. Our Finance Department has received the Government Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget Preparation Award for 12 consecutive years, and the Association’s Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting, an award that we have received for 22 consecutive years. City Council met in January for our biennial strategic planning session, a process that was initiated some years ago following each election

cycle. Although he did not officially begin his duties until February, City Manager Designate Mark Cundiff joined Council for the day-long session. Mark served the city of Sidney as assistant city manager more than two decades ago before his career took him to Iowa, various Ohio communities and back to Sidney. Our top goals included: 1) The need to increase revenues and jobs; 2) Infrastructure maintained and updated; 3) Water source acquired; 4) Adoption of a property maintenance code that is appropriate for the community; 5) Neighborhood revitalization; 6) Improved collaboration with the County;

7) Downtown revitalization; 8) Improved public relations and marketing; 9) Maintain and enhance the delivery of City services; and 10) Support of the Wastewater Treatment Plant requirements. Reduced revenues forced the city to seek ways to help finance amenities that we believed were important, but for which we did not have the financial resources. Wilson Memorial Hospital stepped forward and provided a grant that funded the July 4th fireworks. Emerson Climate Technologies provided grant funding to replace the

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play equipment at Custenborder Field. Honda provided a grant that funded the replacement of the play equipment near Geib Pavilion in Tawawa Park. Without this funding, there would have been no fireworks, and the play equipment at both Custenborder and Tawawa would have been removed and not replaced. I would add that the Custenborder equipment is the most used within our system of parks. The Tawawa equipment is the second most used piece of equipment. Enhancing the entrances to the city of SidSee MAYOR/Page 4

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The economic woes that have caused so m u c h pain continue to play a m a j o r role in every decision that is made at Sidney Barhorst City Hall. “I noted in my comments for this report last year that ‘the General Assembly decided to balance their budget by inflicting near mortal wounds on every village, township, city and county in Ohio. Over the course of the next five years, the city of Sidney will have about $750,000 less per year in revenue from the State of Ohio,’” said Sidney Mayor Michael Barhorst. His report continues: The “spin” from the governor’s office touts Columbus’ reduced expenditures and the fact that those reductions have resulted in being able to add nearly $500,000,000 to the State’s “Rainy Day Fund.” Despite the governor’s insistence that spending is down, figures released by the Buckeye Institute would indicate that “Ohio government general revenue spending will rise a forecasted 44 percent from 1990 to 2013, corrected for inflation.” As I noted last year,


COURTS • EMERGENCY SERVICES • GOVERNMENT

Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Page 4

MAYOR

Photo provided

HONDA HERO Volunteers from the Anna Engine Plant work to assemble the play equipment purchased by Honda for the city of Sidney’s Tawawa Park recently. Without Honda’s contribution, the play equipment it replaced would have been removed and not replaced because of budgetary constraints. The city also purchased a 156 acre property near Lockington. The property is the first of several parcels that will be purchased for the development of the well field, which will be located at the site. The water will be transported back to Sidney and processed at the existing water treatment plant through a transmission line that will be constructed partially along the former Miami & Erie Canal. We plan to construct a bicycle/hiking trail along the former canal tow path that will eventually connect to the hiking trails being developed that will connect Cincinnati and Toledo. Employment in all city departments is down a total of 84 positions. Most of these “cuts� were the result of attrition when employees retired

or left for other positions. Some positions were filled by necessity. Law Director Jeff Amick re-

placed Mike Smith, who served as our chief legal counsel from 1992 until 2011. Amick began his

duties in January. Longtime Public Works and Utilities Director Chris Clark retired in May. Longtime Assistant City Manager Tom Judy left his employment with the city of Sidney to become the executive director of the Miami Valley Risk Management Association. Their departure permitted City Manager Mark Cundiff the opportunity to realign their previous positions, resulting in additional budgetary savings. Gary Clough, who relocated to Sidney from Casper, Wyo., was appointed assistant city manager and public works director. Brian Schultz was promoted to Utilities director. Under orders from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the city of Sidney continues to develop plans to expand the Waste Water

Treatment Plant. While the city of Sidney has never violated our permit, we are being required to spend millions of dollars to expand the plant’s capacity. Efforts to meet face to face with the director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to discuss alternatives have been frustrated by the cancellation of every scheduled meeting. Despite months of frustration, we intend to continue to pursue other options in an attempt to save consumers increased costs. Janet Born was appointed to Council in May to fill the unexpired term of Jeff Hewitt. She and the rest of Council look forward to the coming year with the hope of an improved economy and the opportunity to continue to work to make Sidney a great place to live, work and raise a family.

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ney was identified as a priority in meetings sponsored by the West Ohio Development Council with the chief executive officers of various companies. Through a grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation supplemented by funding from local corporations, the southern quadrants of the Ohio 47/Interstate 75 ramps were planted with trees and shrubs. The northern quadrants will be planted in the coming year. In addition and as part of the Gateway Project, the structure that formerly housed The Pub was acquired by Reliable Castings and the building demolished. A portion of the property will be deeded to the city and signage erected that will both welcome visitors to Sidney and acknowledge our manufacturing base. This project is also dependent upon private funding. The city spent considerable time and resources acquiring property and/or easements during the past year. Most of the parcels acquired were located adjacent to the airport. The acquisitions will allow for the expansion of the main runway to 5,000 feet. The expansion is necessitated for safety reasons. Construction of the $12 million project is expected to begin in May and be completed by November. The project is being jointly funded by the Federal Aviation Administration (90 percent) and the city of Sidney (10 percent).

From Page 3


COURTS • EMERGENCY SERVICES • GOVERNMENT

Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Page 5

Botkins shows steady growth after housing market collapse Village welcomes Buckeye Electrical Products pleased to have Buckeye Electrical Products locate in town this year. Buckeye Electrical Products specializes in small to medium-sized contract work involving electrical wiring, harnessing, and box components. Owner Dick Platfoot was the first to build in the Industrial Park, so there is hope that it might spur on further progress in the County Road 25A/Interstate 75 corridor for Botkins. The village cooperated with the village of Anna and Shelby County to repave a section of County Road 25A. The cost of the new paving from Ohio 274 to the southern corporation line, roughly .5 mile, was $61,897.41. An application was made for Issue 1 funds to replace the lift station on South Street and the $200,000 grant was awarded. The total cost of the project, which includes a new lift station, almost a mile of force main, and construction is $650,000. The village also has budgeted $60,000 to refurbish the lift station on County Road 25A. Both lift stations should have a life expectancy

of 40-plus years after the completed work. On the water side, the south water tank is slated to have an interior paint job this year. The exterior will be repainted in 2014. This is the first time the south tank has been painted since construction in 1995. The council is also considering radioread water meters to increase efficiency throughout the distribution system. The village council purchased a fire engine in 2012. The Sutphen S-4 demo engine cost $414,894 and replaces an open-cab engine from 1987. The village of Botkins Volunteer Fire Department continues to provide serv-

ice to Botkins, Dinsmore Township and Pusheta Township. Numerous fundraising events are held during the year including chicken dinners in April and October. Construction on the new K-12 school will begin in April 2013. Bids for the project went out at the end of January. Completion is scheduled for winter 2014. Resource International will perform the construction management for the project. The Botkins Athletic Boosters continued work on the new track/soccer sporting complex located at the Community Park. The school was awarded a

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Scrap Tire Grant through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to help pay for the paving of the track. The paving should be complete by mid-summer. Fundraising continues to support this project. The Botkins Beautification Club approached the Village Council about convert-

ing greenspace at the corner of South Main Street and W. South Street into a veterans park. Through the Louise Sheets Fund, money was secured to purchase a Greek pergola which was put up in the fall. Brick pathways will be installed in the summer of 2013. The park will be built through donations.

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BOTKINS — The year 2012 was another step in the right direction after the collapse in 2009 of the housing market for the village of Kent Botkins. “The recovery three years later has not been a strong one, but it has shown a steady increase every year,” said Jesse Kent, village administrator. “Income tax returns are a good indicator of the strength in the local economy; the upward trends since 2009 demonstrate resiliency in the economy after the crash. Manufacturing continues to make gains in the local area. Agribusiness is also rolling along despite road bumps. Last year’s drought throughout the US put farm prices on a rollercoaster ride, but most local soybeans were spared at the last moment by a timely rain. This area of Ohio fared much better than Iowa and Nebraska.” His report continues: The village of Botkins was very

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Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Page 6

Kettlersville completes work mandated by the Ohio EPA Project funded by state of Ohio, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture KETTLERSVILLE — The sanitary sewer system, in process since the village of K e t tlersville received findings and orders for the Ohio Kaminsky EPA in 2004, was placed into service in September. “It is tied into the county system in McCartyville,” said Mayor Eric Kaminsky. “Funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the state of Ohio.” His report continues: In conjunction with this project, Ohio 274 through the village was repaved by the Ohio Department of Transportation, with Kettlersville Road and McCartyville Roads being repaved by Shelby County. Ida Kaminsky was appointed to fill the seat previously held by Roland Kettler in May, and Vickey Greer was appointed in November to fill the seat held by Keith Phillips when he moved out of the village. Both terms will expire at the end of 2013. At the November

meeting, the Village Council voted, after a third reading, to repeal the 1 percent income tax ordinance, originally enacted in 2008 and modified in 2010; the repeal was effective Dec. 31. Taxes had been collected by the Regional Income Tax Agency. Steinke Metal Fabricating is now operating in its new building next to the Council Chambers on Ohio 274. Other businesses in the Village include Trupointe, EZ Hutch, and the U.S. Postal Service. Also located on Ohio 274 is the Immanuel Church of Christ. The post office, which had been on the list for closure, will now remain open, although with reduced hours. Effective Jan. 26, those hours are 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Through an agreement signed with Miami Valley Lighting, most of the streetlights within the Village were replaced. Using Formula grant funding, a new storm water drain, originating in the alley between North Street and Ohio 274, under the highway and South Street, was installed by PAB Con-

struction. Phase 2, in which a new storm drain will be installed from South Street to the drainage ditch at the south end of the Village, has yet to be completed. Rebuilding of North and East Streets tops the list of infrastructure improvements being considered by council. Other items being considered are street sweeping, leaf and limb pick-ups, cleaning of storm sewer drains. Council is also considering improvements to the Village Park to ben-

105 105

efit residents. Kettlersville is also home to the Van Buren Township building and the Kettlersville/Van Buren Township Fire Department. The annual Fireman’s Picnic will be held at the Township building grounds in July. We’ve seen a lot of things change in the past year, and I look forward, along with the Council, to continue to make improvements in 2013. Any suggestions from Village residents are welcomed and encouraged.

Years

members are Vickey Greer, Ida Kaminsky, Bart Shuster, Brian Shuster and Elaine Staton. The fiscal officer is Linda Miller. The zoning officer is Randy Wentz.

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Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Page 7

Quincy faced many challenges in 2012 Council deals with loss of general operating levies QUINCY — The village of Quincy started the 2012 New Year facing challengers. Sandra Ward, fiscal officer, has submitted the following report: The first major challenge was the loss of a 2 mill general operating levy amounting to $11,000 in November 2011. This levy had been used to pay for street lighting in the village. Council acted quickly regarding this matter a put the levy on the spring ballot only to

be defeated for a second time. Council felt that the citizens in the village had determined street lighting was not a priority and chose not to place it on the ballot for November 2012. On the ballot in November 2012 was two 3.2 mill operating levies. One levy was for street repairs and the other was for general operating. Each levy would generate $17,000. Both levies were again defeated setting the pace for a

total loss of $45,000 in funding. With the failure of the operating levy for street maintenance, the fund will no longer be supported by the village as this fund was totally supported by the levy. In the mean time the village lost another one-fourth of local government funding from the state of Ohio. This was the second cut in funding from the state. Financial issues will be a major portion of opening the year of

2013 and determining what can be done to repair the damage done by the loss of these three levies and Local Government Funding. A positive note for 2013 was the water filtration system that has been up and running since October 2012. This project had been in the works for several years. The quality of the water in the village has improved and water pressure is expected to get better during the next year due to re-

moval of things being filtered by the new system. During 2012 the village administrator had a brush with life. Kirk Helmandollar was involved in a train, backhoe accident. After many months of restricted duty he is on the road to complete recovery. The village will deal with any issues regarding the injuries and are thankful that the accident was not any worse than it was. The backhoe was re-

placed in the fall of 2012. Another hurdle handled during 2012 was meeting the requirements of the Ohio E.P.A. regarding the villages of Quincy and DeGraff having a 20 hour per week wastewater operator on site with a Class II Operator’s license. This requirement had been on the wings for more than two years but an agreement between the villages could not be met. A 5-year reSee QUINCY/Page 8

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Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Turtle Creek Trustees complete road repairs $1,764.80. • Cisco Road between Hardin-Wapakoneta and Patterson-Halpin roads. This was done by Ticon Paving Inc. for $2,802.95. Jack Schmiesing is our zoning enforcement officer. The total number of zoning certificates issued in 2012 was 13. This included one new home, two remodeling, seven accessory out buildings, two signs and one commercial building. There were three variances granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals. Members of this board are Kevin Orndorff, Marion Leapley, Ken Draving, Ed Langenkamp and Bruce Michael. Members of our zoning commission are

Mark Berning, David Holthaus, Gary Carter, Craig Hall and Eugene Schulze. The trustees continue to make improvements at Shelby Memory Gardens along with M.C. Day, our caretaker at the cemetery. There were 49 burials/cremations in Shelby Memory Gardens in 2012. There were improvements made to Brookside Cemetery, also. If anyone has concerns about Turtle Creek township, contact Trustees Mike Eilerman, Doug Ike, myself or Fiscal Officer Karen Pleiman. Meetings are held the second Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. You may call the township office at (937) 492-9154.

Voters approve construction of new township house PASCO — The year 2012 was a very productive year for P e r r y To w n ship. The voters of P e r r y Township voted to build a n e w Greiwe township h o u s e and maintenance facility. Westerheide Construction is the successful bidder and the work has begun. this project is funded by inheritance tax money and know new taxes will be collected. Trustee John Greiwe has submitted the following report:

The trustees are in the process of upgrading all of the road signs, starting with the stop signs and stop a head signs. Road work for the township consist of sealing Frazier Guy Road from Ohio 29 to the Green Township line and Knoop Johnston Road from Ohio 29 to the dead end. Several trees have been planted in Cedar Point Cemetery under the expert supervision of Eric Pearson, Perry Township maintenance superintendent. There were 45 burials in 2012 in Cedar Point Cemetery. Mike & Kim Eilerman

From Page 7

newal of the operating permit was slated to take place Nov. 1, 2012 and this requirement is a part of the new permit and had to be handled. In the final hours the operator of record resigned and not only were both villages dealing with the 20 hour requirement they were scrambling to find an operator and find funding to finance this matter. Many debates and discussion took place over funding. In the final meetings a parttime operator was hired and an assistant was also hired with costs being shared based on the flow of sludge into the plant from each village. At this point the system is up and running and the new permit is in place. Quincy Council dealt with many issues during 2012. These issues were large issues that took a great deal of time and devotion and everyone working as a team to handle the problems. Quincy Council meets the first and third Tuesday of each month in Council Chambers at 115 N. Miami St. at 7:30

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Paving Inc. for $104,110.49. Road repairs were also done on Greenville Road between Hardin-Wapakoneta Road and Patterson-Halpin road. This work was performed by Wagner Paving Inc. for $2,292. Road repairs were also done on Smalley Road. this work was performed by Wagner Paving Inc. for $1,850. Crack sealing was done on the following roads: • Wright-Puthoff Road between Fort Loramie Swanders and Hoying roads. This was done by Ticon Paving Inc. for $4,572.85. • Cisco Road between Patterson-Halpin and Wright-Puthoff roads. This was done by Ticon Paving Inc. for

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The Turtle Creek Township trustees were busy in 2 0 1 2 d o i n g road rep a i r s within the township. Chairman Edward C. Seger Seger Jr. has submitted the following report: Road repairs were done on Kuther Road between Mason and Cisco roads. This work was performed by Wagner Paving Inc. for $7,650. After repairs were performed at this location, 1.01 miles of Kuther Road between Cisco and Mason roads were paved by Wagner

Page 8

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COURTS • EMERGENCY SERVICES • GOVERNMENT

Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Page 9

Trustees trade old mowers, buy two new mowers; purchase truck and two snowplows PORT JEFFERSON — Several road maintenance projects were accomplished in 2012 by the Salem Township Trustees. Past Chairman Jeff Clark and Fiscal Officer Denise Palmer have submitted the following report: Trees were trimmed

on Herring Road and a portion of Sharp Road. Side ditches were mowed four times during the season and the snowplow was out on several occasions. A driveway was put in from the township building to the cemetery for easy access. Because of excessive flow

FUTURE Some necessary upgrades that the Commissioners approved include a new boiler system for the jail at $152,000 and a new building to house equipment for the county’s communications tower on Riverside Drive. With assistance from Freytag and Associates, we have erected a new building at a much lower cost than originally anticipated with final costs projected to be $75,000-80,0000. After the retirement

of water, erosion was taking place at the inlet on Herring Road. Trustees placed dump rock at the inlet to control flow and stabilize soil to prevent further erosion. The Township was in dire need of some better equipment for the care of the roads and

the cemetery. Since revenues are becoming less and less the trustees traded in some of the old mowers and equipment and were able to purchase two new Ferris mowers. Also, the trustees have been watching the municipal auctions and were able to purchase a

1997 International Truck and two snowplows. Several zoning issues were attended to and Glen Cemetery sold 31 graves, held 30 burial services and poured 14 foundations. Forecasts for 2013 comprise of finishing the tree trimming on

Sharp Road, burn back the fencerows on LeFevre and Lochard Roads and to demolish the old cemetery building. Trustees also plan to check the roads for brush trimming around signs and intersections. Additional road work to be addressed as needed.

From Page 2 of long-time employee, Jan Snider, the Commissioners revised her position and have hired Stephanie Croley as part-time administrative assistant. Other hiring that involved the Commissioners was the placing of Dr. Deb Brown as our new Extension Educator for Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Laura Norris as Extension County Director and Extension Educator for 4-H Youth Development.

Finally, much thanks and appreciation goes to our two retiring Commissioners, Larry Kleinhans and Jack Toomey. Both gentlemen dedicated many years to the service of Shelby County. Their work in 2012 laid the foundation for our two newly-elected Commissioners, Bob Guillozet and Tony Bornhorst. Please join me in welcoming all of our new employees as we look forward to 2013 and the new challenges it will bring.

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Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Page 10

Auditor’s Office busy answering taxpayers questions about tax bills Property revaluation leads to many questions With the real estate revaluation being completed in 2011 and the resulting tax adj u s t m e n t s being reflected on bills in e a r l y York 2012, the first several months of the year were largely consumed by dealing with questions from taxpayers regarding changes to their tax bills. Auditor Dennis York has submitted the following report: When the revaluation process was initiated in 2010, our instructions to our third-party appraisal company was to “get it right” regardless if correcting old problems or considering new realities would create a sig-

nificantly increased (or decreased) value on a given property. We felt it would be more fair and easier to explain to the public if we used a consistent basis for determining values regardless of how the change may appear to a property owner at first glance. Because of this philosophy of focusing on the real current market value rather than a percentage comparison to previous values on our books, a minority of property owners experienced an increased valuation. Also, the Current Agricultural Use Value formula was updated by the state resulting in higher values for farm land. These two factors caused a lot of concern among taxpayers who experienced an unexpected tax increase during a period of generally declining residential property

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values. Needless to say, most of these folks wanted answers. We did our best to respond in a professional manner and with current factual information. Another major priority for the Auditor during 2012 was to educate state officials and the general public about the devastating effects of major cuts in funding to local governments in the FY 2012/2013 state budget. In comparing revenues from state funding for Shelby County expected in CY 2013 to revenues received in CY 2010, we find ourselves $1,164,000 short. This represents a cut of 66 percent and is too large for us to absorb without

significant cuts in services to citizens of Shelby County. Since most of what we do is mandated by state law, we believe this kind of treatment of local governments is both unnecessary and unsustainable. Therefore, a major priority for 2013 will be to work with Shelby County Commissioners, our statewide organizations, and many other informal contacts to convince Legislators and the governor’s office to address the legitimate needs of local governments in the upcoming biennial state budget. We have formed some excellent contacts over the past year or so and are hopeful that

those contacts will open doors for us to make our case to state-level leaders who can do something about the problem. Also in 2013, we will begin to prepare for the Triennial Review of real estate values which we must do in 2014 and which will affect taxes in 2015. Recent information indicates that local property values have “bottomed out” and sales are beginning to show some renewed strength. The trajectory of those sales will need to be understood so we can establish fair values as-of the Jan. 1, 2014, “tax lien date.” In the Auditor’s Office, we take our obligation to serve the

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citizens of Shelby County seriously. We have an excellent staff of seasoned and dedicated people available to assist you with a wide variety of issues. My own direct phone number and e-mail address is published on our website. I always try to respond quickly and thoroughly when contacted and we always enjoy hearing from citizens with suggestions, questions, compliments, and even complaints. In summary, despite the budgetary challenges, we continue to work hard at providing the best possible results for taxpayers. We look forward to 2013 with hopeful anticipation.


COURTS • EMERGENCY SERVICES • GOVERNMENT

Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Page 11

Clerk of Courts has busy year sor Michele Everett, Deputies Patty Glass, who transferred from the legal office and new additions Gina Fridley and Jessica Jenkins. I am very proud of the efforts these ladies have made during some very difficult circumstances. In 2012, the title staff processed more than 19,000 vehicle titles, an increase of more than 1,000 titles in 2011 and generated more than $3.3 million in taxes paid to the state. They also processed nearly 550 boat titles and more than 220 passports. In my Legal Office, we continued to forge ahead doing more with less. We processed approximately 72,000 filings, initiated more than 900 new cases and added nearly 1,000 judgment liens. Receipts were more than $457,000, disbursements were roughly $484,000 with additional garnishment, restitution and appraiser payments totaling $218,872. We proceeded aggressively with court cost collections. Due to how we have been legislated, we have more than 4,800 account receivables. Previously, collections were manual, but due to changed technology, we sent all account holders updated 30/60/90 day notices. Thank you to our volunteers Sarah and Brenda for your help with this project. Almost 900 of the ac-

counts, or more than $81,000 in debt, were sent to a collection agency. Many more accounts will also soon be sent to the Attorney General’s office for collection. My legal staff consists of Chief Deputy Jamie Arnold, Administrative Assistant Paula Butterfield, Legal Office Manager Linda Byram, and Deputies Bev Dunlap, Stacy Jackson, Naomi St. Julian and Denielle Alexander. All staff members are to be commended for continuously rising above the issues of a reduced budget, a wage freeze, lean staff and personal tragedies. None-the less, they continue to be dependable and they get the job done. Each year I research changes in technology and look for shared services to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. The idea to research a uniform software system for the municipal court and the county courts was discussed which resulted in a joint RFP. The anticipation is that there will be great cost reductions, improved efficiencies and increased services, such as e-filing. With change, there comes new challenges in the year to come, but regardless of these challenges that the new ideas or projects may bring, or the difficulties budgets and lean offices present, we continue to rise above and do the best job possible. Some-

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“The past few years have been challenging i n many ways, but we h a v e p e rsevered,” s a i d Michele Mumford, Mumford Shelby County Clerk of Courts. “Each year we face challenges, some new and some old. In 2012, we continued to see challenges with budget frustrations, staff shortages, technological changes, and time management.” Her report continues: As defined in Webster’s, perseverance is “continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition: the action or condition or an instance of persevering: steadfastness.” In spite of the challenges, I am pleased that this is the essence of what my staff and I strive for on a daily basis. In 2012, my Title Office anticipated a complete software overhaul provided by the state. Unfortunately, the wait continues. We are told this state project will be finished sometime in 2013. In spite of the failure of the implementation of this project and the occasional quirks with the current system, the title office continued to persevere. Currently, my staff includes Title Supervi-


COURTS • EMERGENCY SERVICES • GOVERNMENT

Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

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Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Page 13

Job & Family Services sees increase in demand for services in 2012

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yearly cost of $1,200,000. Child Support staff enforced more than 4,300 child support orders each month. Total child support collected was approximated $8,000,000. Although the majority of people make regular payments, if after an extended period time no payments are received an individual’s driver’s license can be suspended. In extreme cases, the person may be sentenced to jail. More than 400 new child support cases were added during the year. Staff of the Children Services Division continued to deal with child abuse and neglect on a daily basis. More than 300 investigations were conducted in 2012. During 2012 staff saw an increasing number of situations that involved the use of heroin by one or both parents. This drug is so addictive it can destroy a family very quickly. Staff make every effort to have children remain in their own home. However, sometimes that is not possible and children

are placed with relatives or with foster parents. During 2012 in-home services were provided to 118 children while 27 children needed to be placed outside of their homes. Residential placements for severely disturbed children/adolescents can cost up to $400 per day. Total cost for out-ofhome placements was $416,668.68 Support/fiscal staff plays a critical role in the delivery of services. The department is for-

tunate to have very knowledgeable fiscal staff. In the last state audit no findings were made for recovery. Looking ahead to 2013 the department will be dealing with at least two significant issues. The first will involve the expansion of Medicaid services and the Affordable Care Act. No details have been issued and at this time the department does not know what these changes will mean locally. The Children

Services Division will be preparing to implement what is called “Differential Response.” Under this system the department will be responsible to offer services to families who may be experiencing significant issues but not significant child abuse and neglect. During 2013 the department will, as always, continue to provide services in the most cost effective and professional manner.

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• Medicaid: 7,876 individuals received Medicaid assistance on average each month. Average monthly cost was $4,055,694.00 The yearly cost for these programs was $56,918,255.00 The demand for Job Center services also increased. More than 17,000 visits were made to the Job Center during 2012. Assistance with resume development, job leads and other services are offered free of charge to Job Center customers. Employable people receiving cash assistance and/or food stamps are required to participate in some type work activity. Individuals refusing to work have their assistance reduced or eliminated. During 2012, 65 percent of applicants were denied due failing to comply with this requirement. Child care services are made available to low-income families enabling parents to work or attend training. A monthly average of 146 families received child care services during 2012 at a total

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The year continued the trend of increased demand for services while operational resources continued to be reduced at t h e Shelby Bey County Department of Job & Family Services. “Since 2008 the department has experienced a 25 percent reduction in operating dollars,” said Tom Bey, director. “In consequence staff was reduced from 66 to 52 people. Use of telephone interviews, online applications, and a customer service phone bank have all been implemented in order to continue to meet federal/state regulations.” His report continues: The following represents services provided by the department in 2012. • Cash Assistance: 158 cases average per month. Only 23 cases included adults on assistance. Average monthly cost was $52,134.00 • Food Assistance: 4,740 individuals received Food Assistance (Food Stamps) assistance on average each month. Average monthly cost was $635,360.

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COURTS • EMERGENCY SERVICES • GOVERNMENT

Recorder’s office reports increase of revenue in 2012

Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Page 14

Treasurer’s office begins first tax lien sale in 2012

“At the end of the current tax, treasurer all these stead reduction avail“It would apsaving source which must be years. Their constant able in the auditor’s ofpear that the for individuals the year it’s time kept paid. The willingness and profes- fice as well as a 2 1/2 economy is going doing title to reflect on the amount the com- sionalism helped us percent rollback reducin the right direcsearches as well past and this year pany paid for the keep open the lines of tion for owning and livtion if you are as to the indi- is no different,” liens they ac- communication with the ing in your own home. looking at the revviduals who are said Linda S. cepted was taxpayers, townships Active military perenue generated by here doing ge- Meininger, Shelby County Treasurer. $ 3 4 9 , 9 3 4 . 0 5 . and all other entities. sonnel are allowed an the recorder’s ofnealogy reThis was ad- This resulted in keeping extension for payment of fice for the year search. The data “No year in the vanced to the a low delinquency for a real estate taxes and 2012 compared to base allows one treasurer’s office Meininger subdivisions in number of years. manufactured home tax Siegel 2011,” said Jodi to search or sort is without chalDecember 2012. The economic envi- by H.B. No. 390. The vetSiegel, Shelby by several dif- lenge but we have moved forward.” But the total collected ronment is still ex- eran’s office is also availCounty recorder. “Rev- ferent fields. Her report continues: from August to Decem- tremely challenging as able to assist veterans. enue was up 17 percent The recorder’s office We signed a contract ber 2012 to avoid being far as investing the The treasurer’s from the prior year. also assisted the Treawith a company called sold was $878,551.44. county public funds. The deputies are always These receipts have surer’s office with their Tax Ease Ohio L.L.C. This amount will go out funds are invested with willing to assist taxpaygenerated nearly Tax Lien Sale which and embarked on the with the first half settle- local banks and strictly ers any way we can. The $208,000 for the took place near the end county’s first tax lien ment in 2013. The by the O.R.C. In this community has becounty’s general fund of the year. Nearly sales. The process was process will be repeated manner we are support- stowed a trust upon me and the Recorder’s office every document filed in initiated once we closed yearly as needed to col- ing our community and and I will continue to do budget for the same cal- the Recorder’s office re- second half taxes and lect delinquency. still receiving a compet- what’s best for all taxendar year was at quires a legal descrip- had our real estate tax I want to recognize itive yield for the times payers. You may call us $144,000. tion and we were able to settlement in August the stall in the outgoing we are living in. at (937) 498-7281 or Her report continues: assist by doing some of 2012. Delinquent tax- Shelby County ProsecuFor taxpayers 65 and visit our website at The recorders’ offices the research to assure payers in jeopardy were tor’s Office for their inte- older as well as the dis- www.shelbycountytreaacross the state of Ohio the correct legal de- notified by certified mail gral role in assisting the abled there is a home- surer.com. are also collecting fees scription was attached as well as newspaper arfor the Ohio Housing to each lien. ticles. Once the company Trust Fund. Shelby Staff was reduced designated the proper4239YEARS YEARS ofof County alone has col- nearly two years ago ties they would accept, ROFESSIONAL PPROFESSIONAL lected nearly $235,000 and although this has the taxpayers still had ERVICE SSERVICE this past year. The first been challenging at 30 days to pay in full be$50 million of housing times, we have main- fore the lien was sold. trust fund fees collected tained with the reduced After the sale the taxeach are deposited into level of staff. The payers whose parcels the low and moderate- recorder’s office em- were purchased now CALL THE income housing trust ploys two fulltime em- deal directly with Tax fund. Any amount in ex- ployees, one parttime Ease Ohio L.L.C. The only thing the treasurer cess of 50 million goes to employee and myself. collects going forward is the state’s general fund. Scratched, Although the year Bruised or Broken? seemed to be very busy, See Us For Your Complete Auto Body Rejuvenation! we were able to see the Call today for an estimate appointment. completion of a project which we worked on during our slow times. 42 years of experience with a team of professionals that truly cares about properly repairing This project took nearly every vehicle without exception. 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COURTS • EMERGENCY SERVICES • GOVERNMENT

Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Page 15

Commission OKs 25 surveys in 2012 “In 2012 we approved 25 surveys, which included the creation of 20 new lots, totaling approximately 98 acres. Seven flood plain building permits were issued and one enterprise zone agreement expired,” said Dianna Reisinger, executive director, Shelby County Regional Planning Commission. Reisinger Her report continues: Due to bids coming in under estimates, Kettlersville’s storm water sewer improvements will be made in

two phases. The first phase was completed in 2012 replacing 610.0 linear feet of lines including three manholes. The second phase requires an extension of the Formula-11 grant funding which has been requested and is in process. When approved, this will add another 2,210 linear feet of storm water sewer line. Formula-12 grant will provide funding for planning efforts to address the infiltration of storm water into the Arrowhead Subdivision sanitary sewer plant which was determined a finding and ordered to be corrected by Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. A second activity of this grant will provide replacement of four central air condi-

tioning units in the Buckeye and Arbor Halls of Fair Haven to provide adequate and mandated maximum temperature levels for residents in our county home. With the granting of CHIP-11 funds, we have so far rehabbed three of the five homes committed as outcomes under the Owner Rehab activity and repaired four of the nine homes committed as outcomes under the Repair activity. Through the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance activity provided through Shelby Metropolitan Housing Authority, thirty households have benefitted. Applications for assistance are still being accepted from low to moderate-income households. (See chart below for 2013 eligibility criteria).

Shelby County Income 2013 limits 1 person..................................34,800 2 people ..................................39,800 3 people ..................................44,750 4 people ..................................49,700 5 people ..................................53,700 6 people ..................................57,700 7 people ..................................61,650 8 people ..................................65,650 The year 2013 still holds challenges as far as budgets and the economy, but the business climate in Shelby County seems to be improving and I believe, in time, will reflect the efforts of collaboration and determination to succeed by all its residents and their public servants.

Victim Services assists 318 victims of crime tance to law enforcement with death notifications, and coordinating information with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.” Her report continues: The program has seen some changes over the past year. In August we hired Julie Swartz as a Victim Service Provider. She primarily advocates for crime victims in Municipal Court and Juvenile Court. Julie is currently working on a program to do presentations in the schools discuss date rape, body

safety and possibly bullying for Jr. High school girls. Susan Elsass, is a Senior Victim Advocate. She has been with the agency for thirteen years. She primarily advocates for crime victims in Common Pleas Court and Juvenile Court. Susan also coordinates a Multi-Disciplinary Team that meet to discuss child sexual assaults in our county. I continue to be the program director. I work in all three courts and handles Juvenile restitution program as well all administrative

duties. I have been with the agency for three years. Shelby County Victim Services also has a therapist on staff, Michelle Dickman. She provides therapy to anyone who has been victimized by a crime. She is able to provide quality therapeutic counseling free of charge. Michelle also works with families and parents of children who are crime victims. She has been with the agency for three and half years. Shelby County Victim Services continues to re-

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ceive the majority of its funding from government grants and the Shelby County United Way. The Shelby County Commissioners provide a match for the grants that require matches. Shelby County Victim Services staff is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to respond to many crisis situations over the past year. Some of those crisis responses are to but not limited to, rape and sexual assaults of both children and adults in Shelby County. See SCVS/Page 16

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Victim Services victims included had yet another 2,738 contacts busy year serving performing crivictims of Shelby sis counseling, County. Shelby court advocacy, County Victim advocates escort Services worked and support closely with the during all stages former prosecutor, of the justice Ralph Bauer and process; notificaKemp Municipal Court tion and explaprosecutor Jeff nation of court Amick and their offices procedures; assistance to provide information with the filing of Victim and assistance to crime Impact Statements, revictims. ferrals to appropriate so“SCVS assisted 318 cial service agencies, crime victims in 2012,” assisting in filing applisaid Director Tiffany cations for Crime Victim Kemp. “Assisting these Compensation, assis-


COURTS • EMERGENCY SERVICES • GOVERNMENT

Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Page 16

Department enforces Sidney ordinances The city of Sidney Community Services Department is responsible for ensuring compliance with city ordinances for the development and continued maintenance of every property in the city, including reDulworth view and approval of permits, inspections, and enforcement of the city’s ordinances. Director Barbara Dulworth has submitted the following report: The year 2012 was a busy one for the Community Services Department Staff. With the inauguration of the Residential Beautification Program, new weed and high grass regulations, and preparation for adoption by the State of the 2011 Residential Building Code of Ohio and 2011 National Electric Code.

Residential development: Permits for new single family dwellings more than doubled over 2011. Seventeen permits were issued for new single family homes, with a total construction cost of $2,202,000. 54 building permits were issued for activities such as new garages, accessory storage buildings, additions, porches and decks as well as 496 permits for electric, HVAC and other development and renovation activities. Commercial and industrial development: 16 site plan permits were issued in 2012, with a total construction cost of more than $8.9 million. Some of the highlights of commercial and industrial development include construction of 110,472 square feet in additions to local manufacturers; renovation and redesign of a total of five businesses, including three restaurants; and the start of construction on a new restaurant. In addition,

34 Zoning Certificate of Occupancy permits were issued for businesses that either moved to a new location or opened for the first time in 2012. Grants: Work commenced on six home repairs and two home rehabilitations through the Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) grant of $500,000. In addition, two houses were painted through the city’s Paint the Town Program and a grant of $50,000 was made to the Sidney Theater group, Raise the Roof for the Arts, for façade rehabilitation of the downtown theater. The city completed environmental assessment work on the old Wagner Manufacturing site between Fair Rd and Wilkinson Ave through a USEPA Brownfield Assessment grant of $185,000 and Clean Ohio Assistance Fund grant of $201,096. With the assessment and remediation plans completed, work can begin to identify a funding

source and/or investor to complete the remediation and demolition to make the site development-ready. The Ohio Attorney General’s office allocated funds in 2012 to each county in Ohio through the Moving Ohio Forward Program. Shelby County received $254,066. The city will use approximately 50 percent of those funds to complete demolitions of vacant, abandoned, and deteriorating homes in Sidney. The city expects to complete approximately 10 demolitions in 2013 using these funds. Inspections and Enforcement: During 2012, the new Neighborhood Beautification award program was inaugurated. Four homes were given awards for beautification of their residence and in recognition of how their efforts positively impacted their neighborhood. The Code Enforcement Department enforced the new “high grass and weed” regulations, which

resulted in fewer days that properties were in violation and fewer repeat offenders. In total, the Code Enforcement Department inspected and required compliance on a total of 473 violations, including junk, junk vehicle, trash and debris, weeds and grass and other property maintenance regulations. Looking ahead to 2013: City staff will be researching needed updates to various sections of the Code of Ordinances, including site plan development, property maintenance, and private swimming pool regulations. In addition, the Building Inspection Department will be working to educate contractors, homeowners, and developers on the new State-adopted Residential Code and Electric Code. Development and building should continue a slow trend upward, so staff expects to complete an increased number of plan reviews, permits and inspections in 2013.

SCVS

From Page 15

Another component of SCVS is death notifications. Although this is something that our staff never wants to do, we recognize that how important this is. Sadly SCVS has gone with law enforcement more then several times over the past year to do this. The year 2013 holds some new and

exciting changes for not only Shelby County Victim Services but for Shelby County. First, SCVS office has moved (still in the Courthouse), into a larger more spacious space. This move was needed to make room for the new county prosecutor, Tim Sell. SCVS staff is looking forward to working

with Tim and his office to ensure that victims of crime understand the judicial process and that they receive sensitive treatment throughout the criminal justice process. Finally, April 21-27 is National Crime Victims’ Right Week. SCVS staff is currently making preparations

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Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

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Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Page 18

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enue neutral, would reduce local revenue and further erode our ability to provide local public services. Sidney’s 2013 operating budget reflects an increase of 1.4 percent from the 2012 budget. Previous budget reductions remain in place. Sidney’s workforce was reduced by 55 positions since 2008 (see Exhibit 2, page 31). With reduced staffing levels, it becomes more of a challenge to continue all of the services currently provided or to maintain service levels. Various programs have been eliminated, or substantially reduced, including recreation programs, police community programs, and others. Wherever possible, vehicle and capital purchases have been deferred. Utility rates are a concern for everyone. To pay for an estimated $38 million of EPA-required sewer system and treatment plant upgrades, a $22 monthly sewer charge was added and sewer rates were increased in 2013. Significant water rate increases were also necessary to pay for the new water source and other water system improvements. In a 2012 city of Oakwood report,

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cant swings from year to year. Income tax collections for 2013 are budgeted to decrease to $12.68 million, reflecting a more “normal� level of taxes collected from business net profits and a modest increase in taxes withheld from employees. Sidney’s 2013 budget reflects the full effect of the State’s last budget bill, which reduced Local Government Fund distributions by 50 percent, eliminated estate taxes and withdrew tangible personal property reimbursement. Had the state not made those reductions, Sidney would have had over $823,000 available in 2013 to provide local public services. Sidney’s 2013 budget reflects guarded optimism considering current economic and financial uncertainty at the federal level and the State legislature’s track record of passing legislation that reduces local revenue. Draft State legislation is pending to improve uniformity of local income tax law among all Ohio municipalities. Improving uniformity in a revenue neutral manner could foster an improved business environment. Unfortunately, draft legislation is not rev-

 #

Considering recent financial challenges, Sidney’s 2012 financial results w e r e better than ant i c i pated. “Income tax Adams is the city’s primary revenue source and supports services including street improvements, police, fire, emergency medical services, parks and community recreation,� said Ginger Adams, city of Sidney finance officer. “Sidney’s income tax collections ended 2012 at $13.38 million, a 4 percent increase over 2011.� Her report continues: While good news, collections remain slightly below 2007 pre-recession income tax collections of $13.52 million (see Exhibit 1, this page). Taxes withheld from employees grew by 4.1 percent over 2011 levels, indicating improved local employment. Taxes collected based on business net profits remain at elevated levels, well over historic averages. This portion of income tax collections is the most volatile source of income subject to signifi-


COURTS • EMERGENCY SERVICES • GOVERNMENT

Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Page 19

Summer food program serves 5,426 meals 

 



  



 



  







         

     

structure at the entrance to Custenborder. Emerson’s donation allowed the city to double the size of the old play structure, remove the old chain link fence, install cedar split rail fencing and sidewalks leading to the entrance ramp. This improvement to the gateway to Custenborder has upgraded the overall appearance of the complex. The grant from Honda of America provided funding for the new Geib Pavilion play structure, which is located at Baumgardener Basin in Tawawa Park. In addition to the monetary donation, Honda employees joined forces with parks staff on a Saturday in November to

Sherman Park in 2013, the summer food service program was another success. The program provides warm lunches for children during the summer months at the following sites: Berger, Brown, Humphrey, Green Tree and Sherman parks. These five locations in addition to the Alpha Community Center served 5,426 meals this past summer. The cost of the food is completely reimbursed through a grant from the Ohio Department of Agriculture that parks staff applies for each year. Tawawa Park grew to

assist with the installation process. This high use area had one of the smallest pieces in the park system. The new amenity is well over double in size of the prior one, and was manufactured with earth tone colors to blend into the natural setting of Tawawa Park. This community is very fortunate to have the support that is pro- & vided by the many pri- ( vate, organizational, and 7 corporate entities in the 58' area. Over the years, there have been many donations of time and money to benefit the parks system in Sidney and ultimately the park patrons. With the addition of

226 acres this winter thanks to a donation of land from Dr. and Mrs. Barr. Six acres south of Tawawa Lake on a hillside were added to the civic park, and will be earmarked for nature trail development in the near future. Recreation programming was offered again this year. Thanks to grants, and donations of time by volunteers, more than 400 participants enjoyed programs offered through the parks and recreation department. Some of the clinics that the youth enjoyed this year were Biking, Stories in the Park,

Checking out the Creek, Art in the Park and others. Goals for 2013 include: • Replace the play structures at Brown Park • Continuation of the six food program sites • Refurbish the auditorium floor at the Senior Center • Develop parking area at the rear of Graceland Cemetery for the trail head to the Canal Feeder Trail • Resurface the tennis courts at Lehman and Sidney High Schools (grant and private funding required to complete)

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The city of Sidney Parks and Recreation Department had a busy year in 2012 Duane G a i e r, Parks and Recreation director, has Gaier submitted the following report: The inmate labor program through the Shelby County Sheriffâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office was re-instituted in the spring of 2012. Sheriff John Lenhart and Interim City Manager Tom Judy signed the contract that provided to the city, four inmates and a deputy sheriff to supervise, under the direction of the parks department. Through this agreement, many miles of fence, right of ways and waterways are maintained, along with providing assistance for major, laborintensive projects. Additionally, the inmates assist with baseball/softball field preparation after a rain event, brush clearing, modular play structure installation, and many other projects. This program is a win-win-win situation for the city, county and the taxpayer. Thanks to donations from Emerson Climate Technologies, and Honda of America, two high use modular play structures were replaced in the park system. The first piece that was removed and constructed was the


COURTS • EMERGENCY SERVICES • GOVERNMENT

Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Page 20

Public Works has year of transition The year of 2012 was a year of transition for Sidney’s public works department. Several key retirements occurred w h i c h brought several Clough new hires and promotions to the department. Director Gary Clough has submitted the following report: The challenge for the new team is to continue to provide the best, most efficient services to the residents while we struggle through continued tough economic times. Public Works consists of several divisions with a wide range of responsibilities which affect the daily lives of all of our citizens. The divisions include utilities, streets, traffic, engineering, public transit, Sidney airport, and fleet services. The following is a summary of the divisions and their major responsibilities, accomplishments of 2012 and 2013 projected at a glance: Engineering: Engineering consists of three employees who provide technical and administrative support on numerous construction projects, both public and private. These include surveying, design, contract administration, inspection, grant writing and support services for the other departments within the city. In 2012, work was completed on

several major projects: • Downtown Traffic Signal Improvements •Completed design of Wapakoneta Phase II Improvements (Parkwood to Russell) •2012 Sidewalk and Curb Program •2012 Resurfacing and Striping Projects The following projects are scheduled for 2013: • 2012 ODOT Urban Paving Program • 2013 ODOT Urban Paving Program • Wapakoneta Avenue Reconstruction Phase II (Parkwood to Russell) • 2013 Sidewalk and Curb Program • 2013 Resurfacing and Striping Programs

• Port Jefferson Reconstruction Design ( Russell to Wells) • Ohio 47 Safety Improvements including a traffic signal at the middle Wal-Mart Drive • Michigan Street Bridge Replacement over CSX RR Design Street Department: The streets department consists of six employees. They are responsible for the maintenance of 111 centerline miles of roadways, 16 miles of alleys, 13 parking lots, weed spraying, mosquito abatement, street tree pruning of approximately 3,000 street trees, snow removal, street sweeping, 48 traffic sig-

nals, 5,000 signs, street striping maintenance, leaf pick-up, and maintenance and repair of 84 street lights in the Court Square and on the North Street Bridge.In 2012, approximately 2.5 miles of roads were paved, 3,100 feet of curb and gutter were replaced, 2.75 miles of roadways were cracked and sealed, 3 miles of roads were rejuvenated and 880 miles of roads were swept. Vehicle detection was installed on seven intersections. There were 103 traffic signal lights, 35 pedestrian signals and 467 traffic signs replaced. Nine miles of streets were restriped. A

total of 300 street trees were pruned and 3,100 cubic yards of leaves were collected. An additional 4,470 cubic yards of brush was collected after the storm of June 29, 2012.City crews also responded to 16 snow events in 2012. Fleet Services: Fleet services consists of three employees. Fleet maintains approximately 255 pieces of rolling stock. 45 of those are for police and fire departments. In 2012, 11 units were replaced. In 2013, five vehicles will be replaced and three new vehicles will be purchased for the new inflow and infiltration elimination pro-

gram required for compliance with the EPA issued NPDES permit for the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Shelby Public Transit-Shelby Public Transit provided more than 40,000 trips, logged more than 12,000 hours of service and more than 200,000 miles with 10 vehicles in 2012. The shared labor pool throughout the city continues as needed for special events such as snow removal and leaf pick-up which is still affecting overall maintenance and operational schedules for other needed services that the city provides for our infrastructure and to our residents.

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COURTS • EMERGENCY SERVICES • GOVERNMENT

Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Page 21

Clough reviews Utility Department’s accomplishments during 2012 Four divisions are staffed by 37 employees The city of Sidney’s Utility Department is part of the Public Works Departm e n t umbrella. It has 37 employees and consists of the Clough Wa t e r Treatment Plant, Wastewater Treatment Plant, Underground Utilities, which consists of water distribution and wastewater collections, and Stormwater Monitoring and Maintenance. The following are highlights from 2012 and a glance at 2013: Director Gary Clough has released the following report: Water Treatment Plant: In 2012, the Water Treatment Plant processed and treated approximately 1.12 billion gallons of water. Some of the activities completed in 2012 included the purchase of a replacement lime slaker, telemetry upgrades, and turbidimeter replacement. The city continues with land acquisitions for the new water source. Design

and preparation of the water source protection plan will be completed in 2013. This new water source will provide Sidney with a stable water source that will better serve Sidney for many years to come and allow for continued future growth. Wastewater Treatment Plant: The Wastewater Treatment Plant is designated as a Class IV facility (highest designation) by the Ohio EPA based on its design capacity and the complexity of the treatment processes. In 2012, the WWTP treated more than 1.9 billion gallons of wastewater from the city’s sanitary sewer system. The city also provided additional treatment for more than 500 tons of dry biosolids. The WWTP received a modified NPDES operating permit from EPA for the WWTP that mandated changes to some of the limits of the wastewater discharge and also further regulated the elimination of wet weather bypasses of the full treatment processes. In order to comply with the new permit conditions, the city has selected a consultant to begin design

of modifications to the WWTP to meet the new permit conditions and the city is also implementing new programs to eliminate sources of wet weather infiltration to the sanitary sewer collection system. The WWTP continues to meet all regulatory permit conditions and with the proposed modifications will continue to do so into the future. Stormwater Monitoring: The Stormwater Monitoring program continues to maintain compliance with the city’s NPDES permit. Some of the activities the city did in 2012 to meet the required six minimum measures included the Clean Sweep of the Great Miami River, storm drain stenciling, providing a variety of educational materials

to the public on water quality issues, enforcement of the city’s stormwater Ordinances and inspections of the City’s stormwater system. Underground Utilities: Responsibilities of this section include the maintenance of the water distribution system and the sewer and stormwater collection systems. In total, the city owns and maintains more than 324 miles of pipe related to water distribution, and sewer and stormwater collection. In 2012, Underground Utility staff cleaned approximately 87,516 feet of sanitary sewer and televised 36,504 feet of sanitary sewer to determine sources of clean water infiltration and identify problems with the sanitary sewer that were in

need of repair. Staff performed grout repairs to more than 2,300 feet of sewers. In addition, they performed required maintenance on eight sanitary and storm pump stations throughout the city. Staff also cleaned 12,159 feet of storm sewer, repaired or re-

placed 54 catch basins, inspected and cleaned 6,428 catch basins, 86 manholes, repaired 15 water main breaks and repaired or replaced 74 fire hydrants throughout the year. Underground Utilities also continued the hydrant flushing program in the spring and fall of 2013.

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COURTS • EMERGENCY SERVICES • GOVERNMENT

Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Page 22

Strong Rebound Year for Shelby County and Emerson Wagner Realty Co., Inc. The housing market for Shelby County showed a strong recovery for most housing price levels in 2012. Interest rates remained at all time lows all year, while the availability of loans for our clients increased. “It is still important for buyers to be patient and get all the paperwork to your lenders in a timely manner”, said Tom Middleton, Broker of Emerson Wagner Realty. His report continues: The local housing market made great strides in working through the excess in supply in our market and prices actually started to increase through the year. Wagner Realty still remains the top real estate office for Shelby County, now for more than 40 years. We have the most agents, most sales and most important the highest customer satisfaction. Listing a house is only the start of our services. We pride ourselves on proper marketing, lots of advertising and the knowledge to represent our client to produce the outcome they expect. Our realtors know you have to spend money on advertising and marketing to sell a home and in a slow market that sometimes is hard to do. In 2012 we added a new marketing tool which has been a big success. Now when a prospective buyer drives by one of our listings, they will see a sign with a text # to call to get pictures, price and all the information on this home right on their cell phone. No waiting to call and instant answers for the prospective buyer. The listing realtor will get a text alerting them to the interested party and the agent will call the prospective buyer to follow up on the inquiry. The Ohio Association of Realtors President Club Award Winners for 2012 for Emerson Wagner Realty Co., Inc. included Tom Middleton ~ Award of Distinction for Sales in Excess of 2.5 Million, Nikki Loudenback ~ Award of Achievement for Sales in Excess of 1 Million, David Fleming ~ Award of Achievement for Sales in Excess of 1 Million. These Realtors have performed at the highest level for their industry. In this business it is easy to say you’re the best, but the proof is in the awards from the Ohio Association of Realtors. Emerson Wagner Realty welcomed 5 new agents in 2012. They include: Jim Weaver, Jaime & Travis Weldy, Becky Reese and Ryan Fleming. The company operates offices in Sidney, Troy, Russia & Urbana and has additional agents in Fort Loramie, Botkins, Jackson Center, Anna, Versailles and St. Marys. Our website www.EmersonWagnerRealty.com can lead buyers to properties for sale in Auglaize, Mercer, Shelby, Logan, Miami and Champaign Counties. By everyone’s estimate, 2013 will be a great year in the housing market. Emerson Wagner Realty will continue to work diligently to help our buying and selling clients meet their objectives.

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COURTS • EMERGENCY SERVICES • GOVERNMENT

Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

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COURTS • EMERGENCY SERVICES • GOVERNMENT

Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Page 24

Sheriff’s Office has busy year in 2012; looks forward to 2013 dled by sheriff ’s deputies, up from 420 in 2012; 208 of these involved vehicles striking animals, primarily deer. There were 128 accidents that involved injuries, up from 56 in the previous year; seven people were ejected from their vehicle, 15 people were trapped inside their vehicle and had to be extricated by Fire and EMS personnel and six people suffered fatal injuries. In 2012 there were 409 traffic citations issued and 39 arrests for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The Sidney-PiquaShelby County Joint Tactical Response Team (SWAT Team) was called into action three times in 2012. The first call out was for a burglary suspect that was holed up in an apartment complex on Vandemark Road in Sidney. The suspect eventually came out and attempted to flee on foot and was apprehended by the Tactical Team. The second call out was for the Bank Robbery at Chase Bank on West Michigan Street in Sidney, the suspect ran across the street and officers had him cordoned off in the hotel and the Tactical Team was used to make entry and arrest the suspect. They third

call out was on a domestic situation on South Main Street in Sidney where the only entry was up a stairway and the suspect was throwing objects down the stairs as officer attempted to make entry. Again, the Tactical Team was able to make entry and apprehend the suspect. Sheriff Lenhart would like to encourage citizens to keep their residences and out buildings secured at all times, even when home as a safeguard against break-ins. The Sheriff’s Office also would like to remind residents of the Vacation Home Check program. Residents can call the Sheriff ’s Office when they leave on vacation and provide dispatchers with details on how long they will be gone, who will be checking their mail, and how to contact the resident or key holder (if necessary) while they’re away. This information will be kept private and

only be used by deputies during their patrol checks. Call the Sheriff’s Office at (937) 498-1111 for additional information. Shelby County Reserve Deputies and other volunteer personnel have filled another vital part in the operation of the Sheriff’s Office this year. They worked road patrol, sex offender compliancy checks, communications, jail operations and at the animal shelter. Activities and Hours Worked Road Patrol, SORN and jail operations: 921.5 Details: 2321.5 Animal Shelter: 1190 Training/Meetings: 616.5 Courthouse Security: 1968.5 There are a lot of functions or duties of the Sheriff’s Office that generate funds used to operate the Sheriff’s Office, these are summarized below:

Function and Revenue Generated City of Sidney Inmate Work Detail: $57,000 County Inmate Work Release Program: $11.152 Inmate Commissary: $19,080 Inmate Phone Card: $16.115 Dog Tag Sales: $113,818 We b C h e c k / B a c k ground Checks: $60,646 Concealed Carry Weapon Permits:

$25,735 Port Jefferson Patrol Agreement: $12,000 Grants Awarded and Amount Ohio Traffic Safety Office: $36,485.56 Ohio Pet Fund: $2,000 It is a pleasure and honor serving as your Sheriff. We are looking forward to making 2013 a safe, cooperative, and prosperous year for all residents and visitors of the great Shelby County.

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The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office had ano t h e r busy year in 2012 and will be looking forward into 2013 to provide the residents of Lehnhart Shelby County with professional and courteous law enforcement and public safety services using cooperative efforts. “The operating budget remains at the 2012 level of $3,756,995, this is comparable to the budget in 2001. We are proud to have shaved a half million dollars from our budget over the last 12 years while operating costs have continued to rise,” said Sheriff John R. Lenhart. His report continues: The county dispatch center logged 20,649 calls for service; a 1,197 increase from the previous year. Breaking down those calls for service, 1,373 calls were for emergency medical services (EMS), and 650 calls were for county fire departments and the remaining 18,626 calls were for law enforcement. There were 559 crashes in Shelby County that were han-

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COURTS • EMERGENCY SERVICES • GOVERNMENT

Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Page 25

DARE has successful year 44 percent of those were by the Sheriff ’s Office, 36 percent were by the Sidney Police Department and the remaining 20 percent were by the State Highway Patrol or Village Police Departments. The Shelby County jail housed 22 federal inmates in 2012, generating $59,520 in general fund revenue. The Shelby County Jail has established a vegetable garden where the inmates plant, tend to and harvest vegetables to be used in the jail kitchen for inmate meals. Our jail garden has produced nearly 2,500 pounds of produce in 2012. The Sheriff ’s Office monitors 173 sex offenders in Shelby County. Our deputies periodically check on the offenders, they will go to their residence and verify that they do in fact live at the address provided. Registered sex offenders are required by law to register the address which they live at with the Sheriff of the county that address is located in, failing to do so can result in criminal charges. The Civil Process and Records Section also had a busy year handling Sheriff ’s Sales, WebChecks (Background checks) and Concealed Carry

Weapon Permits. Sheriff Sales 2012: 290 2011: 217 2010: 346 2009: 291 2008: 235 Web Check/ Background Checks 2010 BCI: 520 FBI: 276 Fingerprint cards: 87 Total prints taken: 883 2011 BCI: 590 FBI: 252 Fingerprint cards: 104 Total prints taken: 946 2012 BCI: 685 FBI: 297 Fingerprint cards: 115 Total prints taken: 1,097 Concealed Carry Weapon Permits 2010 CCW New: 258 Renew: 49 Suspended: 4 Denied: 0 Emergency: 0 2011 CCW New: 327 Renew: 7 Suspended: 7 Denied: 2 Emergency: 1

2012 CCW New: 355 Renew: 39 Suspended: 0 Denied: 1 Emergency: 0 The Shelby County Animal Shelter, operated by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office had a very busy year. They handled the one of the largest puppy mill busts in Ohio history, rescuing 241 dogs and successfully obtaining conviction on three subjects in the case. The shelter sells dog tags each year; in 2012 the sales generated just over $113,818.00 which covers a majority of the costs to operate the Animal Shelter. Animal Shelter statistics Individual dog tags sold: 9,390 Kennel dog tags sold: 388 Dangerous dog tags sold: 2 Dogs reclaimed by owners: 192 Dogs adopted out: 319 Dogs transferred to animal rescue: 182 Euthanized per owner request: 36 It is a pleasure and honor serving as your

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The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) Program in the county Schools had ano t h e r successful year. “There were 306 Lenhart f i f t h g r a d e students that graduated from the DARE program this year,” said Shelby County Sheriff John R. Lenhart. “The DARE Program provides students from kindergarten through high school with the skills necessary to recognize and resist pressures to experiment with drugs and to avoid gangs and violence.” His report continues: Lessons emphasize self-awareness and management, responsible decision making, understanding others, relationship and communications skills, handling responsibilities and challenges and the consequences of drug abuse, conflict resolution and positive alternatives to substance abuse. The Shelby County Jail averaged 93 inmates per day and served 89,714 meals in 2012. There were 1,693 individuals incarcerated in the jail in 2012,

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COURTS • EMERGENCY SERVICES • GOVERNMENT

Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Page 26

Gessler prepares to bid Sidney, police department farewell The economy has been a large factor in challenging us to adapt and become creative with scheduling personnel, and managing resources. With that said, we have kept our patrol staffing levels optimum, continue to proactively investigate drug crimes, and provide support to our young people through DARE and our School Resource Officer. Calls for service continue to decline, but our total number of reported incidents increased this year by 2 percent. In 2011 we responded to 22,508 calls for service compared to 21,015 calls this year for a 6 percent reduction in total activity. In 2011 we had a total of 3,474 incidents reported. That number has increased to 3,557 in 2012. Motor vehicle accidents showed a 14 percent increase over 2011 however we ended the year with no fatalities associated with motor vehicle accidents. No matter the frequency of criminal incidents the severity of the incidents occurring are more violent and

obviously more notable in the media. In early 2012 Sidney officers arrived on the scene of a burglary in progress at the Village West Apartments on Vandemark Road. The suspect initially barricaded himself inside of a structure but was swiftly apprehended when trying to escape. On June 18, an individual committed an armed robbery at the Chase bank on Michigan Street. The suspect ran from the scene and barricaded himself in a room in a nearby motel. The event lasted more than eight hours with the armed suspect eventually surrendering to Police. In a third incident an individual barricaded himself inside of his residence on South Main. The individual was emotionally distraught over a domestic situation and also intoxicated. The individual used the contents of his apartment to prevent Officers from gaining entry and used various household items as projectiles, throwing them at officers. All three of these

events were extremely dangerous and required an enormous amount of personnel. While the danger to officers and innocent citizens was the most important factor, the resources required diverted personnel and required a substantial amount of overtime. These incidents in the past were normally and appropriated categorized as isolated, however the fact that three barricaded suspect

events occurred in a city the size of Sidney within one year is a concern. The time spent associated with the designer drug problem of 2011 including “bath salts,” and synthetic marijuana was limited in 2012. We continue to combat illegal street drugs proactively utilizing a combined effort with the Shelby County Sheriff ’s Office and a zero tolerance for possession and abuse.

Over the counter and prescription medication education is and will continue to be a primary focus for both residents and students. The Sidney Police Department is committed to providing professional police service. To compensate for the existing and potential further budget reductions, all department members have and will continue to efficiently and effectively use our resources.

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“By the time this progress report is published the announcement of my departure from the city of Sidney has alr e a d y Gessler b e e n publicized,” said Kevin Gessler Sr., city of Sidney police chief. “After 25 years of service in Wheeling, W.Va., in July of 2009 I had the distinct honor of being selected as the chief of Police here in Sidney. Sidney is a vibrant and progressive community. The men and women of the Sidney Police Department are some of the finest and most dedicated individuals that I have had the pleasure of working. The process to identify a candidate to be the new police chief is under way. Residents can be confident that a professional individual dedicated to providing quality service will be selected.” Gessler’s report continues: We are a leaner department now with 3 less Officers, one less dispatcher, and one less support staff, not to mention the loss of part-time personnel.


COURTS • EMERGENCY SERVICES • GOVERNMENT

Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Page 27

Firefighters honored for saving life gram and more than 4,750 youth and adults were served with 150 instructional programs in fire safety, fire extinguisher usage, and educational safety programs given annually in all public and parochial schools in grades K-5. With more than 5,659 total man-hours, fire personnel continued in-service training with classes in infection control, 12-lead EKG, Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), 1and other EMS courses. Fire training included hose deployment, aerial operations, engine operations, fireground operations, pump operations, anhydrous ammonia, strategy and tactics, first-due engine and truck tactics, and NIMS 300 and NIMS 400 classes. Training was also conducted in technical rescue areas including ice rescue; river rescue, trench rescue; auto extrication; rope rescue; Rapid Intervention Team (RIT); grain bin extrication; and confined space. Personnel attended classes outside the department for Pride and Ownership, EMS Instructor, Fire Instructor, Fire Safety Inspector, Fireworks, and Fire Officer I. They also utilized the Clark State Community College mobile fire lab for training in November. In April, the department took possession

of three new Thermal Imaging Cameras. The new cameras can record video to be used in future trainings. In March, Brian Lundy, a nine-year member of the department, was named the 2011 Firefighter of the Year. With the retirement of Deputy Chief Rick Simon in February, Assistantt Chief Ron Wolfe was promoted to deputy chief, Lt. Chris Niswonger was promoted to assistant chief, and Firefighter/Paramedic Bill Frey was promoted to lieutenant. Firefighters Lucas Bergman and Jordan Grogean became the newest members of the department in January and Bryan Ramge joined the department in March. Members of C crew received a Unit Citation at the City Council meeting on July 23 for their rescue of a victim from a house fire which occurred on June 2. The department helped sponsor the 31st Midwestern Ohio Fire Investigators Seminar in March, held an open house in conjunction with Applefest in September, and celebrated Fire Prevention month in October. In 2013, the department is looking forward to upgrading our records management software and continuing to serve the community.

Photo provided

SIDNEY FIRE Chief Bradley Jones talks about the firefighters and paramedics who helped save T.J. Eichelberger when a fire broke out at his home on June 2, 2012. Jones, along with Eichelberger, presented a Unit Citation to each firefighter before the July 23, 2012, Sidney Council meeting. Honored were (l-r) Dalls Davis, Anthony Marshal, Lucas Bergman, Wes Goubeaux, Ryan Heitman and Lt. Rod Dyer. Not pictured is Mark Barga.

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The Sidney Department of Fire & Emerg e n c y Services experienced an increase in activity and m a n y personn e l changes Jones in 2012. “During the past year, the Department responded to 3,304 calls for service, which is a slight increase from the 2011 levels,” said Chief Bradley S. Jones. “There were 2,729 EMS calls and 575 fire calls. Those fires resulted in 7 civilian injuries and accounted for fire losses totaling $425,775 which is a 42% decrease over last year’s total fire loss. This is the lowest annual fire loss in seven years.” His report continues: The Fire Prevention Division experienced another busy year, performing 566 inspections and 230 re-inspections. In conjunction with the Sidney-Shelby County Fire Investigation Unit, they were involved in 25 fire investigations, with 20 of those within the city of Sidney. This is a 28 percent increase in fire investigations from 2011. Only seven youths were referred into the Juvenile Firesetter Counseling Pro-

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COURTS • EMERGENCY SERVICES • GOVERNMENT

Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Page 28

Stevenson completes first term as Common Pleas Court judge this increase efficiency it should also make it easier for attorneys and other users of the court systems if all courts are using the same programs. A major part of this project will be the implementation of electronic filing. Increasingly courts across the state are moving from paper filing systems to digital records and electronic filing. The potential long-term costs savings to courts with electronic filing is enormous. I am pleased to report that domestic relations court Magistrate Gary Carter was recently recertified as a Family Law Specialist. The Ohio State Bar Association created specialization programs to give licensed Ohio attorneys the ability to become certified as specialists in particular areas of law. The Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) program is accredited by the Ohio Supreme Court Commission on Certification of Attorneys as Specialists. OSBA certification is a voluntary process that requires a commitment to excellence. Ohio attorneys who are certified as specialists by the OSBA must

take and pass a written examination in their specialty field, demonstrate a high level of substantial involvement in the specialty area, fulfill ongoing education requirements and be favorably evaluated by other attorneys and judges familiar with their work. Attorneys who have earned specialty certification must be recertified at least every seven years and must earn a minimum of 12 continuing legal education credits in the specialty area every two years. Gary is the only Shelby County lawyer certified as a Family Law Specialist. Gary has served as the Shelby County Common Pleas Court Domestic Relations Magistrate since his appointment by Judge John D. Schmitt in 1991. In 2012, new and reopened criminal, civil, and domestic cases totaled 1,013. Foreclosure filings continue to be a troubling statistic in the court. Of the 418 new and reactivated civil filings, 61 percent were mortgage foreclosures. On a positive note, the number of foreclosure filings dropped by 23 from 2011. Criminal cases prosecuted in court totaled 225. That was a

significant decrease from 2011, but the criminal case filings are expected to increase in 2013. The domestic relations court filings totaled 234. There were 172 people who attended the domestic relations court sponsored parenting program. The domestic relations court also conducted 35 civil protection hearings. Budget constraints continued to be a problem for the court. I have a dedicated, professional staff that continues to provide exemplary service even without pay raises in years. It troubles me that while my staff’s cost of living has increased over the years, their pay has not even matched their increase in living expenses. This is effectively a net loss of income. I hope that when the economy recovers we will be able to remedy this inequity. In the meantime, the staff continues to provide

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“The year 2012 saw the completion of my first term as Comm o n P l e a s judge,” s a i d J u d g e James Stevenson. “The citizens of Shelby Stevenson County have favored me with re-election and I am looking forward to serving the citizens of Shelby County for another six-year term.” His report continues: In 2012, we started a joint project with the Clerk of Courts, with Juvenile-Probate Judge William Zimmerman and with Sidney Municipal Court Judge Duane Goettemoeller which will likely take a couple of years to bring to fruition. The court’s current case management software will no longer be serviced as of January 2014, which necessitates a major upgrade. To save money for both the county and the city, we have commenced a joint project, which, if successful, will result in all three courts operating the same or similar software programs. Not only will


COURTS • EMERGENCY SERVICES • GOVERNMENT

Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Page 29

Probate Court sees decrease in estate filings, increase in other filings The Shelby trained and proCounty Probate fessional staff in Court had a Chief Deputy busy year in Clerk Patricia 2012. Rosengarten and “Even though Deputy Clerks estate filings Carla Busse and were down, most Patty Miller. of our other case Our 2012 suctypes saw a cesses included: slight increase Zimmerman • We are exfrom 2011,” said ploring the possiJudge William R. Zim- bility of a Volunteer merman. “The Probate Guardianship ProCourt’s responsibilities gram; the feasibility of include processing es- such program is being tates, guardianships investigated by Deputy (for minors and incom- Clerk Carla Busse petents), adoptions, • Our staff attended marriage licenses, will the Probate Clerks contests, minor’s settle- Training Seminar ments, trusts and sponsored by the Ohio name changes.” Association of Probate His report contin- Judges (in October) to ues: improve knowledge on I am extremely for- probate laws and practunate to have a highly tices

Pentagon creates new medal WASHINGTON (AP) — They fight the war from computer consoles and video screens. But the troops that launch the drone strikes and direct the cyberattacks that can kill or disable an enemy may never set foot in the combat zone. Now, defense officials say, their battlefield contributions may be recognized. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to announce Wednesday that for the first time the Pentagon is creating a medal that can be awarded to troops who have a direct impact on

combat operations, but do it from afar. The Associated Press has learned that the new blue, red and white-ribboned Distinguished Warfare Medal will be awarded to individuals for “extraordinary achievement” related to a military operation that occurred after Sept. 11, 2001. But unlike other combat medals, it does not require the recipient risk his or her life to get it. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement had not yet been made.

• Our chief deputy clerk and court administrator attended the Ohio Association for Court Administration three day conference (in October) • Our chief deputy clerk was asked to participate on a committee hosted by The Supreme Court of Ohio to create Bench Cards for use by Ohio Probate Judges • Our chief deputy completed her first year of three for the Court Management Program sponsored by the Judicial College of The Supreme Court of Ohio • We implemented adoption placement forms and procedures to increase ease and proficiency in filing

• We continue to receive commendations from out of town attorneys on the effectiveness and value of our case type checklists and user-friendly website; please visit us at w w w. s h e l b y c o p r o bate.org; We paid more than $65,000 into the General Fund (down from $67,000 in 2011) • We implemented a document scanning process; this process continues the Court’s technology updates, enhancing document security and processing efficiency. All of the Court’s open files have been scanned to date; the completion of scanning our open files is greatly accredited to Deputy Clerk

Patty Miller. Lastly, we are planning another free Probate Workshop in the spring of 2013. Probate workshops are designed to educate local

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COURTS • EMERGENCY SERVICES • GOVERNMENT

Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Page 30

Municipal Court welcomes two new employees

Providing you better service is our goal. Call 498-5939 or 1-800-688-4820, ext. 5939

$2,106,774.20 was collected in receipts. In addition, $59,021.54 was provided by offenders to the City and County through the Court’s Community Service Program. This Program allows those who qualify to account for their fines and costs even when they do not earn sufficient income to pay what they owe. All who come before the Court are held accountable, regardless of whom they might be. A total of $23,300 was collected and distributed for restitution to victims of crime. The Court also distributed garnishment monies in the amount of $769,729.12 to various creditors. The Probation De-

partment performed 217 drug tests, conducted 318 pre-sentence investigations and had 1,254 active probationers in 2012. The Bailiffs served 1,213 papers, transported 618 prisoners and 339 prisoners were arraigned by video. More than 25,000 jail days were served by defendants. In place of jail 328 people were placed in counseling and treatment programs such as alcohol and drug, anger management and parenting. More than 480 days were served by defendants on the Home Arrest Program. This program is for low risk, non-violent offenders and allows them to maintain employment

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and support his/her family. This program also saves the community the cost of incarceration which totaled approximately $26,400.00 in 2012. On behalf of the Court, we promise prompt and courteous service and I pledge to you to the best of my ability to administer justice fairly and impartially.

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A new service implemented in 2012 was the Court’s ability to accept online credit card and e-check payments for the payment of traffic tickets, as well as payment for fines and costs owed by Defendants. This process has been favorably received as the Court has receipted $186,307.90 since its inception in June. The ability to pay at anytime has made it more convenient to pay traffic tickets, especially for offenders residing out of state or those unable to appear during business hours. During 2012, 199 individuals entered the License Intervention Program. Changes in the Driving Under Suspension law made changes in the entry criteria necessary; however, 113 of the 199 participants successfully completed the program and finished with a valid driver’s license. In 2012,

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“As the Muincarceration. nicipal Court enThe particiters this New pants referred Year, I welcome to this program two new Deputy have been reBailiffs/Probasponding favortion Officers, ably to the Lindsey Byers treatment opand James tions and servVogel,” said ices provided. Goettemoeller Judge Duane A. The Court conGoettemoeller. tinues to de“These new employees velop new programs fill the vacancies cre- and services based on ated by the resigna- the individual needs of tions of Joe Nartker the participants. and Linda Newman.” As the Court began His report contin- its search for a new ues: case management sysIn 2012, the Court tem, it became aware implemented the Jus- of the desire of Comtice and Mental Health mon Pleas Court and Collaboration Program Juvenile Court to also and Amy Swaney has upgrade their systems. been hired as the Proj- As a result, the Shared ect Coordinator for Resources Committee this program. This is a was formed and a Retwo-year renewable quest for Proposal was grant that was developed by this Comawarded to the Sidney mittee. It is the intent Municipal Court by of this project to have the United States De- one vendor provide a partment of Justice. case management sysThis grant is designed tem for all three to provide treatment Courts creating subfor offenders who are stantial cost savings diagnosed with mental and efficiency for all health issues in lieu of Courts involved.


COURTS â&#x20AC;˘ EMERGENCY SERVICES â&#x20AC;˘ GOVERNMENT

Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Page 31

Juvenile Court handles 1,350 cases In 2012 the Shelby County Juvenile Court was a very busy court, handling m o r e t h a n 1 , 3 5 0 cases. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The most notable inc r e a s e Zimmerman was in permanent custody cases filed by Children Services, which doubled from 2011!â&#x20AC;? said Juvenile Court Judge William R. Zimmerman. His report continuesL

Juvenile Court handles a variety of child related cases, including delinquencies, traffic violations, unruly matters, paternity cases, and Children Services cases (abuse, neglect and dependency cases). McKenzie Lotz remains the chief probation officer for the court and is assisted by Dustin Snow, Aja Sanford and Lorie Hurey. Our staff remains active with our area youth programming including: counseling services through the Shelby County Counseling Center and Family Resource Center; commu-

nity services through the Shelby County Animal Shelter, Juvenile Justice Work detail and victory garden at the Alpha Center. The probation department also partners with the Sheriff â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department, Gateway Youth, Salvation Army and Parent Project for other youth related services. With funding provided through United Way Funds, the Juvenile Court starts its second year with its IMPACT (Imagine Making Positive Accountable Changes Together) program. This program is

designed to assist 8- to 12-year-old children who face obstacles to academic, social and community successes. Designed as a youth prevention program, IMPACTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s foundation lies from discreet school referrals to assist families and their children

in developing positive goals, habits and behaviors. Amy Simindinger, the Juvenile Court liaison, administers the program by coordinating school referrals from counselors and teachers with counseling services. Lastly, Dawn Bailey

was successful in obtaining a state grant (approximately $8,800) for probation officers to conduct after hours home checks on juveniles on probation, to ensure Court ordered curfews are being honored by parents and their children.

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COURTS • EMERGENCY SERVICES • GOVERNMENT

Sidney Daily News, Friday, February 22, 2013

Page 32

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Shelby County Progress 3 of 4 2013