PIQUA — The Piqua City Commission voted down the second phase of the city’s wayfinding signage project by a vote of 3-2 during their meeting on Tuesday evening.
The city was seeking to continue its wayfinding signage project, but commissioners John Martin, Bill Vogt, and Dave Short voted against a contract for the second phase. Commissioner Kris Lee and Mayor Kazy Hinds voted to approve the contract. Lee made the motion to approve the contract, which Short originally seconded before voting against the measure.
The contract would have been awarded to Outdoor Enterprises at a cost not to exceed $580,000, which included a contingency amount and would have been budgeted for 2018 and 2019.
City Planner Chris Schmiesing said the wayfinding project was a system of signage that included primary and secondary directional and information signs, facility and park identification signs, and community gateway signs.
“This seems like an awful lot of money to make signs,” Martin said. He asked why the city was not making the signs in-house. City Manager Gary Huff said that the city was only capable of making a certain type of sign.
Schmiesing said that the signs were going to be high-quality, weather-durable signs — some of which included sandstone bases and masonry — that were meant to last decades. As part of that project, a significant gateway sign was planned for near the intersection of U.S. Route 36/Ash Street and Scott Drive.
Lee said he had received calls from residents dissatisfied with the current entryway sign on U.S. Route 36 and that, as it was the second phase of a project, he personally did not have a problem with it.
The commission also approved an emergency ordinance amending Chapter 111 of the Piqua Municipal Code, Peddlers and Solicitors, which removed sections regarding panhandling restrictions.
Also approved was a change order to the contract with Environmental Assurance Company, Inc. for the former Mo’s Lounge Asbestos Abatement project for approximately $59,724 due to additional asbestos-containing material being found.
The commission then awarded a contract to L.J. Deweese Co. Inc. for the ADA Ramp Installation project for $58,000 for ADA-compliant ramps in the Historic East Piqua District.
The commission also approved increasing the contract with A To Z Property Maintenance, LLC by $8,000 for the Sidewalk ADA Compliance Program–Phase II for complete additional concrete work.
The commission then approved a moral obligation to pay and entering into an agreement with Applied Mechanical Systems for the emergency HVAC Services performed at the Fort Piqua Plaza.
The commission also approved a resolution to vacate an easement and replat a portion of Deerfield Subdivision Section 10 Plat and dedicate a new easement. Hinds excused herself and turned the meeting over to Vogt due to Hinds living around that area. She abstained from the vote.
A number of residents spoke during the announcements and public comment portions of the meeting. Ruth Koon of the Friends of the Piqua Library and the Friends of Piqua Parks said tickets are on sale for the Nov. 16 gala honoring the 10-year anniversary of the renovation of the Fort Piqua Plaza. To buy tickets, call Allisten Manor’s Flower Box at 773-2675 or visit them at 1622 Washington Ave.
The Friends of the Piqua Parks is about to begin fundraising efforts for a beautification project on the slopes on U.S. Route 36/Ash Street near the railroad bridge. Donations can be sent to P.O. Box 270, Piqua OH 45356.
Koon also commended the new mural in downtown Piqua, a project of Mainstreet Piqua’s beautification committee.
D.J. Byrnes, a candidate for state representative of the 80th district, remarked on his time in the Piqua Government Academy and committed to working to bring funding to local governments if elected.
Edna Stiefel of Piqua expressed disappointment in playground equipment being removed from Pitsenbarger Park and Sports Complex and not replaced.
“(It’s been) two years, and still no playground equipment,” Stiefel said.
The city manager and commissioners said that they would look into it.
Larry Hamilton of Piqua later took a moment to pay tribute to William McCulloch — a U.S. representative from Piqua between 1947-1973 who was noted for introducing or supporting civil rights legislation — whom Hamilton said served as a model for “behaving and acting differently” and “being civil, respectful, and honorable in the office he served.”
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