Piqua City Commission hears presentation on Big Brothers Big Sisters before meeting

By Haylee Pence

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PIQUA – The Piqua City Commissioners held a general meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 2 to discuss and approve several resolutions. The meeting was proceeded by a presentation from Christopher Mackey, a representative from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami Valley.

The organization currently serves four counties including Miami County. Within these four counties, they have the ability to serve 500 youth with 100 of those in Miami County and 30 in the city of Piqua. The goal of the organization is to help all youth achieve their full potential. They are able to do this through two programs, community-based matching and school-based matching. Community-based matching is typically when the Big and the Little meet one-on-one to do various activities to build a connection. School-based matching involves pairing a Big and a Little through school. The Big can be a high school student paired with a younger Little.

There are currently 31 youth individuals on the waiting list to be matched with a Big.

“We need your support, especially your time as a Big volunteer. It’s about an hour a week commitment for a year,” Mackey said.

For more information, contact Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami Valley at 937-220-6853 or visit www.bbbsmiamivalley.org.

The first two resolutions involved appreciation for Michael Belisle, wastewater operator II, and Vonda Yackowsky, administrative assistant, for their years of service to the city of Piqua. Belisle is retiring after 21 years of service, and Yackowsky is retiring after 23 years of service.

Then, the commissioners approved the purchase of transformers for the Power System Department from Ermco for a cost that shall not exceed $150,000. The Power System previously received bids from three vendors that were all “rejected due to unacceptable lead times and exorbitant prices,” according to the resolution.

“Ermco has offered Piqua available production slots, resulting in more acceptable pricing and delivery terms,” the resolution stated.

The next resolution involved adopting the rules and regulations associated with the Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA). A full implementation and change over to RITA will occur on Oct. 1, 2022, according to the resolution.

The commissioners approved the application for financial assistance from the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) State Capital Improvement and/or Local Transportation Improvement Program(s). The financial assistance is for the Looney Road Resurfacing Project. The total cost of the project is expected to be $1,123,762 with $597,507 from the ODOT/FHWA Grant and a local share of $226,255 between the county and the city of Piqua. The OPWC grant amount is $300,000.

Following the previous resolution is a resolution to authorize an agreement with Choice One Engineering for their services for the Looney Road Resurfacing Project. The cost of the engineering services is expected to be $57,400 and the city has planned a 10% contingency of $5,740. According to the resolution, “the cost of the engineering services will be reimbursed by the OPWC grant the city intends to secure […].” The project design and bid document preparation is expected to occur throughout 2022 and 2023. The bidding and construction of the project is set to occur in 2024.

The final resolution involved establishing rules about the publication of notices for the Piqua City Commissioner meetings. The initial resolution included seven sections. After much discussion, Vice Mayor Kris Lee proposed an amendment to the resolution to exclude section 6 which states, “the clerk is not required to publish the Agenda, proposed ordinances or resolutions prior to the City Commission meeting. Any such publication shall be deemed a courtesy to the public.”

Law Director, Frank Patrizio, clarified the section stating that the section is to clarify that the commission is not required to post the meeting agenda, but can do so if they choose. The amendment was passed, and the section was excluded. The resolution was presented in order to make the City Commission follow the Sunshine Law, according to Patrizio, and was a recommendation from the State of Ohio. The resolution was passed with a 4-1 vote with Commissioner Chris Grissom voting against passing the resolution.

Following the final resolution, the city manager had the new Finance Director, Jennifer Kahle, provide the results of the special audit which found no findings. The special audit is done when a new finance director is hired to ensure the previous director had no inconsistencies.

Paul Oberdorfer, city manager, discussed the storm that occurred on July 23. The National Weather Service determined that the city of Piqua had straight-line wind damage. The commissioners expressed the citizen’s statements of gratitude to the Power Department and the Public Works Department for all their work during the storm to restore power as quickly as possible.

Following this, the floor was opened for public comment which two individuals utilized in order to discuss the possibility of residential chickens to use as a food source and 4H projects. Vice Mayor Lee informed the citizens that former Mayor Thomas Fogt was proposing the idea to the commission before his departure. The commissioners informed the citizens that an ordinance needs created and presented to discuss with the public during the three readings of the ordinance. Patrizio stated that the ordinance could model the Village of Covington’s ordinance involving residential chickens.