Commission to vote on property purchases

By Sam Wildow -

PIQUA — The Piqua City Commission will be considering a couple of property purchases during their next meeting on Tuesday evening.

The commission will be voting on the purchase of 5.459 acres on Staunton Road for that project as a component of a larger potential solar-generating site as part of the American Municipal Power (AMP) Solar Phase II project in the which the city is participating. It is currently vacant land. The cost will be $109,590.

The Piqua Power System is currently purchasing solar power through the AMP solar power project, which is one of the cheapest power resources for the city. As part of phase two of AMP’s solar power project, the Piqua Power System can purchase solar power as well as find a site within the city for the potential development of a solar field. The city first has to either own the property or have an ownership agreement over the property. Then, a company called NextEra would develop the site for AMP, which would then purchase power generated from the solar field.

The city would not be funding or developing the solar field site, as NextEra would invest in that portion of the project before selling the energy generated from that solar field back to AMP members like the city of Piqua. NextEra will then see a return on that investment over the 25-year span of AMP’s solar power project.

The proposed solar field would generate up to 1,500 kilowatts at its peak generation, according to the Piqua Power System.

The other purchase will be for two parcels located along North Wayne Street, one that is 0.19 acre and another that is 0.14 acre. The staff report describes these properties as a “currently vacant and unattractive gravel lot.”

The city plans to redevelop those spots as public parking facilities to support downtown businesses and community members as part of the Downtown Riverfront Development Strategy. The cost will be $40,000.

The commission will also be voting on agreement for engineering design services for the Great Miami River Pedestrian Bridge Project, which would replace the existing utility bridge behind the old Piqua Power Plant with an ADA-compliant bridge for pedestrians. If approved, the city plans to construct the new bridge over the Great Miami River near Goodrich Giles Park along County Road 25-A.

The agreement will be with LJB, Inc. The cost is not to exceed $230,000, which includes $196,421 for the design services, environmental study, and development of right-of-way plans as well as a contingency. The construction cost is estimated at $1,900,000.

The commission will also be honoring two retiring city employees during their meeting, Water Plant Mechanic Robert John Hanselman and Firefighter/Paramedic James William Stein.

The commission will also be hearing the second reading of an ordinance that would amend the zoning code within the city of Piqua to prohibit medical marijuana cultivators, processors, and/or retail dispensaries within the city. This came to the commission as a recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Board.

The next commission meeting will be held Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. 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