City commission thanks couple for service

Clerk and cameraman husband to retire

By Sam Wildow - Piqua Daily Call

PIQUA — Piqua City Manager Gary Huff and the Piqua City Commission said goodbyes and gave thanks to Clerk of the Commission Becky Cool and camera operator Steve Cool during their meeting on Tuesday evening.

“Steve has been operating the cameras and recording the commission meetings for over 20 years. Becky’s been doing this job as clerk of the commission for … 29 years,” Huff said. “They’re retiring from this work at the end of the month, and we certainly have appreciated them staying with us for so long.”

Becky Cool will also be retiring from her position in the economic development department.

On behalf of the city and city employees, Huff thanked the couple — who plan to travel during their upcoming retirement — for their work.

The commissioners also offered their own thanks. “I remember when she relieved Lucy (Laug),” Commissioner Bill Vogt said. “Thanks, Becky, for doing a great job.”

Also during their meeting, the commission approved the city’s 2019 budget and finalized the appropriations for 2018 during their meeting on Tuesday evening. The 2019 operating budget proposes approximately $132,464,712 in total appropriations, including transfers.

“The commission has reviewed this in detail with departments through November,” Finance Director Cynthia Holtzapple said.

The commission also approved an emergency amended ordinance to finalize the appropriations for the city for 2018. The commission waived the three-reading rule on this ordinance.

Commissioner Kris Lee asked if there were any major changes to the appropriations in 2018.

Holtzapple said that they had to remove a previously expected safety grant from the 2018 budget that would have gone toward a fire truck. She said that they have reapplied for that grant. She added that the Health and Sanitation Department’s new building project is also still on hold.

Later, the commission approved transfers of cash and temporary loans from the general fund for 2018 and 2019.

The commission also approved a 2 percent salary increase for full-time, non-union employees. 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 approved an ordinance adding hospitals as a principal permitted use within general business districts in the city’s code.

The commission later approved retaining a number of annual services for the Piqua Power System, including approving $75,000 of membership dues to American Municipal Power, Inc. They will then approve retaining the services of Cooperative Response Center, Inc. to provide customer call answering and dispatch services at a cost not to exceed $30,000.

The commission then approved retaining the services of UIS – Power Services to provide electrical testing and engineering services at a cost not to exceed $35,000, which will be for the Piqua Power System’s breaker replacement project. The commission then approved retaining the services of Sawvel and Associates to provide consulting and engineering services at a cost not to exceed $50,000.

The commission also approved purchase order to Nelson Tree Service, LLC for electric power line clearance for 2019 at a cost of $235,000 and authorized the city to purchase fuel in 2019 for the city’s gas turbines. The Power System budgeted $400,000 for the cost of fuel for the gas turbines, which Power System Director Ed Krieger said they use to meet requirements during the periods of greatest or peak load on the Power System. They help shave the cost of the transmission peaks.

Next, the commission approved a purchase order to Miami Valley Risk Management Association for the purchase of insurance in the amount of $309,951.

The commission will vote on awarding a contract to Burch Hydro, Inc. for wastewater biosolids processing and hauling services at a cost not to exceed $169,000.

Following that, the commission approved awarding a contract to Quality Masonry Company Inc. for the 111 S. Main St. building-roof, masonry and structural repair project at a cost not to exceed $150,000. The project is part of the Riverfront Redevelopment Strategy and aims to prompt economic development at that location. The base bid amount was $136,100, and the not-to-exceed amount includes a contingency of $13,900. The project will utilize approximately $107,344 of downtown revitalization funds and approximately $42,656 local funds.

The commission ended their meeting by going into executive session to discuss pending or imminent litigation. Attorney Frank Patrizio sat in as the law director.

The Jan. 1 commission meeting is canceled due to it falling on New Year’s Day.

Clerk and cameraman husband to retire

By Sam Wildow

Piqua Daily Call

Reach Sam Wildow at

Reach Sam Wildow at