Piqua Commission hears vaccine update

PIQUA — The Piqua City Commission heard a COVID-19 update from Health and Sanitation Director Amy Welker during Tuesday’s regular meeting, during which Welker also shared updates regarding vaccinations.

“The state has initiated the vaccination program, which will be a phased approach and while the vaccine is still very limited, we are making plans and moving through this program to try to get as many people vaccinated as possible,” Welker said. “There is every indication that the amount of vaccine will steadily increase as more vaccines come online and are approved, and as current manufacturers ramp up production of the current vaccines.”

Welker said the city, and state as a whole, is currently moving into Phase 1B, which has two goals, Welker said, the first being to save lives and the second being to have all students back in schools throughout the state by March 1.

Those eligible to receive the vaccine in the Phase 1B group include Ohioans aged 65 and older and those living with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders, as well as all employees of K-12 schools.

Beginning Jan. 19, those aged 80 and older are eligible to receive the vaccine, with those 75 and older eligible beginning Jan. 25; those 70 and older, and K-12 employees, on Feb. 1; and those 65 and older on Feb. 8.

“This is the way that we are going to move out of this pandemic and hopefully see an end to it very soon,” Welker said. “We look forward to that day when anyone can get the vaccine and there will be multiple places you can do that.”

Welker said there are four locations in Miami County where eligible residents may receive the vaccine, including the Miami County Public Health Department, Piqua and Troy Kroger Little Clinics, and Upper Valley Medical Center.

The commission heard a proclamation Tuesday honoring the Piqua school district’s School Choice Week.

“The city of Piqua is home to a multitude of high quality public and non-public schools from which parents can choose for their children, in addition to families who educate their children in the home,” the proclamation, read aloud by Mayor Kris Lee, states. “Whereas, educational variety not only helps to diversify our economy but also enhances the vibrancy of our community.”

Recognition was given Tuesday to the city’s Residence Pride Awards winners for holiday light displays, including Barry and Cynthia Gertner; Jeremy and Kelli Laughman; Joseph and Catherine Bundy; Dustin and Hannah Wenrick; and Adam and Elizabeth DeBrosse.

The commission passed a resolution of appreciation Tuesday for the public service of Chris Melvin, who retired as wastewater superintendent after 30 years with the city.

In other business, the commission:

  • Passed a resolution awarding a contract to Barrett Paving Materials Inc. for the East Ash Street pavement repair project, from Scott Drive to the interstate. This will be spot repair until the area is fully resurfaced in 2022 by the Ohio Department of Transportation as part of its Urban Paving Program, according to city engineer Amy Havenar.
  • Passed a resolution authorizing the city manager to enter into preliminary legislation with ODOT for the Safe Routes to School infrastructure project.
  • Passed a resolution awarding a contract to J&J Schlaegel Inc. for the sanitary sewer replacement project.
  • Passed a resolution approving the purchase of liability insurance for Piqua’s combustion turbines.
  • Passed a resolution approving the purchase of excess liability insurance.
  • Entered into executive session to discuss the sale or purchase of property.

In a brief meeting prior to the commission meeting, the Piqua City Board of Health appointed L. Paul Oberdorfer as health commissioner during its regular meeting Tuesday.

Oberdorfer replaces Gary Huff in this role, as well as in the city manager position.