PIQUA — The Piqua City Commission approved an improvement project on Tuesday after a majority of commissioners previously rejected it in August.
The commission approved by a vote of 4-0 a project that will fix brick pavers on one side of Fort Piqua Plaza. Three city commissioners voted against the project in August.
The commission approved contracting with Double Jay Construction for the Fort Piqua Plaza Paver Modification project. City Manager Gary Huff said this project was brought back before the commission at the request of three commissioners.
The project will include removing the existing brick pavers, removing the up-lighting, adding a new concrete sub base, and reinstalling the existing brick pavers on the south side of the plaza, according to Huff. The improvements will be in front of the Piqua Public Library. The contract is not to exceed $26,290, which includes a 10 percent contingency.
The project was previously voted down at the commission’s Aug. 21 meeting. City Commissioners John Martin, Bill Vogt, and Kris Lee voted against the resolution, while City Commissioner Dave Short and Mayor Kazy Hinds voted in favor of the resolution.
Vogt was absent during Tuesday’s meeting, but the remaining commissioners and the mayor voted to approve the project.
Huff displayed photos during the meeting showing how the current brick pavers are sinking along the curb line and causing a trip hazard.
“That’s what we’re trying to alleviate with the concrete sub base,” Huff said.
Martin asked later how the brick pavers will be held in place. Huff said that they will be grouted with sand.
The commission also awarded a contract in the amount of $2,192,526 to Kinnison Excavating Inc. for the Wastewater Pump Stations Replacement and Elimination Project.
“We would like to begin the construction phase,” Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendent Chris Melvin said.
In addition to replacing four pump stations at Maplewood, Orchard, Candlewood, and Stratford, the project will eliminate one pump station at the Miami Valley Centre Mall by installing a gravity flower sewer at that location.
The city received a $550,000 grant and zero percent loan in the amount of $1 million from the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC). Local wastewater funds will pay for $642,526 of the project.
The project is expected to begin in October and last through most of 2019.
The commission also approved a purchase order to Kenworth of Richfield for the purchase of a dump truck for the Public Works Department. The cost of the 2018 Kenworth T37o dump truck is $148,786. Interim Public Works Director Brian Brookhart noted that the purchase came in under their $200,000 budget for the purchase.
During the public comment portion of their meeting, Paul Bubeck of Piqua commented that he did not see a lot of improvements with the state of houses in Piqua.
Huff said that over the past two years, the city has issued 900 maintenance violations and that approximately 60 percent of the recipients have complied with remedying those violations.
Huff added those violations are separate from trash and weed violations, and he said that the city sees hundreds of those as well.
Also during public comment, Larry Hamilton of Piqua referenced the 400 Years of African-American History Commission Act that was enacted earlier this year after being signed by President Donald Trump in January. The act established the 400 Years of African-American History Commission to commemorate 400 years of African American history, including recognizing next year the 400th anniversary of when slavery began in the colonial United States.
“The commission must plan programs to acknowledge the impact that slavery and laws that enforced racial discrimination had on the United States. It also encourages civic, patriotic, historical, educational, artistic, religious, and economic organizations to organize and participate in anniversary activities,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton encouraged the city and others to consider implementing ongoing events next year to take part in this observance of African American history, citing Piqua’s tie with the freed Randolph slaves who settled in Rossville in Springcreek Township in the 1830s.
Hamilton also expressed earlier that he wished the city of Piqua “had accepted more willingness in valuing and memorializing the struggle for freedom,” and he cited a resolution from 2007.
Later, Hinds and Lee each expressed a willingness to help with events commemorating 400 years of African American history and encouraged Hamilton to take a leadership role in the planning.
During the commissioners’ comments, Lee commended the Piqua Police Department, saying to Piqua Chief of Police Bruce Jamison, “Your officers are doing a great job, especially in my neighborhood.” Lee cited events that took place over the weekend that included a garage burglary and a car fire. Lee said he heard from residents that the officers responded promptly and were courteous and helpful.
Short also spoke in remembrance of Sandra Getzendiner, known locally as “the woman on the bike,” who recently passed away.
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