Bethany J. Royer
PIQUA — A familiar face was present at the first commission meeting of what appears to be spring — at last — as commissioners and city leaders welcomed back Becky Cool, administrative coordinator, after a six week absence.
Cool returned in time for a welcoming of spring by Commissioner John Martin, along with Commissioner Bill Vogt who urged everyone to take advantage of the good weather at the city golf course. Along with an agenda that began with a presentation by Cindy Bach, solid waste coordinator for Miami County, who stated this is a week when, “Everything gets started for us.” That includes a host of events such as a composting workshop to be held this weekend, a prescription take-back program, shred fest, and an electronics drop-off. (See below for more information).
After Bach’s brief presention, commission proceeded to move into executive session to discuss the purchase of two properties, 117 E. Water St. and 111 S. Main St. for $48,000 and $50,000, respectively. This combined purchased will play a significant part of the city’s riverfront development efforts, according to Gary Huff, city manager. Both properties were amended to the agenda late last month as two separate resolutions that commission proceeded to adopt Tuesday evening.
City leaders also gave a final reading and adoption to an ordinance that will see the current two-way stop intersection of Park Avenue and Lambert Drive changed to a four-way stop. After a request by an area resident over the intersection and a subsequent study that cited terrain, speed, traffic and the number of pedestrians, particularly school children warrant the change.
Also on the agenda, a resolution to purchase eight new John Deere lawn mowers to be split between the Public Works Department and Streets and Parks.
Brian Brookhart, assistant director of public works, was commended by Huff and Lucy Fess, city mayor, for his thorough research on a variety of lawn mowers before making recommendations. Some of those included Dixie and Toro mowers, gas and propane, even electric mowers. However, given the fuel cost savings of 15 to 20 percent per year, along with three- year warranties, gas powered John Deere mowers were deemed the best purchase strategy with commission adopting the resolution.
The current out-of-warranty mowers will be sold at a greater return, according to Brookhart, than trade-in.
In further news and to round out the April 1 meeting, Huff shared a letter related to the inclusion of the Piqua Municipal Airport/Hartzell Field on West State Route 185 with the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems or NPIAS.
“This is important to us,” explained Huff as the inclusion would allow the airport to have access to federal funding for capital improvements and maintenance, with the letter receiving support from speaker Boehner’s office.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) should the airport be of national significance they would consider including it in the NPIAS designation.
Huff’s letter highlights what he states is a tremendous number of aircraft companies, corporations and even foreign entities that fly into and utilize the Piqua Municipal Airport so as to be serviced by Hartzell Propeller for a variety of reasons — from design to manufacturing, conversions or certification.
“I don’t know that we recognize the full impact and the importance of what they are doing out there but it has certainly gotten everyone’s attention,” continued Huff who is hopeful the FAA will agree to include the airport into the NPIAS.
Commission meetings are 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. For information on meetings, work sessions, and more visit piquaoh.org.
Visit http://oh-miamicounty.civicplus.com for more information on solid waste district events.
Bethany J. Royer may be reached at (937) 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall