PIQUA — The city of Piqua will be expanding Pitsenbarger Park and Sports Complex after approving the purchase of a nearby piece of property during the Piqua City Commission meeting Tuesday evening.
The commission entered executive session at the beginning of their meeting for the purpose of discussing the purchase of property.
The commission approved the purchase of 808 McKinley Ave., which is adjacent to the Pitsenbarger Park and Sports Complex. The purpose of the purchase is to expand the park due to improvements to the area being noted in the Parks Master Plan.
“With the recent completion of our Parks Master Plan, it was anticipated that we would acquire more properties along McKinley Avenue for future redevelopment at the park,” City Manager Gary Huff said. “We did have a property owner recently approach us with the property at 808 McKinley Ave.”
The property is 0.551 acres. The current owner offered it to the city below its fair market value. The purchase cost was approved at $25,000.
Bikeway to see construction next summer
The commission authorized the final legislation to enter into an agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for the U.S. Route 36 (East Ash Street) bikeway/pedestrian facility project.
This project consists of the construction of a separated bike lane and pedestrian walkway on U.S. Route 36, connecting Centre Court/Scott Drive to Looney Road, according to City Engineer Amy Havenar.
“This would give them (ODOT) the authority to advertise for bids and then accept the bids,” Havenar said about the legislation. ODOT is expected to accept bids by Jan. 11.
“Our project will start at the southeast corner of Centre Court and Scott Drive, and we will cross U.S. 36 at that point to the north side of the road in front of Speedway,” Havenar said.
The project will create a 10-foot concrete shared-use path from that point up to the interstate overpass, Havenar said. They will then widen the overpass’ current sidewalks so there will be two-lane traffic for bikes on that as well.
The project will not affect the lanes of travel on the overpass, Havenar said.
The cost of the project includes a local contribution of $176,000, which includes a 10 percent contingency, and a Federal Highway Administration grant through the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission in the amount of $240,000.
City to provide garbage carts
The commission also heard proposed changes to the city’s code regarding garbage collection, including the city’s Health and Sanitation Department providing trash-only carts to residents like in their recycling program.
Director Amy Welker of the Health and Sanitation Department said that the incorporation of a cart service to garbage collection will be “safer for our city staff.” Welker said that staff members will not have to touch the bags of trash, which currently puts them at risk of touching anything poking through the garbage bags, like needles.
The city’s garbage trucks also have tipper units on them, allowing the lifting of the trash carts to be done mechanically and will hopefully prevent back injuries or issues for the city staff.
The carts will be 96-gallon carts, which will contain more space than the currently allotted amount of six bags of trash to be collected on trash days, according to Welker.
New rate structures are also included in the updates that combine the monthly rates for garbage and recycling collection, including an approximate $1 increase.
According to the proposed ordinance, the current residential rates of $15.30 per month and the additional monthly charge of $3.13 for recycling costs will be combined for coming years.
That combined cost will also see an approximate $1 increase for a charge of $19.35 per month for 2018. Recycling is included with the solid waste fee, not to exceed 64-gallon capacity.
There will also be $1 dollar increases to the monthly charges in coming years, including $20.31 per month in 2019, $21.32 in 2020, and $22.38 in 2021.
The changes to the code also include a recycling-only service in 2018 at a monthly cost of $9.67 for eligible customers. That also includes yearly increases of less than $1.
Rates for commercial customers will also see similar changes. In 2018, the monthly fee will be $28 for up to 96 gallons in solid waste plus 64 gallons of recycling, $35 for up 192 gallons in solid waste plus recycling, and so on.
The proposed ordinance also allows residents to provide their own containers if desired. Containers from residents must be constructed of metal or heavy-gauge plastic, have two handles, not exceed 32 gallons, and have a tight-fitting lid, according to the ordinance. They also must be rodent-proof.
The proposed ordinance is written as an emergency to implement the changes for the new year. The commission is expected to vote on these changes at their next meeting on Dec. 19.
In other news:
Later in the meeting, the commission approved another purchase for the roundabout project. The city will acquire the right-of-way and an easement from the property located at the northeast corner of the intersection of Looney and Garbry roads, which is currently owned by Sunrise Cooperative, Inc. The irrigation system located in the proposed right-of-way area will also need to be relocated.
The cost of the purchase is approximately $10,632.
The commission then approved appropriation action through the Miami County Common Pleas Court if necessary in order to acquire two separate portions of right-of-way on Looney Road. City Attorney Stacy Wall explained that there are two separate right-of-ways that the city is working to acquire for the roundabout project, but have come across title and deed issues. The current owners of those right-of-ways are in agreement to sell or donate the right-of-ways to the city, but there are currently title issues with the properties due to previous owners passing away.
The commission also held the second readings of ordinances in regard to the city’s 2018 budget, 2 percent salary increases for city employees, updating the minimum wage references, and updating the the city employees’ health insurance.
At the end of the meeting, Huff invited the commission and the public to attend a reception being held on Dec. 19, at 6 p.m. before the next commission meeting, which will start at 7:30 p.m. that evening. The reception is being held in the honor of commissioners Judy Terry and Joe Wilson, who will not be returning to the commission next year. The reception will be held at the municipal building, located at 201 W. Water St., Piqua.
Reach Sam Wildow at email@example.com or (937) 451-3336