Commission votes 3-2 on vehicle purchase

By Sam Wildow -

PIQUA — The Piqua City Commission was split on the purchase of police vehicles by a vote of 3-2 after a local business owner expressed frustration at the bidding process during the commission’s meeting Tuesday evening.

The commission had to rescind a previous resolution due to a clerical error that named the wrong business from which the city intended to purchase four police vehicles, each one being a type of Ford model. During that discussion, Jim Sherry of Paul Sherry Chrysler Dodge Jeep in Piqua said that he wanted an opportunity to bid his vehicles to the Piqua Police Department, but has not gotten an opportunity to do so.

Piqua Chief of Police Bruce Jamison and City Manager Gary Huff each explained that the bids for this resolution were determined by a state bid rather than a local bid completed by the city. For local bids, the city advertises as well as posts the bids on their website.

Sherry said that the only city department that notifies him about a possible bid for a vehicle purchase is the Piqua Fire Department.

Jamison asked that the commission move forward with approving the resolution with the correct purchase order to Lebanon Ford for the purchase of two Ford police interceptor utility vehicles and two Ford police interceptor sedans. While Dodge models would possibly be available at Paul Sherry Chrysler Dodge Jeep if a local bid took place, Jamison said that Ford models were preferable to Dodge models for transporting prisoners.

The commission unanimously rescinded the first resolution. The corrected purchase order to Lebanon Ford was approved by a vote of 3-2. Commissioners Bill Vogt and John Martin voted against the purchase. The total cost was approximately $127,889.

The commission tabled another vehicle purchase earlier in their meeting due to similar bidding concerns. The tabled resolution was a purchase order to Bob Ross Auto Group, Inc. for a truck with a utility bed for the Wastewater Department. The cost was approximately $40,000. The purchase order was also done by a state bid. Huff requested that the commission table the resolution so the city could perform a local bid of their own due to the city learning that they could possibly receive a price lower than the state bid price locally.

Also during their meeting, commissioner Judy Terry encouraged other residents of the city’s fourth ward to run for election on the commission, as she will not be running for re-election this year.

“I would be happy to talk to anyone who would be interested,” Terry said.

Mayor Kazy Hinds also said that the city is hoping to hold a workshop for residents interested in running for local election to educate them on the process. The date for the workshop is still to be determined, but is expected to take place sometime in May.

In other business, the commission brought back a tabled resolution for the purchase of lawn mowers from John Deere Company for the Public Works Department. The total cost is not to exceed approximately $70,964. The resolution was tabled during their last meeting due to a question of how much the lawn mowers cost individually versus as a whole. The new lawn mowers would replace their 2014 models that have exhausted their warranties. The city would sell the old models on

Following that purchase, the commission approved the purchase of 41 transformers from Ermco for the Piqua Power System. The total cost is not to exceed $71,881. The purchase will replenish the Piqua Power System’s transformer inventory.

The commission then designated the director of the Piqua Power System Ed Krieger to represent the city as a member of the board of trustees of American Municipal Power, Inc., of which the city is a member and is where the city receives its power.

Next on the agenda, the commission approved a purchase order to Baker Vehicle Systems, Inc. for the purchase of a large area rotary mower for the Water Department for the upkeep of the new plant location. The cost will be $53,652 and came in under budget.

The commission then approved an agreement with Delta Airport Consultants, Inc. for engineering design services for the precision approach path indicator (PAPI) system at the Piqua Municipal Airport for Hartzell Field. PAPI’s are visual aids that help a pilot stay on the correct approach to an airport. The contract is not to exceed $109,000.

For the final purchase on the agenda, the commission approved a contract to Tree Care, Inc. for the removal, pruning, and emergency tree removal. The cost is not to exceed $32,000. This is for the removal of ash trees, hazard trees, and other species in the city that need to be removed. This also includes annual tree trimming and emergency tree removal services.

The commission ended their meeting by going into executive session for the purpose of pending or imminent litigation. Huff stated earlier in the meeting that the city may take part in preparing litigation against Senate Bill 331, which Huff said allows small cell towers to be built anywhere without city approval. Huff said that the city is not against small cell towers, but the city would want the towers to be held to the city’s standards for poles and aesthetics.

By Sam Wildow

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336