Ordinance fails due to tie vote; Municipal tax on vehicles to see no increase

By Haylee Pence

[email protected]

PIQUA – On Tuesday, June 21, the Piqua City Commissioners met for a general meeting, which included the third and final reading of an ordinance involving repealing and replacing sections of the Piqua City Code in order to raise the municipal tax on motor vehicle licenses from $5 to $10 beginning in 2023. The final reading allowed the commissioners to vote on the ordinance, which resulted in a 2-2 vote. Vice Mayor Kris Lee and Commissioner Chris Grissom voted against the ordinance while Mayor Cindy Pearson and Commissioner Jim Vetter voted for the ordinance. Due to the tie vote, the ordinance failed to pass and will not be in effect.

Another resolution that was previously tabled involved authorizing the city manager to make a settlement with a former city employee. The agreement involved the employee voluntarily resigning and “waiving all potential lawsuits against the city” and the city paid benefits to the employee, according to Piqua’s Law Director, Frank Patrizio. The employee’s name and the terms and conditions were not publicly given “to protect the employee,” according Patrizio.

The commissioners waived the three-reading rule for an ordinance involving repealing a previous Schedule A and adopting a new Schedule A, which relates to the wages of some of the city employees. The ordinance was approved following the waiving of the three-reading rule.

The final resolution was to authorize the final plat for Arrowhead Estates Section Two to allow the developer, DDC Management, to build a subdivision with 80 new single-family homes. The homes will be built within the current Arrowhead Estates subdivision. The company hopes to break ground this summer according to a representative of the business.

Following this, the floor was opened up for public comment. Tyrell Knox, Piqua resident, asked the commissioners and the city manager what the street levy funds were being used for. Paul Oberdorfer, city manager, stated the departments have decided to postpone paving for one year due to the inflated cost and need for underground work prior to paving. The department is still performing pavement maintenance and working on coordination between departments.

Oberdorfer wants to remind the community the sanitation department routes have changed and many changes are still underway and to apologize for any missed trash cleanups. He also wanted to remind the community that Piqua will be hosting the Piqua 4th Fest this year in downtown Piqua including a fireworks display.

Pearson wanted to remind the community that Piqua is also hosting a weekly Farmer’s Market from 3-6 p.m. every Thursday.

Commissioner Kazy Hinds was not present for the meeting or work session.

Following the meeting, the Piqua City Commission participated in a work session involving rates and fees of various departments including proposed rate and fee increases.

According to Utilities Director Kevin Krejny, “all water and sewer rates will not go up in 2023.” Various fees and other service charges have proposed cost increases. For example, off-hour service calls and tampering fees are proposed to increase. The proposed increase over the following two years (2024 and 2025) will be a 3% increase over two years for some rates and fees.

The Echo Hills Golf Course proposed some rate and fee alterations as well, but there is no proposed change in membership fees in 2023, according to Amy Welker, director of environmental and recreational services.

There is a proposed $25 fee increase for all rental buildings at the parks. City residents will still receive a reduced rate to rent buildings.

In the sanitation department, there are proposed changes to broaden the spectrum for residential users involving trash and recycle pickup to include families who dispose of more trash than others and those who dispose of much less.

None of the proposed fee or rate changes were placed into effect. The departments presented information to the commission and to the public. These proposed changes will be brought before the commission at a later date. For more information, please reach out to the City Manager, Paul Oberdorfer, at 937-778-8300 or the Piqua City Commissioners.