Piqua Commission reinstates diversity committee


By Aimee Hancock

[email protected]

PIQUA — The Piqua City Commission voted to re-establish the city’s committee on community diversity during its regular meeting Tuesday.

According to Mayor Kris Lee, the original committee disbanded in 2015 due to a continued “lack of business.”

Along with re-establishing the committee, the commission voted to re-institute the committee’s responsibility of naming rights, to oversee and approve names given to parks and other locations within the city.

Lee said an agenda should be created for the committee regarding health-related issues, to “establish some parameters and some baseline figures on health standards for diverse communities.”

“Next, I think we need to have a community discussion on race, and I’m going to task the committee on diversity to come up with a community-wide discussion, that’s open to the public, about race in Piqua, Ohio,” Lee said.

Other items for the committee to focus on, Lee said, include highlighting the historical aspects of race within the Piqua community, as well as examining the issue of systemic racism.

The city is now seeking applications for members to join the committee. There will be a total of seven members. According to the city, details will be released in the coming days regarding the process residents should take to apply.

In other business:

• April Dankworth and Matthew Boland were appointed to the tree committee.

• The commission approved the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Community Development Allocation Program application for program year 2021. According to Community and Economic Development Director Chris Schmiesing, every two years, the city becomes eligible for CDBG funds. The allocation amount is determined by the state-based upon community size and eligibility requirements. Schmiesing said Piqua usually receives around $150,000, which is used for activities that are in neighborhoods that meet the slum and blight definition. The 2019 program cycle funds are being used for the demolition of distressed housing and commercial structures, Schmiesing said.

• Commission authorized the sale of a piece of city-owned canal land near 123 N. Main St. This item authorizes the city to convey the canal land in question to the adjoining property and its owners for the purpose of making improvements to the site prior to selling the property. According to Schmiesing these improvement efforts are in concert with the downtown revitalization efforts.

• Commission authorized the sale of a city-owned property near the bike path. According to Schmiesing, this sale will remedy an existing encroachment condition related to the former Miami and Erie Canal alignment that the city now holds the deed to.

• Resident Larry Hamilton shared that the North Star Coffee Station, located within The Randolph & McCulloch Freedom’s Struggle Complex at 655 N. Main St., is now open for business. The coffee shop opens at 5:45 a.m. and, dependent on patronage, will close at 6 p.m.

• Resident Jey Roman shared that a Be The Change voter drive will be held Saturday, June 12, beginning at 1 p.m., at the downtown gazebo across the street from the Piqua Public Library.

• Finance Director Cynthia Holtzapple provided a 2020 fiscal update. The full report is available for view within the commission’s recorded meeting archived on the city’s YouTube page.

The next commission meeting will be held Tuesday, June 15, at 6 p.m., in Commission Chambers at the Municipal Government Complex, 201 W. Water St.

No posts to display