Bethany J. Royer
PIQUA — Another year, another chance to be involved with the workings of the city as the first commission meeting of 2014 will get underway at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, on the second floor of the government municipal complex.
Topping the agenda will be a joint meeting with the Washington Twp. trustees and Piqua city commission to reappoint a member to the board of trustees for the Forest Hill Union Cemetery. This will be followed by recognition of the seven recent government academy graduates: Richard Ault, Christopher Kolsky, Fred Lee, Karen McNeil, Deb Ruemelle, Randi Simon-Serey and Stacy Stang.
Regular city commission begins with a third reading in regards to changes to storm water fees as residents will see an increase of 50 cents per ERU (equivalent residential unit) every year from 2014 to 2016. Currently, one ERU is equal to $5.20 or up to 5,400 square feet and would increase to $5.70 or up to 5,400 square feet for 2014 upon adoption of the ordinance. These increases are to alleviate projected deficits in the storm water budget with an additional revenue of $71,000 per year.
If approved, the new rate will begin during the first billing cycle of this month.
Old business will also include a second reading in regards to 2 percent wage increase for fire officers and fire fighters, equating to 37 full time employees. Changes to the Piqua code will also be discussed in relation to health insurance coverage for the fire staff before a resolution to advertise for bids to make purchases during the new year. The latter will consist of bid items for trucks, mowers, police cruiser replacements, a fingerprint machine, maintenance equipment and chemicals for the golf course, among other items listed in the meeting packet.
Commission will also discuss a resolution to retain the services of a state auditor for the 2013 annual audit of the city. Typically this annual review is undertaken by an independent certified accounting firm. The state audit will begin soon and is listed for completion on or before June 30 at a cost not to exceed $40,918.
Last on the agenda will be reappointment of Commissioner Julia (Judy) Terry to the Grow Piqua Now board.
As highlighted in an end-of-the year look at the city in a previous Daily Call edition, Piqua has undergone many transitions and transformations over 2013. Whether it was changes and upgrades to the infrastructure that included improvements to Ash St. and County Road 25-A to area parks, along with redevelopment studies, activities and more. All of it begins at Piqua city commission meetings held at 7:30 p.m. every first and third Tuesday of the month, on the second floor of the Government Municipal Complex, in the commission chamber.
The public is invited and encouraged to attend to better understand how such projects come to fruition and to become an active part of the process.