There are a number of new projects, improvements, and actions to look for in the City of Piqua during this New Year. Here are 14 things to look for in 2014.
1. Economic Development Strategic Plan. The city is currently underway with the development of the ourfirst Economic Development Strategic Plan. The plan is being developed as a partnership between the City of Piqua and Grow Piqua Now with the consulting firm Arnett-Muldrow.
2. Riverfront Development. A study of the Riverfront District is being completed by CityVision of Louisville, Kentucky as a result of a state grant received from the Ohio Development Services Agency. The study includes an assessment of the existing buildings and a concept plan depicting the types of development that could occur within the district from public-private partnerships.
3. Water Treatment Plant Construction. The final design of the new Water Treatment Plant located on SR 66 will be completed in the first half of this year. Construction is expected to be underway by the end of the year.
4. New Park Facilities. Thanks to a grant from KaBoom, a new handicap playground will be installed in PitsenbargerPark. A Dog Park is also expected to be completed this year.
5. Historic East Piqua Planning. A previous grant of $148,000 from the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Control (ASTDR) allowed for preliminary assessment of the potential redevelopment of the Historic East Piqua Area. An additional $148,000 has been awarded to the city which will be used to conduct a feasibility study of recommended recreation attractions for the district.
6. Trail Additions. The Commercial Street Corridor Bike Route will be completed this year connecting the Great Miami River Trail with Mote Park. State funding is expected to be approved to design and construct a lateral from the Great Miami River Trail to the Miami Valley Centre Mall and beyond.
7. StormwaterImprovements. The first phase of the StormwaterMaster Plan has been completed for the West Piqua area and improvements will take this year. Also, the second phase of the master plan will be completed for the Shawnee area. Stormwater catch basins will continue to be repaired or replaced throughout the city.
8. CR25-A Phase II Reconstruction. It projected that Phase II will be completed in the third quarter of the year. This phase includes improvement from Country Club Road to Looney Road.
9. Additional Street Paving. The 2014 budget contains an additional $250,000 for paving streets in the city.
10. PiquaFASTFiber. Twenty-Five (25) miles of new fiber have been installed throughout the community to serve both city government operations and the public. An agreement has been signed with Independents Fiber Network to provide high speed fiber to the community.
11. Safe Routes to Schools. Thanks to a grant of approximately $500,000, numerous improvements will be made to pedestrian areas, including crosswalks, to enhance the safety of children walking to schools, playgrounds, and neighborhoods.
12. Additional Citizen Engagement. Early in 2014, the city will introduce a new social media resource to allow citizens to comment and share information regarding city projects and programs. This new resource will be identified as the Piqua O-Zone.
13. Summer Music Event. There is currently a citizen’s group that is working on planning and implementing a Summer Music Event in the Downtown/Riverfront District for the enjoyment of the community.
14. Brownfields Assessments. Two $200,000 grants totaling $400,000 from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are providing the ability to do environment assessments of approximately 12brownfield sites within the city. These assessments will help in determining whether soil contamination is evident and future remediation of the properties to encourage redevelopment.
These are only a few of the numerous projects and activities that will be taking place in 2014. As you can see, this will be a very positive and productive year for the Piqua community.
Gary A. Huff, ICMA-CM is the City Manager of Piqua.