Commission OK’s contracts for improvement projects

Residents urged to research write-in candidates

By Sam Wildow -

PIQUA —Improvements to the storm sewer system in the Shawnee Neighborhood will be moving forward after the Piqua City Commission approved a renegotiated contract and an additional expenditure in regard to the project during their meeting Tuesday evening.

The commission previously tabled a resolution awarding a contract to Strand Associates for the construction management of the improvement project. The resolution was tabled to receive clarification of language in Strand Associates’ contract.

The commission approved a new contract with Strand Associates on Tuesday after it was renegotiated with Strand.

“Strand’s responsibilities are to notify Milcon, the contractor, if they are deviating from bid specs, as well as notify the city immediately,” City Attorney Stacy Wall said.

Strand Associates must also notify city officials as to what remedies are being taken by the contractor to get back to the bid specifications for the project.

“We also added language for indemnification regarding the standard of care and what they would be responsible for in terms of any issues on the job site,” Wall said. “Language was added regarding if there’s also not just deviation from the bid specs, but if there is a safety issue occurring at the job site, there would be notification of that as well to the city and the contractor.”

The contract with Strand Associates is not to exceed $67,900. The approved cost does include a contingency, while the previous amount in the last contract did not.

The improvements are meant to address flooding in the Shawnee neighborhood that occurs after storms, particularly at the intersections of Cleveland Avenue and First, Second, and Third streets. The project includes an open cut of Second Street and the Miami Conservancy District levee. Strand Associates will oversee all aspects of the construction according to the design of the improvements and the following levee restoration.

Milcon Concrete Incorporated is the contractor for the improvement project. The contract for the project is not to exceed $350,396. The project will be funded with $10,396 from an Ohio Public Works Commission loan and $340,000 from a Community Development Block Grant.

Milcon also had to agree to new terms in their agreement with Strand Associates, which also included an indemnification clause.

The commission then approved amending the engineering design contract with Kleingers Group after Milcon alerted the city about a possible conflict with water mains in the project area.

“We’re proposing to amend the contract with Kleingers because a water line was discovered,” Water Quality Coordinator Sky Schelle said.

Schelle explained that the water mains were in a different location than what was indicated on the maps and drawings provided to Kleingers Group.

“How did we lose track of those water mains?” Commissioner Bill Vogt asked.

City Manager Gary Huff explained that in the past, records like the locations of the water lines were sometimes not made and were “not always put on the maps.” Huff added that the city is now using GPS tracking to create permanent records of where utilities are located.

The additional drawings for the project will cost no more than $3,600. The total cost is not to exceed $40,000, which includes the original contract, the amended scope of work, and a contingency.

The stormwater project is expected to last six weeks, beginning this month. Wall said that while the project is not expected to take that long to complete, now is the best time to do it.

“The water levels are low, and we need to cooperate our work in hand with Mother Nature,” Wall said.

In other news:

The commission approved awarding a contract for the construction administration and applications engineering with CDM Smith for the Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion and upgrades project. The resolution was tabled at their last meeting due to needing to finalize the contract.

“There’s a very high expectation of performance,” Wall said, as CDM Smith has been involved in all aspects of the project so far.

The cost of the contract is not to exceed $5,445,400, which includes a 5 percent contingency.

The commission also approved an emergency ordinance to make appropriations for 2017. The Finance Department requests a supplemental appropriation around this time of the year each year. The 2017 budget was presented in November 2016 before all of the projects, costs, and grant awards were known, so this supplemental appropriation reflects any necessary changes. Finance Director Cynthia Holtzapple noted that many of the appropriations were budget-neutral.

The commission also approved an ordinance to vacate a platted portion of public right-of-way at Wilshire Drive and Wapita Court at an undeveloped section in the Deerfield subdivision. The owners plan to put in single-family homes at the location.

At the end of the meeting, Commissioner Joe Wilson brought up the upcoming November election. Wilson — who will not be on the ballot to run for re-election due to the Miami County Board of Elections rejecting his ballot petition — encouraged residents to educate themselves on the nine write-in candidates for the Piqua City Commission and the Piqua Board of Education.

“There’s been a lot of information about the upcoming election this fall. We have two commission seats up and a school board seat up, and there are nine write-in candidates for those three seats,” Wilson said. “This is kind of unusual. They won’t be on the ballot, so we’ll have to be sure we do a lot of research because it’s a lot of people to figure out in two months time.”

Wilson added that he believed there were good candidates among the group of write-in candidates, hinting that he did not necessarily support all of the candidates in the running.

“We do have some good candidates among the group, but not all of them necessarily, so you got to do your homework to know who you need to vote for,” Wilson said.

Residents urged to research write-in candidates

By Sam Wildow

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336