By Haylee Pence
PIQUA — The city of Piqua’s Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund was approved to provide a loan in the amount of $200,000 to For Tech USA LLC at the Piqua City Commission meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 21.
The Economic Development Incentive Committee reviews the submitted requests, which recommended the approval of the loan.
According to Chris Schmiesing, community and economic development director, the company is moving their operation from Italy to the Piqua area. The loan will assist the company is upgrading the building “to put back into productive use,” said Schmiesing.
Schmiesing said For Tech USA projects 15-20 jobs will be created through the company.
The loan is expected to be repaid within 48 months, but there’s “incentives” for the company to pay the money back sooner, according to Schmiesing. Therefore, the city will receive the $200,000 back along with interest on top of the creation of more jobs.
At the beginning of the meeting, the commission passed a resolution of appreciation for volunteers throughout the city in 2022, including volunteers on board and committees, Friends of Piqua Parks, Protecting Our Waterways, Candlewood Boulevard Committee, Invasive Species Group, the Green Leaf Garden Club, and more.
The commission also approved a zoning amendment from a two-family residential to a multi-family residential to “accommodate six units of high-end apartments as an adaptive re-use of the auxiliary school building attached to the former United Church of Christ.”
According to the Schmiesing, the planning commission discussed parking with the developer and there will be five to six parking spaces behind the structure off the streets.
During the public comment section, one resident, Tom Homan, asked about the city’s prepared response in any incident similar to the incident at East Palestine. He requested a presentation on the “disaster plan” regarding the city’s preparedness.
City Manager Paul Oberdorfer responded to Homan’s question by informing him the county’s Emergency Management Agency provides trainings and information on proper responses to incidents.
Dolores Brown, a resident, discussed the topic of chickens within the city limits. She discussed her belief that caging the chickens is “cruel.”
Commissioner Chris Grissom and Vice President Kris Lee encouraged residents to continue to provide feedback. Grissom commented, “It will be an ordinance with a three-reading rule so there will be plenty of chances to speak about it.”
Commissioner Jim Vetter stated he was against chickens in the city and he’s been contacted about opposition to the chickens.
Other resolutions approved include the following:
• Authorizing the city manager to enter into a collective bargaining agreement with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Workers Inc. (AFSCME), Council 8, Local 984;
• Awarding a contract to Emerson Process Management Power & Water Solutions Inc. for gas turbine control system upgrades for the Power system for a cost of $550,000;
• A purchase order to Miami County Public Health for public health services;
• Lease agreements with the Piqua Junior Baseball and Softball League and the Piqua Youth Football League for space.