Forest Hill Cemetery renewal levy headed for ballot; Piqua officers receive Jan Mulder Award

By Haylee Pence

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PIQUA – On Tuesday, June 7, the Piqua City Commissioners met with the Washington Township Trustees to approve a resolution to declare the intention to renew a levy for a tax to provide adequate funding for the Forest Hill Union Cemetery by placing the levy on the Nov. 8, 2022 ballot.

According to the resolution, this renewal levy “shall not exceed 0.70 mill for each one dollar ($1.00) of valuation, which amounts to seven cents ($0.07) for each one hundred dollars of valuation, of which shall renew an existing levy for like purpose to be levied for a period of five (5) years, to be first placed upon the tax lists and duplicate for the tax year 2024.”

Following the meeting with the Washington Township Trustees, the Piqua City Commissioners heard a presentation presenting the Jan Mulder Award to Officer Adam Kimpel and Officer Kiersten Zimmerman for their acts in rescuing an individual from the river during an incident in 2021.

“We are thankful to have such brave and selfless individuals as officers for our city,” stated Vice Mayor Kris Lee.

Then, Mayor Cindy Pearson declared a proclamation recognizing the Mills brothers Centennial Anniversary.

They began the meeting by accepting a resolution of appreciation for Michael Casto for his 32 years of service as a wastewater operator III following his retirement.

Then, the commissioners heard the second out of three readings for an ordinance to repeal and replace sections of the Piqua City Code of Ordinances involving tax on motor vehicles, which involves raising the tax to $10 per vehicle on Jan. 1, 2023. The three-reading rule was asked to be waived to allow for processing time to implement the change, but the commission did not waive the three-readings.

The next ordinance was the first reading for an ordinance to alter the pay ranges and schedules to various positions throughout the municipal employees. “The changes are due to reorganization and operational efficiencies,” stated in the ordinance. This ordinance was also requested to waive the three-reading rule, which the commissioners motioned for, but resulted in a 2-2 vote, which does not waive the three-reading rule.

The next resolution was to authorize the Piqua Fire Department to purchase a burn building/training tower from Global Enterprise for trainings for the department and other local fire departments. The Piqua Fire Department received a $400,000 grant to purchase the building with the cost of purchase to not exceed $385,000. Other local departments could utilize the building with a proposed fee excluding joint trainings.

The commissioners approved the purchase of a Kenworth T280 Plow Truck for the Public Works Department. The purchase was previously approved, but an amendment was necessary to reflect a $11,298.44 increase in price to a new total of $174,075.59. The new plow truck is to replace a plow truck from 2005.

Then, the commissioners approved entering into an agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for the E. Ash Street (US 36) Resurfacing Project. The project is between Scott Drive and 1,000 feet west of Garbry Road and the scope of the project includes pavement replacement, pavement repairs, and pavement markings. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $1,266,000 with a local share of $430,770.

The next resolution was to accept the proposed 2023 County Tax Budget, with a projection of $101 million which is a decrease of $1.2 million.

The commissioners approved the agreement with the Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA) in order for the city of Piqua to participate in the Regional Council of Governments for Administration and Collection of Municipal Income Tax. RITA will decrease the cost of the city’s current processing systems and improve the customer’s experience. RITA will also allow the city the opportunity to collect delinquent taxes.

Another resolution was to authorize the partnership between the city of Piqua, the city of Troy, and Miami County to apply for the CHIP Program Grant.

The final resolution was to authorize the procurement of professional design services and to secure funding for the Great Miami River Low Dam Removal and Remodifications based on results conducted from a feasibility study. The commissioners approved the resolution and will work with the Department of Development, Piqua citizens, and other stakeholders throughout the design process to reach an agreement on design and structure before any construction begins.

Paul Oberdorfer, Piqua city manager, wanted to remind residents that the city and all city offices will be closed on June 20 in honor of Juneteenth, which the Diversity Committee will be hosting a celebration on June 20.