Pearson named mayor of Piqua; Jim Vetter appointed to commission

By Haylee Pence

[email protected]

PIQUA – On Tuesday, May 3, the Piqua City Commissioners met for a general session.

Before the general session, Commissioner Cindy Pearson took the Oath of Office as mayor of Piqua. Commissioner Kris Lee took the Oath of Office as vice mayor of Piqua. Jim Vetter was nominated and voted in as first ward commissioner and took the Oath of Office for the position.

Todd Voskuhl took the Oath of Office as Piqua’s Police Lieutenant. Voskuhl’s family was present and stood with him during his oath. Commissioner Hinds thanked Voskuhl and his family for their service to the city of Piqua.

The first ordinance that the commissioners heard was the first hearing for legislation to repeal sections of the Piqua City Code of Ordinances involving Municipal Tax on Motor Vehicle Licenses and provide changes to those sections. Those changes include an additional $5 tax for a total of $10 per year per vehicle for the motor vehicle license tax. These changes go into effect on January 2023.

The next ordinance involved abolishing the Stormwater Utility Board and allowing the Utility Board to overtake the responsibilities of the Stormwater Utility Board. The commission waived the three-reading rule and approved the ordinance.

Also on Tuesday, the first resolution approved was to sign a Crop Share Farm Lease Agreement with Donald Fisher Farms for the farming services at R.M. Davis Water Tower (3.6 acres) for three years. The farming of crops generates revenue for the city, which is split between Donald Fisher Farms and the city of Piqua.

The next resolution the commissioners approved awarded a contract to Strand Associates, Inc. for the evaluation of the Franz Ditch and Franz Pond for stormwater in correlation to the ODNR Hydraulic Canal and Dam. The evaluation will be able to provide potential water alternatives. The budget for the contract is $75,000 and is expected to take nine months.

Then, the commissioners approved the next resolution allowing the city manager to enter into the Small Government Term Enterprise License Agreement with Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc (ESRI) for a one-year purchase order for a cost of $20,500. The purchase includes additional storage and users for the existing GIS systems and allowing access to additional tools, capabilities, and licenses.

The next resolution was to enter into an agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation for the Great Miami River Trail Bridge Project. A new bridge will be constructed near Goodrich Giles Park along County Road 25A. The project will replace the existing bikeway bridge with an ADA accessible bridge with a multi-use path from the existing bridge to the new bridge. The cost of the construction is a total of $2,268,000 with the city covering $1,291,000. The General Assembly provided $300,000 in grant funds, and the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission provided $1,145,124 in grant funds. Construction is scheduled for this spring.

Then, the commissioners approved a resolution for the forensic accounting and special audit services for the city provided by Greene Forensic Accounting Solutions LLP. The consulting fees are not to exceed $59,092.

The next resolution was to authorize the services of Garland/DBS Inc. for the purchase and installation of a new roof and repairs of the Municipal Government Building. The cost of the roof replacement and repairs is expected to be $357,425. The roof needed repairs after sustaining some damage from wind last year. The project will begin in 45 days.

Then, the commissioners approved the resolution adopting the city of Piqua Purchasing Policy which provides guidance and regulations of purchasing supplies and disposal of property

The next resolution was to approve the annexation agreement between the city of Piqua and the Board of the Township Trustees of Springcreek Township for land on Looney Road in Piqua. The owner of the property “desires to annex the subject property into the city of Piqua to gain access to city water and sewer utility services” for the construction of a new residential structure.

Then, the commissioners approved the Housing Revolving Loan Fund Administration Agreement with the Ohio Department of Development. This includes funds for the Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnerships Programs and the Community Housing Impact Program (CHIP).

The final resolution was to grant an easement in the right of way of West Ash Street. OpenSpace Leasing LLC purchased a building for office use on West Ash Street and the historic encroachment was recognized. The easement would allow for a clear title to the building.

Following the general session, Paul Oberdorfer, city manager, provided an update. “I want to remind residents that it is mowing season, so please stay on top of cutting your grass,” Oberdorfer stated.

The city of Piqua will host a Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, May 18.