Piqua Commissioners OK economic agreement

PIQUA – Piqua City Commissioners, Tuesday, authorized the Piqua city manager to enter into an economic development agreement with Piqua Materials, Hohman Farms, and others for the previously annexed 663-plus acres of land. This resolution was previously tabled by the commissioners.

The land has been approved to be annexed and zoned to industrial with a special use permit. Currently, an appeal of the planning commissions’ authorization is in the Miami County court system. City of Piqua officials said they cannot comment further at this time due to the appeal.

Chris Schmiesing, community and economic development director, said, “The economic development agreement is to support the development of the 663-acre tract of land that was recently annexed. The land is well-suited for industrial and commercial land uses.”

“I think it’s a great opportunity for our city,” said Mayor Cindy Pearson.

This resolution was un-tabled and the commissioners then approved the resolution with a 4 to 1, vote with Commissioner Jim Vetter voting against the resolutions. With the passage of the resolution, the development of the land is allowed to advance with a partnership between the city and the property owner. Schmiesing said the development has the potential to provide “2,000 new jobs” along with benefits of taxes.

A second resolution that was previously tabled appointed a shared clerk of commission for the city of Piqua. The appointed individual will be sharing the clerk responsibilities with another employee. The position will be part-time. This resolution was un-tabled and approved.

The next eight ordinances were in the third and final reading. All eight ordinances involved rates and fees for various departments and services. The commissioners authorized all eight ordinances. For more information on these rates and fees, visit www.miamivalleytoday.com/city-of-piqua-2023-rates-and-fees-considered/.

The proposed rates and fees will take effect in January 2023.

Then, the commissioners had the first reading of an ordinance to vacate a portion of the public right-of-way located on Scudder Street, north of Robinson Avenue. The adjacent property owner wants to take ownership of the portion of land to extend a walkway to the street. The planning commission held a public meeting in 2021 to discuss the land.

The next resolution was to approve an annexation agreement for a parcel of land on Looney Road. The property owner wants to annex the land into the city of Piqua to “gain access to city water and sewer utility services,” according to the resolution.

The final resolution was to approve the purchase for Dell hardware and other necessities for the IT department. The cost of the purchase is $118,000.

Then, the floor was opened up for public comments.

Eva Silvers, of Third Street, discussed issues with some wording from Aaron Morrison, a code compliance coordinator, who had reportedly said under oath about a property that was undergoing construction next to her residence. Silvers said that Morrison stated that her neighbor utilized “skids” to rebuild their home.

City manager Paul Oberdorfer responded by informing Silvers that the reconstruction was not in compliance with the city’s code.

Ruth Koon asked the commissioners to replace the lights under the William H. Pitsenbarger statue following the demolition of the pool area. According to Oberdorfer, the electrical lines were damaged, but the city is working on replacing those lights.

In other business, Oberdorfer gave an update on the Lock 9 reconstruction project. The city was set to receive bids for the project, but did not receive any bids. From this, the city will look into the bid proposal and possibly redesign it.