Commission, trustees OK pursuing cemetery levy

Renewal with increase levy for improvements

By Sam Wildow -

PIQUA — The Piqua City Commission held a joint meeting with Washington Township Trustees on Tuesday for the consideration of a renewal and increased levy for improvements at Forest Hill Cemetery.

The commission and trustees approved pursuing a renewal and increased 0.70-mill levy for the November ballot. The levy shall not exceed 0.70 mills for each $1 of valuation, which amounts to $0.07 for each $100 of valuation, according to the resolution. The levy would also be for five years.

Forest Hill Cemetery is seeking to renew the levy that raises funds for the cemetery and increase the amount for improvements.

“We are forbidden by the Ohio Revised Code under the law to borrow any money,” Jim Roth, superintendent of Forest Hill Cemetery, said. ”Anything we do and have to do out there, we have to pay cash for at that time.”

The improvements include opening a new section of the cemetery for burial sites as well as constructing a storage building.

“Our goal is to open up a new section here in the next year or two, along with a new building that we can put all of our equipment in. Currently, we operate out of seven garages across the street from the cemetery, which means all of our equipment goes back and forth on State Route 66,” Roth said.

The levy is intended to be placed on the Nov. 6 ballot. The commission and trustees approved declaring their intention to levy this property tax, and they also approved requesting that the Miami County auditor certify the amounts of the levy. They are expected to vote at a later date on having the levy sent to the Miami County Board of Elections to be placed on the ballot.

Prior to their joint meeting, Mayor Kazy Hinds issued a proclamation declaring Aug. 7 as National Night Out in the city.

“The National Night Out campaigns provides an opportunity for neighbors in Piqua to join over 38 million neighbors across 16,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, and U.S. military bases worldwide,” Hinds said.

Hinds added that National Night Out is a community-building campaign that promotes police and community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer.

Hinds presented the proclamation to Piqua Chief of Police Bruce Jamison and officer Justin Augustine. Jamison encouraged residents interested in hosting a block party to attend an informational meeting at the Piqua Police Department, located at 100 N. Wayne St., on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

“This is still six weeks away, but we’d like to encourage anybody that’s interested in doing a block party — they’ve been very popular the last few years — to attend a meeting (Wednesday) evening at 5:30 (p.m.) at the police department with officer Augustine to get the details on how you can get a block party in your own neighborhood,” Jamison said. “There will be other block party people who have done block parties in previous years to help citizens with what types of things they should expect.”

During the commission’s regular meeting, they approved a new purchase order for the Public Works Department to Hageman Trucking Service, LLC, to haul asphalt and millings in their tandem trucks. The cost is not to exceed $60,000. Doug Harter, director of the Public Works Department, said that the city’s trucks are too small to haul the amount of asphalt and millings that they have.

The commission also approved two ordinances to vacate the public rights-of-way of two alleys currently occupied by private improvements and not of public use, including one that is underneath the Orr Felt building. The three-reading rule was waived for both of these ordinances.

The commission also scheduled a public hearing on the proposed city tax budget for Miami County for the calendar year 2019 and draft appropriation ordinance for July 3, at 6 p.m., during their regular commission meeting at the municipal building, located at 201 W. Water St.

Renewal with increase levy for improvements

By Sam Wildow

Reach Sam Wildow at

Reach Sam Wildow at