New $4.4M water tower project continues

By Sam Wildow -

PIQUA — The Piqua City Commission will be discussing additional expenses and new contracts for the New Central Zone Water Tower Project during their meeting Tuesday evening.

First, the commission will vote on approving an increase of $13,000 to the contract with Strand Associates, Inc., who was authorized in June 2013 to engineer and design a new water tower and a water main extension to connect the tower to the current water distribution system.

The new water tower will be on Fox Drive, with the new water main being installed along Drake Road, starting at the intersection at Hemm Road. The new tower will be a composite tower with a concrete base and steel bowl. It will also have “a trihalomethane removal system to help with the removal (of) disinfectant bi-products,” according to the staff report. It will also increase the flow rate to the Fox Drive Industrial Park. Two small water towers on Spring Street and South Main Street will also be demolished as they are reportedly outdated and no longer function as designed.

According to the staff report, the city needed Strand Associates to do more work on the city’s Capability Assurance Plan, so for those additional services, that portion of the contract needs to be increased to a total of $40,000. The source of funds is the city’s Water Supply Revolving Loan Account (WSRLA) loan with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In connection with the city’s WSRLA, the commission needs to approve the city manager applying for that loan to fund the construction of the new water tower and the water main extension. The staff report explains that the new water tower is a $4.4 million project, breaking down to $726,000 for the Drake Road water line extension;$3.3 million for the construction of the new water tower and demolition of the two small existing towers; $260,000 for the construction administration costs for Strand Associates; $94,000 for the design; and $60,000 for the application fee and capitalized interest for the loan.

The loan will be $3.365 million. The city has also been awarded a $1.075 million Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) Grant to help fund the project.

The commission also will vote on preliminary consent to award a contract to Chicago Bridge and Iron Company (CB&I) for the construction of the new water tower for $3.3 million. The commission will also be considering preliminary consent to award a contract to GM Pipeline Inc. for the Drake Road water line extension in an amount not to exceed $726,000. They will also vote on preliminary consent to award a contract to Strand Associates for the construction administration for the Drake Road water line extension at a cost not to exceed $82,000, and for the construction of the water tower at a cost not to exceed $178,000.

Each of those costs include contingencies. All of these pieces of consent legislation are required by WSRLA before approving the loan for the project.

In other business, the commission will be voting on allowing the Ohio Department of Transportation to establish bike routes through Piqua. Those routes include U.S. Bike Route 25 and State Bicycle Route 36. ODOT will provide and install the signage, which will be the city’s responsibility to maintain afterward.

The commission will consider authorizing an contract with American Municipal Power, Inc. (AMP) to participate in AMP’s solar energy project. The commission previously met in a worksession to discuss this project. Participation in this solar energy project is expected to reduce the city’s transmission and capacity energy costs as well as offset market purchases of energy. Overall, it is estimated that it will lower the city’s total power supply cost by $490,000 annually. The expenditure is expected to be up to 3.5 percent of Piqua’s current annual energy needs.

Later in the meeting, commissioners will consider authorizing an agreement with Pros Consulting Inc. to prepare and deliver a Comprehensive Parks Master Plan. The plan will help be a guide for improvements to be made to the parks as well as the delivery of programming and services. The cost will be $74,940 and will be paid for through the city’s Parks Fund.

The commission will also establish Oct. 31 from 6-8 p.m. as “Trick or Treat/Beggars’ Night” in Piqua.

Under old business, the commission will vote on an ordinance sending the costs of nuisance abatements to the county auditor to have those costs be put on the violators’ property taxes. The majority of nuisance abatements on the list are for grass cutting.

The cost of some of the assessments are as low as $40 and as high as $800 against some of the property owners where the city has been forced to take care of a nuisance on that property, such as high grass. The varying of fees is due to a provision in the ordinance that has escalating fees for repeat offenders.

The commission’s next meeting will be at 7:30 p.m.m Tuesday, Aug. 16, in commission chambers on the second floor of the municipal building, located at 201 W. Water St.

By Sam Wildow

Reach Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336

Reach Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336