By Haylee Pence
PIQUA — The Piqua City Commission nominated a new mayor for the city on Tuesday, appointing Thomas Fogt into the position.
Fogt, who represents the first ward, was nominated by Commissioner Chris Grissom, and Commissioner Kris Lee seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.
Commissioner Cindy Pearson, who represents the second ward, was then appointed the vice mayor of the city. Commissioner Kazy Hinds made the motion, which was seconded by Lee. The vote was also unanimous.
At the beginning of their meeting, Lee and Grissom of the third and fourth ward, respectively, took an oath of office to remain in their positions as commissioners. Following this, Fogt and Pearson took their oaths of office for the positions of mayor and vice mayor, respectively.
Following this, the commissioners reheard a resolution about a transfer of funds from the main fund to another fund due to an “increase of the loan” of $20,000. The commissioners approved this increase.
Next, the commissioners approved two resolutions involving insurance for the 2022 year.
The first resolution involved insurance for utility services for “excess liability insurance” that is not covered by their other insurance. This insurance is a renewal from last year, but the cost saw a 12% increase.
The second resolution involved insurance for the city’s combustion turbines, which is also not covered by their current insurance and saw an increase in cost.
During their public comment section of the meeting, two Piqua residents spoke.
The first resident was Melanie Walker. She spoke about semi-trucks driving through the downtown corridor during the evening hours at faster speeds. Piqua City Manager Paul Oberdorfer responded to Walker’s concerns stating that “it’s an all-day issue.” Some solutions Oberdorfer provided was to add signage to remind drivers that it’s discouraged to drive through there, increasing patrols to stop the speeding, and examining the signal timing which “could impact the speeding.”
Walker also asked about the “Opportunity Zone” for receiving funding. Fogt provided some information about the program, stating that it is “an individual tax abatement for businesses.” Individuals can apply for opportunities to “capture some funds.” Fogt emphasized that individuals have to pursue this program, the city of Piqua can’t do it for them.
The next resident to speak was Jennifer Monin about the new trash pick-up policy. Monin lives on a hill and is unable to move the trash bins to the street. She said she “called the office and they told [her that she] didn’t qualify” for the assistance program. Oberdorfer also responded to Monin’s concerns by reminding everyone that the new trash pick-up policy is an “evolving program.” He also stated that “they will work with all citizens.”
Following Monin’s concerns, Amy Welker, director of Health and Sanitation, spoke about the new trash pick-up policy. Welker asked everyone to “make sure wheels are facing towards houses,” which allows the automated truck to easily pick up and dump the bins. The new policy was implemented for the safety of the city workers and to clear large trucks out of alleyways.
Oberdorfer wants to remind Piqua’s residents that the Piqua Health Department has fully merged with the Miami County Health Department, and that the Miami County Health Department has fully taken over the responsibilities and files of the Piqua Health Department. If you need to reach the Miami County Health Department, their number is (937)-573-3500.
Near the end of January, the city of Piqua will hold a public work session concerning the potential construction of a roundabout on Looney Road and County Road 25A.
To end the meeting, Hinds thanked former Mayor Kris Lee, stating, “you’ve done a wonderful job during such a difficult time.” Hinds also stated that the commissioners “really, really do work together for the best decisions with you, the citizens, in mind.”