PIQUA – The Piqua City Commission on Tuesday authorized an agreement with Kleingers Group for the engineering and design work for the Shawnee Neighborhood Storm Water Diversion Project. The purpose of the project is to improve the storm water system within the Shawnee neighborhood and will address current flooding issues.
Storm Water Coordinator Devon Alexander explained that with Kleingers Group, they determined that placing a storm water diversion should help alleviate storm water during heavy rain events. The water will drain into the river.
“This is going to be a gravity flow sewer,” Alexander said.
Alexander explained that the current system there cannot handle storm water during a heavy downpour rain event and the system gets backed up. The system, however, can handle steady rain over a period of time.
“It is designed to help alleviate the initial rain event,” Alexander said about the new sewer.
The cost of the engineering work is expected to be approximately $31,500.
The commission also approved a number of other purchase orders, including the purchase of 22 transformers from Ermco for the Piqua Power System. This was an annual task for the Piqua Power System to replenish their transformer inventory. The contract is not to exceed $63,384.
A purchase order will also be issued to PLS for two Howard transformers totaling $11,646. The total to be spent on all of the transformers will be $75,030.
Following that resolution, the commission approved the final legislation to enter into an agreement with Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for the North Main Street Streetscape Project. This project will focus on continuing the streetscape of the North Main Street corridor from Greene Street to North Street. The estimated local portion of project is expected to be approximately $50,200, which includes a 10 percent contingency. The project is scheduled to begin this spring. Traffic is expected to remain open during construction.
Next, the commission approved their yearly purchase of asphalt. Valley Asphalt Corp. will be the primary supplier and Barrett Paving Materials, Inc. will be the secondary supplier of hot mix for the 2016 Street and Alley Maintenance Program. The expenditure will be approximately $332,280.
Also in connection with the 2016 Street and Alley Maintenance Program, the commission approved the purchase of stone and cold patch from Piqua Materials. The cost will be approximately $30,000.
Economic Development Director Justin Sommer gave an economic development update for the commission. Sommer gave a brief overview of how their efforts in the Riverfront Redevelopment Strategy and the Historic East Plan have impacted the city’s efforts to increase the quality of life for Piqua residents, draw more businesses to Piqua, and create more jobs within the city.
The city is aiming for the Riverfront Redevelopment Strategy “to lead to is private sector investment,” according to Sommer, who added, “And we’re seeing that throughout the city.”
Examples Sommer mentioned included the Zollinger building, which just received its status as a historic place within the city. That will make the Zollinger building eligible for certain tax credits. Sommer also brought up the Edison building, which the current owners are rehabbing.
“You see the Mo’s building, and we’re actively working with developers to revitalize this building as well,” Sommer said, also mentioning the Winan’s building.
“That’s the type of investment we expect to see continue,” he said.
When talking about the increased quality of life in Piqua, Sommer went over events that have happened along the riverfront as well as others that have promoted outdoor activities like the Miami Valley Cycling Summit and Cyclovia.
“We are actively looking to activate our spaces,” Sommer said.
Other items covered at the meeting:
• The first reading of an ordinance seeking to vacate a portion of a public right-of-way at an alley located west of Ford Drive and south of Young Street
• The approval of a resolution to rezone a property located at 530 W. High St. from B General Business to R-2 Two Family Residential
• The approval of a series of reappointments to boards, including Bill Vogt to the Piqua Energy Board, John Martin to the Piqua Energy Board, Bill Vogt to the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, Justin Sommer as an alternate member to the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, Chris Schmiesing as an alternate member to the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, and John Martin to the Miami County Council.
Toward the end of the meeting, the commission briefly spoke on a topic that they discussed during their last worksession. City Attorney Stacy Wall recommended to the commission that they create a committee to look at the charter on the issue surrounding how a mayor is elected for the city of Piqua. Wall stated that there were too many options for how to change to charter and she did not know which direction to go.
The current city charter mandates that in order to be elected mayor, the individual must first be elected a commissioner. Recently, that was the deciding factor in the last local election, in which Mayor Kazy Hinds got the majority of the votes for the 5th Ward seat and won the mayor seat by default when her opponent, Gary Koenig, got the majority of the votes for the mayor seat.
Wall recommended the creation of a committee just to examine this portion of the charter. The commission is expected to hold a worksession on Thursday, Feb. 11 to name the committee members chosen from their wards and discuss which direction they would like the members to go.
Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall