PIQUA — Retired Piqua police officer Kris Lee was honored during the Piqua City Commission meeting Tuesday evening with a resolution of appreciation, which thanked Lee for his service to the city.
“His retirement follows over 22 years of faithful and dedicated service,” Mayor Kazy Hinds said. “Thank you for your service to our community.”
“Is it hard to believe that it has been that long,” Lee said.
Lee stated that at the Piqua police department, “It’s always been about family.”
Lee commended the leadership within the city of Piqua along with his fellow police officers in the department.
“From the top, we’ve got a great city manager,” he said about City Manager Gary Huff. Lee also remarked on Chief of Police Bruce Jamison, saying that Jamison was always someone to whom he could go and talk to like Jamison was his dad or brother.
“The guys I worked with (are) the dedicated and most loyal people,” Lee said, adding that his service to the city is not over. “I will do whatever I can to help the city.”
On the order of new business, the Piqua City Commission heard the first reading of an ordinance that will change the structure of commission meetings. The ordinance will amend the section of the Piqua code that sets the rules of conduct of commission meetings and will establish public comment as taking place at the beginning of commission meetings. If approved after three readings, public comment will no longer take place at the end of the meeting and will not be sought after each item of business on the agenda.
Also on the agenda, the commission approved two purchase orders. The commission first voted on and approved the purchase order to Best Equipment Co., Inc. for the purchase of a Vac-Con truck for the Underground Utilities Department. This Vac-Con truck is part of the department’s 10-year capital improvement plan.
“It is a critical tool for our day-to-day operations,” Underground Utilities Superintendent Shane Johnson said. The truck will be used to address issues in water main repairs, storm mains, and water service, as well as assist with other tasks and aid other city departments.
The cost is not to exceed $360,971.76. According to Johnson, the truck was in the 2016 budgets with 40 percent city water funds, 40 percent city wastewater funds, and 20 percent city storm water funds.
The commission then considered and approved the purchase of of a new Tymco Street Sweeper. The Storm Water Department is seeking to replace their current street sweeper, which is 12 years old.
“It dates back to 2004,” Storm Water Coordinator Devon Alexander said about the city’s current street sweeper. “It’s reached the end of its lifespan as far the functionality of it and how well its working compared to the amount of cost we’re putting into maintenance and repair.” Alexander noted that last year, the street sweeper collected approximately 293 tons of sludge over a nine-month period.
“The main purpose in the street sweeper is for stormwater protection,” Huff said. “That’s the way we keep debris out of our storm catch basins.”
Commissioner Joe Wilson asked what the result would be if the city did not use a street sweeper.
Alexander stated that there would be trash and other debris that would go directly into the river as well as clog up the storm water system.
Wilson said that there may be concerns over the cost of this street sweeper, but Wilson agreed that it was worth the money that the city was spending on getting a new one.
“I think the alternative is worse than what we’re spending on this,” Wilson said.
The cost will be $230,137.50. The purchase will come out of the city’s storm water funds.
The commission also made a series of committee and board reappointments and appointments, including Bradley Bubp to the Downtown District Design Review Board; Stu Shear to the Civil Service Commission; Joe Drapp to the Energy Board; Lloyd Shoemaker to the Park Board; Ronald Pilkington to the Stormwater Utility Board; Judy Terry to the Tree Committee; Regina Favorite to the Tree Committee; and Randi Simon-Serey to the Tree Committee.
On the order of old business, the commission heard the second reading of an ordinance to vacate a portion of public right-of-way. The spot is an alley located west of Ford Drive and south of Young Street. It is no longer being used by the city, and the property owners abutting the alley have been mowing and taking care of the alley.
Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall