Commission to consider telecom standards

By Sam Wildow -

PIQUA — The Piqua City Commission will be considering adopting certain standards for small cell towers and facilities during their meeting Tuesday evening.

Coming before the commission will be a new emergency ordinance that would adopt and implement a new chapter for the Piqua code in regard to small cell facilities and wireless technology support structures. Small cell facilities and wireless support structures refer to structures like poles or small towers with antennas on top needed to broadcast the next generation of wireless technology, such as 5G technology.

The standards were previously discussed at the city’s last planning commission meeting. The standards were also the result of litigation between municipalities and legislation adopted by the state that was deemed unconstitutional.

The standards need to be adopted before new legislation is adopted at the state level in order for those standards to remain in effect and provide the city with more control over small cell facilities, such as with regulating appearance and suggesting alternative locations.

The commission will be considering a lease agreement later during their meeting with NK Telco for use of Roadside Park for telecommunications infrastructure. The lease is an annual cost of $1 for 25 years. There is a former water treatment pump station that is no longer in use at the site.

According to the staff report, that portion of Roadside Park with the former pump station has been identified as a suitable location for a telecommunications utility hut for NK Telco, with whom the city entered into an agreement to lease fiber in January 2017 to serve businesses and residents. The telecommunications hut is needed to support the buildout of the fiber network.

Also during their meeting, the commission will go into executive session to discuss collective bargaining agreements in regard to wages for electricians, journeyman line workers, journeyman line crew leaders, wastewater operators, meter readers, and lab technicians.

Slight pay increases are expected for electricians, journeyman line workers, and journeyman line crew leaders to keep them within range of market wages. Wages for wastewater operators, meter readers, and lab technicians are expected to remain the same, or “frozen,” for 2019, due to being above market wages, according to the resolution.

Next on the agenda, the commission will vote on leasing a space to house the Underground Utility Department. The space is 8,300 square feet with 45 parking spaces located at 8620 N. County Road 25-A. The cost to lease the space is $3,400 per month, beginning in June.

Also included on their agenda is a public hearing for a resolution approving the renewal application for placement of farmland in an Agricultural District filed by the Sally K. Apple Trust and Donald E. Apple Trust in the city of Piqua.

The commission will also vote on a zoning change for 1435 Covington Ave. to change the zoning of that property from R-3 multi-family residential to B general business. The property is the residential structure located between the future Speedy Cafe currently under construction to the west and the Woodgate Apartments to the east. The property owner requested the zoning change, but there are no current business ventures planned for the property.

The Piqua City Commission meeting will be Tuesday at 6 p.m. in commission chambers on the second floor of the municipal building, 201 W. Water St.

By Sam Wildow

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336