PIQUA — A local catering business proposed filling the vacant restaurant space at the Fort Piqua Plaza and encouraged the city to request proposals to fill that vacancy during the Piqua City Commission meeting on Tuesday evening.
Bill Jaqua, who manages Heritage Event & Catering in Piqua, proposed that Heritage Event & Catering fill the vacant restaurant space at the Fort Piqua Plaza previously filled by Mulligan’s Pub as well as take over the banquet center operations.
Mulligan’s Pub vacated the Fort Piqua Plaza at the end of December after the city of Piqua, in consultation with the commission, decided not to renew its lease with Mulligan’s Pub for 2019. The city previously cited factors of “outstanding payments” owed to the city as well as “negative survey responses.”
Jaqua proposed that Heritage Event & Catering would operate similarly as they do in the city of Clayton at Meadowbrook, where they have a catering service and event management agreement.
“We think you would have a hard time finding any other situation in the city of Piqua that would match that,” Jaqua said. He said that they are in their fourth year of managing the banquet center at Meadowbrook at Clayton.
Jaqua said in their agreement with Clayton, Heritage Event & Catering receives the food service revenue and the city of Clayton receives the rental revenue as well as approximately 75 percent of the amount that Heritage Event & Catering spends on alcohol. Jaqua proposed implementing that same agreement with the city of Piqua at the Fort Piqua Plaza.
“I’ve calculated what that would mean to you here,” Jaqua said. He said that if Heritage Event & Catering duplicated in Piqua what they do in Clayton, they would bring in approximately $200,000 every year in revenue for the city of Piqua, “of which you would have zero expense.”
Jaqua was also confident that they would be able to provide that type of service for Piqua.
“It’s not hypothetical. It’s not a pie in the sky. That’s provable facts that you can get from the city of Clayton,” Jaqua said.
Jaqua went on to say that he felt this was the “best scenario” for the city, saying, “I don’t think you’re ever going to have a nice restaurant there.” He added that “the city as a whole certainly has not been successful putting a restaurant there.”
Jaqua suggested that the city of Piqua request proposals from restaurants and caterers to fill the vacancy at the Fort Piqua Plaza, saying that was how Heritage Event & Catering came to partner with the city of Clayton.
“We competed against all the top people in Dayton,” Jaqua said. They originally lost out to another business, but the city later requested them after the previous business failed. Jaqua said that Heritage Event & Catering is responsible for the sales at their location in Clayton and they went from zero events to 165 events at the banquet center.
“That’s something to think about, ” Commissioner Kris Lee later said about Jaqua’s suggestion. He suggested that Jaqua send the city a proposal.
Ruth Koon of Piqua also spoke during public comment, suggesting utilizing Quint Creative Signs for new signs for city parks. She said that she was impressed by the signs that they made for the city of Tipp City and that they were priced less than the previous wayfinding signage that the city of Piqua was going to utilize until the commission majority voted against it in October.
“They were very colorful, creative, and very friendly and welcoming,” Koon said about the signs.
Also during their meeting, the commission awarded a contract to Staffco Construction, Inc. for the Municipal Government Complex Lobby Modification project. The cost is not to exceed $100,000, which includes a 10 percent contingency.
Project Manager Bob Graeser said that the project will make improvements to the lobby area of the Municipal Government Complex, the utility business office, and the income tax department.
“This is to build a more consistent separation between our customers and our clerks who work in that area,” Graeser said.
The project will start immediately and be completed by the end of July.
The commission also approved a purchase order to Century Equipment for the purchase of a grounds mower for Echo Hills Golf Course at a cost of approximately $63,559.
The commission then authorized an amendment to the agreement with the Regional Air Pollution Control Agency (RAPCA) for management, technical, engineering, and field enforcement services related to local air pollution control services, which includes changes to the schedule of fees that would take effect in the 2020 billing cycle. There is no cost to the city.
The commission voted on retaining the services of SSOE Group to provide professional consulting and engineering Services for the Piqua Power System. The cost is not to exceed $100,000. According to Director Ed Krieger of the Piqua Power System, SSOE Group will provide consulting and engineering services related to the city’s replacement of four breakers at one of their substations in 2019.
The commission also held a joint meeting with the Washington Township Trustees to appoint a member to the Forest Hill Union Cemetery Board.
Reach Sam Wildow at email@example.com