City to seek Vectren funds

Unmarked gas lines hinder utilities project

By Sam Wildow - Piqua Daily Call

PIQUA — The city of Piqua will be seeking compensation from Vectren after a number of unreported gas lines hindered the city’s Commercial Street utilities project.

During the Piqua City Commission meeting this week, they approved two emergency resolutions for additional costs to the Commercial Street utilities project, which will replace approximately 3,250 feet of new storm sewer, sanitary sewer, and water pipe lines on Commercial Street and a portion on Young Street.

“We believe that these costs have been caused by Vectren, and it is my intent to pursue replacement of the funds with Vectren once we pay these accordingly,” Piqua City Manager Gary Huff said. “We will be pursuing that with Vectren in the future.”

The commission approved an emergency resolution to amend a contract with LJB, Inc. for the design of the Commercial Street utilities project. The amendment is for an additional $5,000 — which includes a contingency of $1,000 — to a total amount not to exceed approximately $30,000.

“Once the project began, our construction contractor found several gas conflicts that were not on the design plans,” Water Quality Coordinator Sky Schelle said. “These included an unmarked gas line found on South Street, three unmarked gas lines found at the intersection of Roosevelt and Grant, an unmarked gas line found near the intersection of Commercial and Young streets, and an unmarked gas line found at the intersection of Roosevelt and Young. Each of these gas conflicts create additional engineering and construction management work for LJB.”

Schelle added that LJB went through the proper channels when requesting gas line locations during the design phase.

“Vectren, however, was in the middle of a procedure change in how they manage those requests, and LJB’s (requests) were not processed appropriately,” Schelle said.

The commission also approved another emergency resolution to add a change order to the contract with the construction contractor of the project, Milcon Concrete, Inc. The change order is not to exceed $51,832, which includes a demobilization and a remobilization fee with Milcon.

Later on, commissioner Kris Lee asked if the city would have to pursue this with legal action against Vectren. Huff said that the city is going to pursue the reimbursement of those funds, adding, “We have a good working relationship with Vectren. I would hope that they understand that these should not be costs that the city has to incur for their mistake.”

Also during their meeting, the commission held a number of first readings of new ordinances of year-end items.

The commission held the first reading of an ordinance in regard to their 2019 annual budget. The ordinance is to make appropriations for the city of Piqua in 2019, the total of which will be approximately $132,464,712, including transfers.

The commission also held the first reading of an ordinance that would give full-time, non-union employees a 2 percent salary increase. For each of those non-union employees, there are six steps in each classification and each step will increase by 2 percent. The commission also held the first reading of an ordinance to raise the minimum wage for their seasonal and part-time staff to match the state’s new minimum wage for next year.

Also on their agenda, the commission approved a couple property purchases for their Riverfront Redevelopment Strategy and they also considered a couple of zoning items. The commission approved the purchase of properties located at 112-114 S. Main St. and 212 E. Water St. The properties are expected to be demolished. The cost for the 0.15-acre property on South Main Street is not to exceed $28,900, and the cost for the 0.09-acre property on East Water Street is not to exceed $29,000.

“This is in anticipation of private sector land development,” City Planner Chris Schmiesing said.

The commission also held the first reading of an ordinance that would add hospitals as a principal permitted use within general business districts in the city’s code. Schmiesing said that in the zoning code, hospitals are listed as a special use in the two-family and multi-family residential zoning code, but he said that due to hospitals’ traffic volumes and use type, they would be better suited for business districts.

The commission also approved changing the zoning for the property located at 1130 Garbry Road from open space to general business. The applicant requested the zoning change so he could sell the property and so the site could be developed. Feathers said that there is currently some interest in the site for a medical office building.

Later, the commission approved the sale of an 8-foot-wide strip of land on the 600 block of South Main Street that was formerly part of the Bennett school site. The an adjoining property owner requested to purchase the land in order to make improvements to his driveway. The sale will be for $610.

The commission also approved an emergency ordinance amending chapter 33 of the Piqua Municipal Code to include a clerical clarification regarding sick leave, and they also approved a one-year lease with Dream Builders Group for use of a building at Mote Park.

Unmarked gas lines hinder utilities project

By Sam Wildow

Piqua Daily Call

Reach Sam Wildow at

Reach Sam Wildow at