Mayoral election amendment up for vote

By Sam Wildow -

PIQUA — The Piqua City Commission will vote on sending a proposed amendment to the Miami County Board of Elections after its third reading Tuesday evening.

The proposed amendment is in regard to how the mayor is elected and re-establishes how the mayor is chosen. Instead of the public electing someone to the position, the city commissioners will elect the mayor every two years. The commissioners will also elect a vice mayor every two years. Only commissioners will be eligible to be mayor or vice mayor.

If the commission approves sending this proposed amendment to the board of elections, Piqua voters will decide on the issue when it appears on the ballot in November.

The commission also will be hear the second reading of an ordinance that will make curfew hours within city parks consistent. Residents will not be permitted in city parks between dusk and 7 a.m. unless they are at a sports game at a lighted field.

Hobbyists taking part in geocaching, a high-tech treasure-hunting activity, will also have to seek permission from the city before utilizing any city property for that game, as geocaching will be prohibited without permission. At the last commission meeting, the city mentioned concerns about “caches” or containers being buried or left in public areas that could potentially damage public parks. The containers could also raise public concern if there is a box sitting or buried somewhere, such as in the middle of a ball field, and no one knows what it is.

In new business, the commission will vote on a resolution to approve a contract to PST Services, Inc. a McKesson Company for emergency medical services (EMS) billing services for the Piqua Fire Department from December 2016 to November 2021. According to the staff report, there will be a 65 percent cost-savings to the city for going with McKesson compared to other proposed fees. McKesson was also deemed a superior company due to their experience and qualifications.

The cost will be $50,564. The department will also be able to reduce fees from 6 percent to 4.9 percent on collected funds due to the cost-savings.

The commission will also vote on new preliminary consent legislation with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for work on the bridge on Ash Street (U.S. Route 36) over the Great Miami River. The legislation allows ODOT to complete rehabilitation work on that bridge.

According to the resolution, the new legislation includes the construction of a retaining wall to keep from having to eliminate an eastbound right-turn lane leading into Centre Court. The city will pay for 50 percent of the cost. The estimated cost to the city will be approximately $120,000, which was budgeted for 2018.

The commission will also a hear a rezoning request. A property located on the north side of Covington Avenue and owned by Evenflo Company, Inc. is currently zoned Heavy Industrial. The commission will vote on whether or not to approve changing the zoning designation to General Business for the purpose of operating a proposed, 9,100-square-foot retail store there.

The commission also will vote on another zoning request, this one in reference to properties on the 8600 block of North County Road 25-A. The owner is requesting that properties be rezoned from Heavy Industrial to Light Industrial for a proposed car dealership. In connection with that request, the owner of those same properties is also seeking approval to replat certain platted lots on those properties.

Commissioners will move on to voting on whether or not to authorize the professional services agreement with 292 Design Group for the Community Center Campus Feasibility Plan. The community center campus is a part of the Historic East Piqua Master Plan, which would create a community recreation center near Wertz Stadium and Roosevelt Fieldhouse.

The feasibility plan would help to understand the viability of having a community center campus at that location. The feasibility plan will also be equally funded by the city and other agencies, including the Ohio National Guard, the Miami County YMCA, Piqua City Schools, Edison State Community College, and others. The total cost would be $29,500, with the city paying $5,900.

The commission will set a public hearing for the proposed city tax budget for Miami County for next year. It will be held during the next commission meeting on July 5 at 7:30 p.m.

For the last item of business, the commission will approve entering into the LPA Federal Local-Let Project Agreement with ODOT for the Covington Avenue Resurfacing Project. As a Local-Let project, the city will handle the project bidding and the construction inspection rather than ODOT. ODOT is still funding 75 percent of the eligible costs for the project up to $512,068 in federal funds.

The next commission meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in commission chambers at the municipal building, 201 W. Water St.

By Sam Wildow

Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall

Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall