Piqua moves forward with Lock 9 Park project


By Haylee Pence

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PIQUA – The Piqua City Commissioners approved an ordinance and a resolution involving the Lock 9 Park project at a special meeting on May 8.

The ordinance was an emergency ordinance allowing the appropriations of funds. $300,000 would be transferred to the general fund and $750,000 would be transferred from the general fund to the parks fund.

At their previous meeting on May 4, the commissioners denied waiving the three-reading rule and the ordinance proceeded to the second reading which happened at the special meeting.

The commissioners waived the three-reading rule and approved the ordinance at the special meeting.

The resolution involved awarding ATCS Inc. a constructor contract to be the construction manager for the Lock 9 Park project.

According to Chris Schmiesing, community and economic development director, the second phase of the project was put out to bid previously for a general contractor who would work on all aspects of the project for a total budget. No bids were received for the second phase.

Then, the city put out a bid for a construction manager. Schmiesing stated the difference is that a construction manager will be able to bid out each portion of the project which will provide a more cost-effective project.

Multiple citizens came to the meeting to provide their opinions and thoughts on the matter.

Joe Wilson, a former commissioner, said, “We owe the downtown area to keep the promise we made.”

He was referencing the promise of the development of Lock 9 Park which was made to the citizens and businesses wanting to invest in the area.

Jeff Lange discussed the geography of the river and Lock 9 and how Lock 9 is the closest point to the river from downtown.

“Crooked Handle is an anchor in this curve of this river in this closest point to downtown,” said Lange.

Lorna Swisher, executive director of Mainstreet Piqua, talked about reading comments on Facebook about being like other cities, like Troy or Sidney.

Swisher said, “We’re Piqua. I believe that this investment is an investment in us and our community.”

She went on to say, “It will bring our community together.”

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