PIQUA — With a new year and new beginnings in mind, City Manager Gary Huff discussed new initiatives that the city of Piqua is planning on pursuing for the betterment of Piqua in 2016.
First on Huff’s list was the Piqua Waters Stewardship Program, which Huff described on his blog as “intended to bring community partners and resources together for the purpose of promoting, protecting, and preserving the area’s watershed through education and active involvement.”
Huff stated that the purpose of this program is “to promote and protect the area’s watershed and our waterways.”
“That’s done through education and through active involvement in various programs such as stewardship,” Huff said.
The program will educate people about the overall value of the Great Miami River, which Huff called “one of our greatest assets, if not our greatest asset.”
The program will connect water resource management with increasing and promoting river recreation opportunities. According to Huff, this initiative to connect with the river will be “really beneficial to the community in the future.”
“We’re working directly with Edison State Community College on this program,” Huff said. Within the next month or so, there will be a round table for community leaders.
“We’re just in the starting phases of this particular imitative,” Huff said.
Next on the list, Huff discussed the creation of a “makerspace” in Piqua where inventors and innovators can come to create and possibly even start new businesses.
In his blog, Huff stated, “In order to facilitate and encourage innovation in the manufacturing sector, the Piqua Makerspace is envisioned to be a centralized shared community facility providing manufacturing equipment for members to utilize that may not have access to such equipment. The overall goal is to enable interested community members to design, prototype, and create manufacture products.”
“We’re talking with Upper Valley Career Center and also Edison possibly about hosting that space, and it’s really to encourage … encourage innovation in the manufacturing sector,” Huff said on Wednesday.
Huff explained that there are talented people who would like fabricate inventions, but do not have the necessary resources. A Piqua Makerspace would do just that, “providing a facility that has the equipment that they wouldn’t normally not have access to will inspire creativity” and new businesses.
“We’ve actually got some things underway,” Huff said. “There have been some donations from some companies … We’re working trying to finalize where the space will be. Once that’s done, we believe there will be more donations of equipment.”
People who would be part of of the makerspace would be able to utilize the equipment and fabricate their inventions, according to Huff.
“From that, hopefully that would spur new businesses and new products,” Huff said, adding that it would be ideal for those new businesses to be a part of the Piqua community and work with other Piqua businesses. “You might work with a manufacturing company to have it done or you might start your own business to manufacture this products.”
The intent is for the city and community to help grow businesses in Piqua by connecting entrepreneurs with resources.
“This is kind of like an incubator,” Huff said. “They could finalize that work and make it become a reality and spin off into a business that would be located right here in Piqua.”
For more information, visit Huff’s blog at piquaohcm.wordpress.com.
NOTE: This is part one of a two-part series covering the new initiatives that the city of Piqua will be pursuing and considering in 2016. Part two will be in the Saturday edition of the Piqua Daily Call.
Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall