Reader comments on Piqua dam study

To the editor:

Did you know that the State of Ohio has informed the City of Piqua that it must modify Echo Lake and Franz Pond to prevent flooding from a storm of 27 inches of rain in 24 hours? Meetings are being held with citizen involvement to look at options of how to do this task from the State of Ohio.

Several options to solve this flood control project that are under development were briefed to citizens by the City of Piqua on 3 October 2022. The estimated costs of the options for construction of a flood control project ranged from approximately $20 Million to well over $100 Million. The least cost option was to allow Echo Lake and Franz Pond to revert to streams running to the Miami River. Swift Run Lake will remain a lake.

Do residents of Piqua have a choice on how much this project is going to cost and how it will be paid? This could be a highly controversial issue pitting lake people (people living on the lakes or supportive of saving the lakes at a greater cost) and citizens that want to pay the least. In the briefing on 3 October, the City of Piqua proposed that this project (whatever option is selected) would be paid by increasing stormwater charges on utility bills of hundreds of dollars per year to homes and thousands of dollars per year to some businesses depending on water usage. It takes approval of Piqua City Commissioners to approve increases in utility bills. Piqua utilities bills are very expensive, now, and are a huge budget burden to a lot of families in Piqua. If utility bills are going to go up, it should be by the smallest possible amount.

Contact your Piqua City Commissioner, now, and express your view on this project. Please support the least expensive option to meet the State of Ohio unfunded mandate on the City of Piqua which is a stream project. For more information, the City of Piqua has posted information on the web at https://piquadamstudy2022.com/overview Decisions are being made, now. Support the least cost option.

Gary M. Koenig

Piqua