Commission to vote on litigation

By Sam Wildow -

PIQUA —The Piqua City Commission will be considering joining other municipalities in litigation against Substitute Senate Bill 331 during their meeting Tuesday evening.

Substitute Senate Bill 311 will allow wireless communication companies to place small cell towers wherever they like within the public right-of-way of municipalities without any oversight from the local government, according to the resolution. Cities will have to provide the communication companies access to city-owned poles and other structures in the public right-of-way without having to follow any guidelines in regards to aesthetics or safety.

City Manager Gary Huff said on Friday that the city is not opposed to wireless communication companies locating their small cell towers or poles within the city, but the city would like to be able to work with those companies and establish guidelines rather than the companies having full autonomy in the public right-of-way.

The resolution authorizing the city to join litigation challenging Substitute Senate Bill 331 claims that this bill “violates the home rule provisions of the Ohio Constitution” by taking away the city’s power to control the use of the local right-of-way.

The city would be joining numerous other municipalities challenging Substitute Senate Bill 331. The cost would be $4,000 for the city’s share of the retainer of Ice Miller, LLP for the joint litigation. Substitute Senate Bill 331 becomes effective Tuesday.

Also on the agenda, the commission will be voting on authorizing a contract with Gamble Associates Architecture & Urban Planning to perform professional design services for the Lock Nine Park Renaissance project. This firm already completed the initial phase of the construction drawings and specifications for the project. This resolution will be for the completed, detailed construction documents to have the project ready for the bidding and construction phase. This engineering contract will be $247,500, which will come from the city’s general fund. The total construction budget of the project is expected to be $4.5 million, according to that contract.

Following that, the commission will vote on authorizing an agreement with Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc. for engineering detailed design work on the wastewater pump stations. According to the agenda, this is the next step in improving the wastewater lift stations. This agreement is not to exceed $188,000 and will come from the wastewater budget.

The commission also will hold a public hearing on renewal applications for residents using parcels of land within the city for farmland use.

The commission will also be appointing members to the Energy Board and the Housing Council.

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

By Sam Wildow

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336