PIQUA — The Piqua City Commission will be considering the purchase of property in order to build a new fire station.
The property is located at 110 S. Downing St. and is currently the Piqua Car Wash and Vac, LLC. The purchase price is not to exceed $139,000 and has been budgeted for 2017.
According to the resolution, the reason behind the purchase is “to build a new centrally located fire station in the future.”
Also on the agenda, the commission will be hearing the second readings of ordinances that will raise water and wastewater rates in the city.
If approved, water rates would increase by 10 percent for each new year beginning with 2017 and ending with 2020. Wastewater rates would also increase by 20 percent each year for the next four years.
At the last meeting, City Manager Gary Huff explained that the city is undergoing a number of infrastructure projects to meet new standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The increased fees will pay for new and improved facilities, including the new water treatment plant, new water lines, an expanded wastewater facility, the new water tower, and the automated metering system.
According to an exhibit included in the agenda, the average monthly water rate for a residential home with four people will increase from $61.88 to $68.07. For a small commercial business, it will increase from $137.15 to $147.09. For an industrial business, it will increase from $2,041.63 to $2,245.16.
Wastewater service fees increases do not appear to be effective until October should they be approved. The base charges of operation and maintenance as well as capital costs appear to be combined under the new system. The previous combined cost for the total base charge of $9.66 for the first 1,000 gallons per month will increase to $16.67 in October and to $20 in 2018. After the first 1,000 gallons, the volume charge per 1,000 gallons will increase from the combined cost of $3.05 to $5.27 in October and $6.32 in 2018.
Finance Director Cynthia Holtzapple also explained during that meeting that funds for the water and wastewater facilities have to be self-supporting, meaning that the city does not have the option to subsidize those improvements with the city’s general fund.
Commissioners Joe Wilson and Bill Vogt each commented on increases at the last meeting, each expressing that these increases were not something the city wanted to do but had to do. Wilson said that if the commission decided just to say no and not comply with the EPA standards that the city would lose their license and face a fine of up to $10,000 per day.
Also during their upcoming meeting, the commission will hold a joint meeting with the Washington Township Trustees. The purpose will be to reappoint a member to the Board of Trustees of Forest Hill Union Cemetery.
The commission’s next meeting will take place on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and will be held on the second floor of the municipal building, located at 201 W. Water St., in commission chambers.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336