Ordinance on park curfews tabled

City achieves ‘accounting excellence’

By SamWildow - swildow@aimmedianetwork.com

PIQUA — The Piqua City Commission voted to table the ordinance establishing consistent curfews throughout the city parks on Tuesday evening. Commissioner Judy Terry moved to table the ordinance “until the second meeting in August so that the Park Board can meet and discuss anything they want to discuss about it and get back to us,” Terry said.

The ordinance, if passed, will also provide updated smoking prohibitions that will limit smoking to specific areas.

At Pitsenbarger Park, smoking will only be allowed in the parking lots.

At Fountain Park, no smoking will be allowed in the bleachers or within 50 feet of Hardman Field. Smoking will also be prohibited on the concrete walkway at Hance Pavilion.

At Mote Park Softball Fields, smoking will be prohibited within 50 feet of the fence.

In all of the other city parks, signage will designate the permitted smoking areas. Smoking will not be allowed within 50 feet of a playground, at the entrance of a building, or around the parameter of a picnic shelter or other structure. The violation of these rules will be a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a $1,000 fine and/or six months in jail.

The commission also held the first reading of an ordinance that will remove “no right turn on red” rules from seven intersections in the city code at their meeting on Tuesday evening.

“With those schools being gone, we no longer have that need,” City Engineer Amy Havenar said.

The signs have already been removed from the following intersections, but the city code still needs to be updated:

  • Ash Street and College Street
  • Main Street and Garnsey Street
  • Main Street and South Street
  • North Street and College Street
  • South Street and Brice Avenue
  • South Street and Roosevelt Avenue
  • Wayne Street and South Street

As part of this same ordinance, the commission also discussed the addition of a “right turn on red” prohibition to the intersection of Park Avenue and Broadway, preventing vehicles from making right turns on a red light from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on school days.

“This will be a new walking route for the kids,” Havenar said. Those hours will be on the sign.

For the next ordinance on the agenda, the commission looked at appropriations to be made for the city of Piqua for 2015.

“Every year at about this time, we request supplemental appropriation,” Finance Director Cynthia Holtzapple said. “This is due in part to a requirement that we present the 2015 annual budget to the commission in early November of [2014] before all project timing and costs are known for that year.”

Holtzapple also stated, “During the fiscal year, also unexpected expenses do occur, and the supplemental appropriations to more accurately reflect those changes.” Tuesday evening was the first reading of that ordinance for those appropriations.

For the first resolution on the agenda, the commission voted to approve a purchase order of $71.98 per ton of road salt to Compass Minerals America, Inc.

“This is approximately $40 a ton cheaper than it was last year,” Public Works Director Doug Harter said.

The city has budgeted $195,670 for this expense, but the expected expenditure is $179,950 for 2,500 tons.

The following two resolutions were then approved on the agenda:

  • A resolution authorizing permission to conduct business with Alan Miller
  • A purchase order not to exceed $35,000 to Best Equipment Co., for the repair of trucks for the Underground Utilities Department

During the presentation portion of the meeting, Holtzapple was awarded the Auditor of State Award with distinction.

“It’s important to note that the award puts the city of Piqua in a very select group,” said Joe Braden, west regional liason-auditor of state. “Fewer than 5 percent of all the entities that are audited annually are eligible for this award.”

Braden explained that, in order to receive this award, the entity must complete a comprehensive annual financial report within six months of the fiscal year’s end. They must also have a clean audit with no finding for recovery, material citations, material weaknesses, significant deficiencies, single audit findings, or question costs. They must also have no other financial concerns.

“This award represents all the hard work of every city of Piqua employee that strives each day to achieve accounting excellence,” Braden said.

Braden recognized the commission, City Manager Gary Huff, Mayor Lucy Fess, and all of the city employees who contributed to this achievement.

“I especially want to recognize Cynthia Holtzapple for her … outstanding leadership, professionalism, and commitment to fiscal integrity,” Braden said.

Piqua Chief of Police Bruce Jamison presented the city proclamation on National Night Out as well, which will be held Aug. 4 from 6-8 p.m.

This year, the Piqua Police Department is trying to promote Nextdoor.com, a form of social media designed for specific neighborhoods. Neighbors are able to communicate only with people from their neighborhood, discussing topics from trash that needs to be picked up in their area to lost dogs.

“It’s very popular in Piqua in some neighborhoods,” Jamison said. Not everybody has computers, though, he added. With that, the police department is also helping neighborhoods throw block parties as part of National Night Out.

“You’re wanting community participation to ease the burden that you’re sometimes overwhelmed with,” Commissioner Bill Vogt added.

For anyone interested in throwing a block party, email PROTECT@piquaoh.org or call (937) 778-2033.

Beggar’s Night, or Trick or Treat night, was also established for this year as Oct. 29 between between 6-8 p.m.

“All the cities and townships do it at the same time,” Commission John Martin said about Beggar’s Nights throughout the county.

Mayor Lucy Fess was absent Tuesday evening.

City achieves ‘accounting excellence’

By SamWildow


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

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