Commission approves trash carts purchase

By Sam Wildow -

PIQUA — Residential trash customers will be receiving new trash carts from the city early next year after the Piqua City Commission approved the purchase of trash carts for city residents during their meeting on Tuesday evening.

The commission approved a purchase order to Cascade Engineering for trash carts at a cost not to exceed $404,000. The Health and Sanitation Department used the Sourcewell Cooperative Purchasing contract to find the lowest bidder for the purchase.

The carts will be for refuse customers. There will be a variety of sizes available, including 96-gallon, 64-gallon, and 32-gallon carts. The carts will be blue with a black lid and a city logo on the side, according to Health and Sanitation Department Director Amy Welker, similar to the carts that customers are currently using for recycling. The carts will also have a 10-year warranty with full replacement if needed. The purchase will be for approximately 8,500 carts.

“We’re looking to get these carts out as soon as possible,” Welker said. The carts will be delivered in eight to 10 weeks in early 2019.

“It’s about time we finally got them,” Paul Bubeck of Piqua said during public comment. He said that the trash carts may cut down on loose trash and also the toll that sanitation employees may go through when collecting trash.

The commission then approved a resolution to levy assessments to pay for the cost of the city abating nuisance conditions. Those conditions include mowing high grass, removing trash, trimming trees, and demolishing structures, according to the staff report. This resolution will allow the city to collect approximately $28,227, which includes the cost to hire contracts to complete the abatements as well as administrative costs.

Welker explained that the Health and Sanitation Department will be bringing these assessments to the commission for approval on a quarterly basis instead of just once a year.

Welker also said that the city is planning on posting the assessments to the city’s website. This will allow people who may be considering purchasing property in the city to see any assessments connected with the property.

Next, the commission approved a resolution amending the contract with SSOE Group for professional consulting and engineering services for the Piqua Power System in regard to the power system’s high-voltage breaker replacement project. Additional engineering hours are required for the project after existing breaker foundations were found to be inadequate and in need of a redesign at one of the substations. This will increase the contract amount by $18,000 for a final amount of $80,000.

The commission then approved a moral obligation to pay Valley Asphalt Corporation for hot mix asphalt for the 2018 street, alley, and bike path maintenance program for the Public Works Department. The department exceeded its prior estimate of $332,280 for the cost of hot mix asphalt for this year and sought approval to increase the purchase order amount to a total not to exceed $440,300.

Interim Public Works Director Brian Brookhart said that the department completed more repavements and patchwork than they had previously planned, particularly in the east part of Piqua.

“We resurfaced just about every road (in that area),” Brookhart said.

City Manager Gary Huff also gave the department approval to go ahead with the work. The Public Works Department budget was also able to absorb the cost increase.

Brookhart noted that Barrett Paving complimented the work of the city employees who completed the repaving in that area and also gave city employees some free training.

The commission also approved their annual purchase of excess liability insurance for the city. The cost will be $87,453 to Associated Electric and Gas Insurance Services for coverage of the city’s dams. The commission will then approve liability insurance for their combustion turbines at a cost of $85,096 through Chubb.

Following that, the commission approved retaining health insurance consulting services through Enrollment Management Services (EMS). According to Human Resources Director Catherine Bogan, EMS will work with the city and its employees to offer support with insurance options outside of the city’s group plan. Employees who waive healthcare coverage may be eligible for additional funding to supplement health care costs from resources other than the city plan.

Bogan said that the estimated maximum amount of health savings the city could see is approximately $600,000.

Commissioner Kris Lee asked about how many employees were identified as people who could possibly benefit from this program. Bogan said that 21 employees currently opt out of the city’s healthcare plan and this program already identified another 64 others who could benefit from other programs. Bogan also said that there are currently 173 employees on the city’s healthcare plan.

The consulting fees are $5,000 per month for the three-year period. The city can terminate services if the cost of the services do not outweigh the savings.

The commission also held the first reading of an emergency ordinance amending chapter 33 of the Piqua Municipal Code Employment Policy in regard to sick leave for municipal employees. The chapter was updated to clarify language and put the sick leave into charts.

The commission also honored Piqua Government Academy graduates Leesa Baker, Melissa Clune, Thomas Fogt, Joyce Sarver, David Scott, Joshua Sheets, Michael Sloan, Mary Tolman, Christa Wheeler, Eric White, Bev Young, and Holden Yount.

During public comment, Bradley Boehringer of Piqua said that it is currently Native American Heritage Month and encouraged the commission to take part in events in Dayton commemorating Native Americans.

Mayor Kazy Hinds added that Johnston Farm and Indian Agency is also a good resource and that she recently did a video with Johnston Farm Site Manager Andy Hite about the agency on the Indian Nation Station as part of her “Eye on Piqua” series.

The commission meeting ended with an executive session to consider the purchase or sale of property for public purposes.

Commissioners John Martin and Bill Vogt were absent. All of the legislation was approved by unanimous 3-0 votes.

By Sam Wildow

Reach Sam Wildow at

Reach Sam Wildow at