Piqua Commission recognizes Catholic School Week; City preps for winter storm


By Haylee Pence

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PIQUA – The Piqua City Commissioners, excluding Commissioner Kris Lee, met during their regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 1, to hear four new resolutions, as well as to hold the second reading of an ordinance and another resolution.

Before beginning their meeting, Mayor Thomas Fogt presented a proclamation to acknowledge Catholic School Week as Jan. 30 through Feb. 5. The proclamation stated, “The presence of Catholic school in Piqua has been an amenity.” It also stated that the Piqua Catholic School “consistently achieves above average testing results.”

The commissioners approved the resolution to appoint members to the Community Diversity Committee, which will be headed by Lee. Fogt said he “will be reaching out to the members to set up the first meeting.”

The commissioners held the second reading of an ordinance to amend an ordinance regarding the change in pay rate to government employees. The amendment was to correct an error in the previous ordinance due to the exclusion of a position (store-keeper) with the Power Department. The store-keeper is specifically assigned to the Power Department to monitor inventory and power levels. The commissioners approved waiving the three-reading rule and subsequently approved the ordinance.

The commission then approved a resolution that involved the loan of funds from the general funds to other sources for the 2021 fiscal year.

Following the old business, the commissioners discussed four new resolutions.

The first involved establishing a calendar of meetings for the Piqua City Commissioners, which is set to be similar to the Miami County Commissioners meeting schedule. Fogt said, “The new meetings will hopefully draw in more public members for comments.”

The 2022 meeting schedule is available on the city’s website at piquaoh.org, and all regular meetings and work sessions are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted. The commission’s next meeting is currently scheduled for Feb. 15, which will be a work session to discuss development standards and the golf course study.

The next resolution was presented by Amy Welker, director of Environmental and Recreation Services, for funding for the city’s nuisance abatements. The city provides notices to property owners about conditions on the property that don’t meet city standards. If the property owners are unable to amend the conditions, the city abates it and subsequently bills the property owners. If the property owners don’t pay the abatement bill, the city places it on the property taxes. The city is seeking a reimbursement of approximately $22,806. This resolution was approved.

Then, the commissioners tabled the next resolution, which was for a donation of pool equipment for Tecumseh Woods Swim Club. Commissioner Kazy Hinds motioned to table this resolution for further discussion.

The last resolution was to award a contract to Schock Manufacturing to purchase inlet structure and enclosure doors for the #8 gas turbine. The cost of this purchase is $450,000. The resolution was approved.

Following the meeting, the commissioners heard from City Manager Paul Oberdorfer, who had Public Works Director Brian Brookhart speak about the upcoming winter storm and the Public Works Department’s involvement in clearing snow and ice. Brookhart stated, “We are well prepared for this event.” The department will be running 24 hours during the snow event with two 12-hour shifts. The department ordered an additional 400 tons of salt, and it currently has a completely full salt shed.

During the last snow event on Jan. 24-25, the department utilized 71 tons of salt, which had a total cost of $10,488.34.

Brookhart discussed the priority streets and the secondary streets, which will be published on their website later this week. The priority streets are the streets that are most used by emergency services leading to hospitals and other emergency buildings. Following the cleaning of those streets, other streets are cleaned after the snow event is finished. Brookhart said, “This will be a long snow event and will be difficult to deal with. We will do the best we can to deal with everything.”

Commissioner Cindy Pearson wanted to remind residents that the Piqua Public Library is hosting many public events for all ages.

All of the commissioners encouraged residents to be safe and check in with family, friends, and neighbors during the upcoming winter storm.

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