Many years ago, I was in a musical called the “Cotton Patch Gospel,” which humorously brings the Gospels of Matthew and John to the stage fully complete with a Southern flair. It takes the story of Jesus and places it smack dab into a contemporary setting, which is the southern United States. Harry Chapin (“Cat’s in the Cradle”) composed the music, and the show opens with a toe tapping number that states “something’s brewing in Gainesville.” Well, I am here to tell you that “something’s brewing in Piqua” and truthfully there is QUITE a lot that is brewing in our fine city!
There are new businesses opening up here in Piqua, and I attended two ribbon-cuttings this past week. In both places, I heard the owners state that they could have gone to many other places, but they decided to open up here in Piqua because they liked what they saw in our city and felt this was the best place for them to be successful! How wonderful it is to hear this kind of praise about how others see our fine city!
There also have been many meetings between Edison Community College, Piqua City Schools, Upper Valley Career Center, the City of Piqua, POWW (Protecting Our Water-Ways), the Rivers Institute at the University of Dayton, and other interested individuals to discuss and come up with a plan that will help us strengthen our community through leveraging our river corridor.
UD has a Rivers Institute that brings key partners in the Greater Dayton community together to promote, preserve and protect their watershed. In the Rivers Institute students, faculty and staff work with community members, stakeholders, and local organizations to build community around our rivers. They focus on promoting learning and undergraduate research. Their multifaceted projects bring both the University and the Dayton community to the river. The Rivers Institute has benefitted the Dayton community tremendously, and in Dayton, they have seen students, who have been part of the Rivers Institute, enter into their local workforce after graduation! They are staying there because they want to be near the river they have come to love and enjoy.
I have been an active member at these meetings, and I will tell you that it is exciting to see and hear about what could be in our future too, as we too make plans to do something very similar here in Piqua. The belief is that through our Rivers Stewards program, we too will keep our young people here because they will come to love and enjoy the urban water we have here in Piqua and so they will want to make a life here after graduation as well!
I also held a meeting this past week with key community leaders to discuss a Piqua community calendar. The good news is that we have a lot happening here in our city, but I have heard from folks that we need a “one place” to go to see it on a calendar to know what is happening and when. Through the Piqua Arts Council, Mainstreet Piqua, the Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Piqua we are looking at a way to do this and hopefully, will have something up soon so citizens can access it and see all that is happening here in our city. Again, I say our local organizations are doing a great job, because there is a lot going on and that is a very good thing!
Finally, I want to remind you of our HELP (Housing Enhancement League of Piqua) program. As citizens of Piqua, we all try to do the best that we can to keep up with the maintenance of our homes and property. There are times, though, that for a variety of reasons, many of them being financial, that we are unable to stay on top of the maintenance that is needed with our homes and property. In times like these HELP could be just a phone call away.
The HELP program is working to coordinate residents, businesses, civic and fraternal groups, churches, schools, neighborhood associations and other interested individuals that are interested in volunteering to help a neighbor in need. By offering to HELP with small projects such as snow removal, leaf raking, and minor home repairs those who are working together with the neighbor who is in need, can be about making Piqua the best that it can be! It is expected that the homeowner will work side by side with those who come to work on the needs that have been identified. Of course, the physical abilities of the homeowner will be taken into consideration, but HELP feels that it is important that the home owner, who is receiving the HELP, be part of the solution.
If you or someone you know are in need of some HELP or you want to volunteer to HELP, please contact Resource Coordinator Nikki Reese, Piqua Development Program Manager at (937) 778-2062.
We do have a quality life here in Piqua, and I am honored to serve as your mayor.
Kathryn “Kazy” Hinds is the mayor of Piqua. Reach her at [email protected]